[act-ma] 3/07 Protest New Bedford Raids Tomorrow in Boston 11 AM

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Tue Mar 6 13:50:01 PST 2007

 From Sergio Reyes <sreyes1 at yahoo.com>

MIRA, NALAC and Centro Presente will have a vigil tomorrow at 11:00 AM 
in front of the JFK Federal Building, home of the Field Office of ICE to 
protest today's military style raid of migrant workers by ICE in New 
They will also hold a press conference at 3PM.
The least we can do is support this initiative and make efforts to join 
them at 11:00 AM. Also we should come up with a strong statement against 
these raids, demand a moratorium on all raids, and call on people to 
organice towards May Day mobilizations.
In the struggle,
Sergio Reyes


Please post widely: (from New Bedford)

1. Press Conference at 3pm in front of facility.
---Please call press contacts if you have them;
---please attend if you are able.
2. Command center to recieve folks looking for assistance/information
    a. Paul will ask about Our Lady of Guadelupe at St. James
    b. Catholic Social Services is also offering space.
    c. MIRA and Centro Presente will coordinate to look for volunteer 
psycological assistance
    d. If you are volunteering and you are able please bring:
        1. Water
        2. Facial tissue
        3. Blankets.
        4. Flashlights
3. Possible vigil this evening at a church (Stay tuned)
    a. Paul will ask St. James
    b. St. Anthony's is an alternative
4. Phone bank has been canceled; if you were planning on attending, 
please volunteer at the command center
5. Possible vigil tomorrow at JFK (Stay Tuned)
    a. MIRA will coordinate with Centro
    b. Suggested time; 11am or noon
1. Raid happened starting at 8pm; ICE is still processing people as of 1pm
2. DSS is trying to find enough family placements for the children that 
will be left behind.
3. Most of the people detained were Mayan women with small children.
4. ICE is working with DSS and School Dept. to identify and release 
women who can prove they are the sole providers for children under 2 
years of age or minority children with disabilities or with elderly 
folks. How they are going to prove this is unclear.
5. Official press conference at 1pm at Moakley Courthouse--closed to public
6. If you speak with detainees please advise them:
    1. Not to confess anything.
    2. Not to sign anything.
    3. To say they are really the only ones that can care for their 
Contact info (cell phones):
1. Paul from UAI: 617-960-7465
2. Corinn from Community Economic Development: 774-451-8687
3. Helena from Imm. Assistance Center: 508-735-1953
4. Michele of MIRA: 875-919-3574
5. Jessica of Centro Presente:  617-251-6844
6. Shuya (press) MIRA: 617-821-8990
Cynthia Tschampl
Senior Legislative Organizer
MIRA Coalition
105 Chauncy St, Suite 901
Boston, MA 02111
www.miracoalition.org <http://www.miracoalition.org/>
Phone: 617-350-5480 ext. 212
*Save the Date!  Interfaith Summit for Immigrant Justice, April 12th at 
the State House.*
Migra Raids in New Bedford Today

90 people in custody after immigration raid in New Bedford

By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff

Federal immigration agents raided a New Bedford leather manufacturer 
this morning and arrested the company's owner and three managers on 
charges that they hired illegal workers.

Officials did not release the names of the people who were arrested or 
identify the firm targeted in the raid, but a local immigration activist 
identified the company as Michael Bianco Inc., which makes handbags and 
other leather products.

About 90 people had been taken into custody by 9:30 a.m., said Corinn 
Williams, executive director of the Community Economic Development 
Center in New Bedford, which has been fielding calls from worried 

The number of arrests is expected to climb, she said, because the 
waterfront factory, which has about 400 workers, employs mostly 
immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Williams said some employees, 
most of them female, fled the factory when the raid began, and 
helicopters hovered overhead to alert authorities of escape routes.

"A lot of the women working there left small children in child care 
today," Williams said. "Members of the community are just devastated.

People are just in disbelief. They're hard-working people." Williams 
said she has received assurances that the women who have children with 
no one else to care for them would be released today.

The others will be put into deportation proceedings, she was told.

Paula Grenier, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, declined 
to confirm or provide details about the raid. Grenier said only that the 
arrests followed a 10-month investigation by federal officials working 
with state and local law enforcement.

The arrests were made as Congress is preparing to grapple once more with 
the issue of comprehensive immigration reform and as the agency has 
stepped up efforts to target employers who hire illegal immigrants.

"I question the timing on this," Williams said. "We're on the eve of 
another introduction of comprehensive immigration reform. My hope is 
that many people will have the opportunity to normalize their status.

This is going to drive people back into the shadows and make them much 
more vulnerable."

Posted by the Boston Globe City & Region Desk at 11:52 AM

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