CHICAGO, August 8, 2019 – Yesterday, an operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led to the arrest of 680 workers in food-processing plants in Mississippi. A few hours later, disturbing pictures of children in tears after being separated from their parents led to public outcry. According to reports, this is the largest immigrant raid in the United States in the past decade and it came only days after the Mexican and Latin American community in El Paso, Texas suffered a massacre inspired by racist and xenophobic rhetoric from the Trump administration.
Óscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas, released the following statement:
“This ICE operation should be considered an act of terror committed against working families by the Trump administration, acting under the guise of profoundly unjust immigration laws inspired by racist and xenophobic contempt against people from Mexico and Latin America.
Raids targeting workers who are fighting every day to care for their families are a waste of public resources that could otherwise be spent combatting the white nationalist terrorism that has claimed the lives of so many over the years, including last week in Texas.
Alianza Americas and our member organizations recognize that raids, detentions, and deportations cause irrevocable damage to those who have been targeted, as well as their families, communities and local economies, as demonstrated in a recent report by Rural Health Women’s Project. It is time for leaders in Congress to undo the damage done by our profoundly immoral immigration laws and replace them with a humane approach that recognizes the positive contributions of all foreigners living in our country.”
Saraí Portillo, executive director of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) – an organizational member of Alianza Americas working in the southeast and actively responding to these raids – added the following statement:
“The families being attacked are our neighbors who make massive economic and cultural contributions to our communities and country. It is outrageous that the government is risking the long-term health and development of children by separating them from their parents. As grassroots organizations serving immigrant families, we must redouble our efforts to protect vulnerable families. Organizations dedicated to social justice and human dignity must step up to protect create spaces of protection and defend rights.”
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 150,000 families across the United States. It is the only national network in the United States of Latin American and Caribbean organizations working from a transnational perspective for inclusive, equitable and sustainable living conditions. Learn more at www.alianzaamericas.org