January 12, 2007
I.C.E. could get a spanking
I was pleased to see that a federal judge is not closing a blind eye to ICE's handling of the Swift raid in Greeley. While I'm happy for those who will soon have bond hearings (at the judge's order), I am saddened for those who did not know their rights and were thus "voluntarily deported" back to their home countries. The article follows:
A federal judge put U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on notice today that he is monitoring their handling of the detention of more than 260 immigrant workers arrested a month ago during a raid at the Swift & Company meatpacking plant in Greeley. U.S. District Judge John L. Kane denied a motion by government lawyers to dismiss a lawsuit filed by United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 7 that contends ICE abused its powers during the Dec. 12 raid at the Greeley facility.
During a hearing this morning in Denver, Kane ordered ICE to arrange bond hearings within 48 hours for any detained Swift workers who had not yet had such a hearing. It is unclear how many workers would be affected by that order.
The judge also ordered lawyers on both sides to meet immediately after the hearing and set up a system by which they could identify and account for all of the workers arrested at the plant.
ICE agents arrested almost 1,300 Swift workers across the country during a coordinated sweep that was publicized as a crackdown on widespread identity theft by the workers to get hired at Swift. Since the raids, federal authorities have charged a small fraction of the workers with such crimes.
Another hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 22.