Racist ICE raids sweep Massachusetts immigrant communities

More than 100 people withstood a torrential rainstorm on Aug. 8 to stand in solidarity against the mass anti-immigrant raids that swept Massachusetts the day before. The protest took place outside of Clemente Park in Lowell, Mass., which was hard hit by the raids.

Massachusetts rally against immigrant raids, 08-08-2008
It remains unclear how many people have been detained throughout the state. Bunsong Suo, a member of Family Unite, stated that 187 people, all Cambodian, were taken from their homes and places of business by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Lowell alone (Lowellsun.com, Aug. 8).

Other cities hit by the racist government persecution of immigrants include Somerville, Revere and Everett. Many of those arrested have already been scattered throughout the state as a ploy to keep families separated and undermine efforts to seek redress. Some detainees have already been deported.

ICE slated the raids as Operation Community Shield under the guise of targeting “violent street gangs.” Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman for ICE, stated, “The federal warrants charged administrative immigration violations for either past criminal convictions, or in some cases, illegal entry into the country.”

The stated motives are riddled with racist falsities. Numerous detainees had never been convicted of any crime, and those who had convictions largely amounted to minor offenders. Broad assertions of violent criminal behavior are casually thrown around to criminalize those targeted by the raids.

Those involved in the recent protest included young adults who were personally affected by the mass raids. Many were family members and friends of the detainees. Bunsong Suo stated: ” [ICE officers] are breaking up and destroying families.”

Hard-working immigrant communities continue to be criminalized and ambushed by ICE raids throughout the country. This injustice can only be rectified through a movement that fights for solidarity among all workers regardless of nationality. Until the racist divisions that keep workers apart are overcome, immigrant and non-immigrant workers alike cannot be truly free.


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