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Thread: Bean Station ICE raid: One year later, workers still wait to learn fates

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Bean Station ICE raid: One year later, workers still wait to learn fates

    Bean Station ICE raid: One year later, workers still wait to learn fates

    Matt Lakin, Knoxville News Sentinel
    Published 10:00 p.m. ET April 4, 2019



    The federal agents came one year ago Friday.

    Last April's raid
    by the IRS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse in Bean Station upended the lives of nearly 100 workers and drew national attention to East Tennessee's immigrant community. The roundup marked the nation's largest workplace raid in a decade at the time.


    Other immigration raids have followed, the largest this week at a telecommunications repair company in Allen, Texas, where ICE agents arrested more than 280 workers. National media have mostly moved on.


    But the workers and their families haven't forgotten.


    "We're hanging in there, trying to make it," said Yahel Salazar, whose husband, Cristino Ramirez, was deported after the raid. "We're just trying to take things as they come."


    The long wait


    Seventy-three men and women still wait to learn whether they'll face deportation as undocumented immigrants.

    Most came to the U.S. from Mexico or Guatemala and have lived here at least a decade.


    They face waits of as long as two years for hearings before a judge in federal immigration court in Memphis, where deportation orders have jumped nearly 50 percent in recent years.

    Buy PhotoAlberto Librado, center, sits with his children from left, Abdiel, 5, Sheryln, 11, and Jeylani, 3, in their White Pine home July 3, 2018. Alberto was detained by ICE agents when they raided the Southeastern Provision plant outside Bean Station in April 2018. (Photo: Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel)


    "These are civil cases that operate very differently from a criminal case," said Karla McKanders, a clinical professor of law at Vanderbilt University. "You as the defendant have to respond to the government's allegations, and the burden of proof is on you. These families are going to be waiting for a while."

    Thirteen former workers, like Ramirez, gave up the fight and agreed to be removed; others have been ordered deported by a judge.


    Fear and unity


    The raid happened as Tennessee legislators debated and ultimately passed a law banning "sanctuary cities" in the state and ordering local authorities to comply with ICE agents. Jeff Sessions, then U.S. attorney general, boasted he wouldn't shed a tear for any of those arrested.

    Advocates for immigrant rights say the timing helped inspire unity along with fear.


    Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in a law enforcement conference held inside the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Calvin Mattheis, calvin.mattheis@knoxnews.com


    "The brutality and cruelty of the raid struck fear in the hearts of immigrant communities across the state, who could imagine themselves being separated from their children after leaving for work each day," said Stephanie Teatro, co-director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. "The families impacted by the Bean Station raid turned their pain into power ... They have knocked on doors in their communities, making sure their neighbors know their rights and how to prepare for an encounter with ICE, and have trained other immigrant communities across Tennessee on how to prepare for and respond to raids in their communities."


    Seven of the former workers — including one who was in the U.S. legally — have sued the ICE agents who conducted the raid, claiming agents cursed, shoved and punched them during the raid. No trial in that case has been set.

    The wait to learn their parents' fate is especially hard on children, most of whom know no home but the U.S., said Mary Lehman Held, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work who's conducting a study of immigration raids' impact on families.


    "Most if not all of these children are U.S. citizens," Held said. "They fear losing their parents to deportation.

    They're fearful of another raid. Their sleep is disrupted.

    They can't concentrate at school. They're going to be growing up with a lot of fear and anger, hating the government that arrested their parents."


    Owner awaits sentence


    The slaughterhouse owner, James Brantley, pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants. He remains free on bond, with sentencing delayed until this summer.

    Court records show Brantley offered information on an unrelated, unspecified case, which could translate to a reduced sentence. Whatever happens, he'll get to remain in the U.S.

    James Brantley is the owner of a Grainger County slaughterhouse, Southeastern Provision, that was targeted in a federal immigration raid. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    Brantley admitted he'd been hiring undocumented workers for 20 years, paying them in cash and encouraging applicants to turn in fake Social Security numbers. At least 10 of the workers rounded up in the April raid had been deported before.

    Brantley's business strategy allowed him to dodge nearly $1.3 million in payroll taxes, according to court records, while paying wages of $6 to $10 per hour. State inspectors fined Brantley more than $41,000 after the raid for forcing workers to toil in dirty, dangerous conditions.

    Southeastern Provision, a cattle slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tenn., was the target of a federal immigration raid that rounded up 97 people on April 5, 2018. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    Brantley returns to court June 17.

    The last of the workers' cases are set to be heard in 2021.


    https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/...es/3357550002/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    If they are all here illegally they should have NO right to court. Deport the whole family on the spot and stop rewarding those people, to stay here for years, and we pay the price for it!

    No papers, no entry, no rights. Send them back!
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  4. #4
    MW
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    "We're hanging in there, trying to make it," said Yahel Salazar, whose husband, Cristino Ramirez, was deported after the raid. "We're just trying to take things as they come."
    No worries. I'm betting he's already in transit back to you.
    Beezer likes this.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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