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Thursday, September 6, 2018

ICE after Nebraska’s tomatoes

Por dbloggers

A peace of mind is not possible in the United States particularly for migrants, especially those who are still undocumented and aspire with their off license jobs to gain some money to send to their families. The Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues the mega raids to capture those who break the law by giving jobs to migrants. Now the American state of Nebraska witnessed an incursion by ICE that broke into a tomato greenhouse that is capable of producing 250,000 pounds of tomatoes per week and in which it is suspected that about 60 of its workers have no legal papers to work in the country.

According to ICE spokesman, the operation is part of an ongoing police investigation that is carrying out the service. However, journalists and social activists for the rights of migrants consider it is another repressive operation of that force of the Department of Homeland Security and which has now set itself the objective of repressing and intimidating migrants.

Since his presidential campaign President Donald Trump warned that his administration would take greater action against migrants. Apparently the president is keeping his promises. In addition to trying to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other programs that protect migrants, the actions have violated human rights such as the separation of families and include police raids and the construction of the border wall with the corresponding deployment of the National Guard troops.

Witnesses and media reported that the event occurred around 9:00 a.m. as part of an operation in which ICE vehicles were deployed, as well as police vehicles of the State. Simultaneously, a potato packer to the east of the county was also requisitioned.

One employee said that about 80 employees work at the plant, picking and packing tomatoes, of which only 20 could be left. "Along the US 281 highway people could be watched crying inconsolably", a local radio station reported. "The operation could entail the end of the American Dream for many migrant families", said the journalists.

María Ortiz, one of those interviewed by the local media, expressed her dissatisfaction and discontent when commenting: "To the workers, they should not do that to them. (...) all they want is a better life for their children. "

However, social and legal activists reacted as well. Rose Godinez, legal and political adviser to the ACLU of Nebraska, criticized the operation. "Trump Administration's war against immigrants was fought today in central Nebraska. The ACLU condemns this ongoing misery campaign targeting immigrants, it affects local businesses and separates families", she told to a Nebraska newspaper.

Also Darcy Tromanhauser, director of Communities and Immigrants, questioned the mobilizations against migrants. "Senseless raids like today leave lasting damage in entire communities", she said.

Several people agree that the constant raids in the United States against the emigrant population are destroying countless family nuclei. Some even consider that such operations have instilled fear among those who have documentation. Tromanhauser in his speech stated that the fear of ICE has affected local communities. "Parents are afraid to even send their children to school." "Our immediate focus is to help the community and make sure that all the children of these affected families are safe", she stated.

So far, ICE has not declared how many people were arrested in the surprise raid that also broke into a restaurant and a Mexican winery in Nebraska, nor it has said what charges will be faced by both the captured migrants and the owners of the businesses.

Nebraska joins other states of the nation that have been requisitioned by ICE. California is one of the constant victims of ICE operations, despite being a sanctuary state. In Minnesota, a company in the city of St. Paul had to close after an immigration audit. According to official statistics, more than thirty businesses in the state of Minnesota have had to close due to the intervention of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service.

Among the crimes that ICE agents seek there is the presence of illegal workers, that is, those emigrants who do not have a work permit in the United States and yet work in US companies. Supposedly the Immigration Customs Enforcement tries to avoid illegality, but the reality is that in addition to being guardians of "the law" they are also complying with the orders of Donald Trump, who demands greater pressure on the migrants.