Labor Workers Accuse Chicago ICE with Racial Profiling

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

A huge rally took over the parking lot of a Shell Gas station on the north side Tuesday afternoon to denounce ICE’s civil rights violations affecting labor workers. On the corner of Milwaukee and Belmont, organizers from Latino Union of Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportations, #Not1More Campaign, along with day laborers held a press conference to address agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) racial profiling tactics, which recently affected day laborers awaiting work on the corner of Milwaukee and Belmont, calling upon a an official investigation. “ICE agents suddenly just appeared. We thought they were employers coming to pick us up for work, but instead it was ICE demanding to see our papers and scanning our hands,” said day laborer William Rivero. “We are just workers –why do they come to violate our basic rights?” At the press conference, workers share with the media that agents demanded some of the workers on the corner submit to having their hands scanned without cause.

“It is time for us to completely divorce immigration from the city. Our city will say no to raids, no to tearing our communities apart,” said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. During the raid, ICE agents detained three individuals. “There is no other name for government agents targeting a traditional gathering place for Latino men and forcing them to submit to searches than to call it racial profiling,” explains Latino Union Director, Analía Rodríguez. “Donald Trump may be proud of how Ricardo Wong is directing his agency, but anyone else should consider this a shame, a grave violation, and an example of the racism that drives this country’s immigration policies.”

The Latino Union has partnered with Organized Communities Against Deportations and #Not1More campaign to take steps to respond to the raids. The steps include the following:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

  • The groups are filing an official request for a Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties investigation into the civil rights violations that occurred in the operation.
  • The groups are filing a freedom of information act request with the Chicago Police Department to discover what, if any, role and advanced notice local police had in relation to the raids.
  • The groups are filing prosecutorial discretion requests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to see to the release of the raided workers and the closing of their cases.

“Raiding a street corner is like shutting down a factory,” said Latino Union Senior Organizer Eric Rodriguez. “The human cost to the families torn apart by ICE raids is incalculable, and the economic impact is devastating, as well.”

“We want to tell the city of Chicago, that this is just another reason why they need to break all collaborations with immigration, no exceptions,” said Anibal, member of Organized Communities Against Deportations.

Comments are closed.