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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Feds halt flights carrying immigrants out of Mass

    Feds halt flights carrying immigrants out of Mass.

    10:51 PM CST on Thursday, March 8, 2007

    Associated Press

    BOSTON – Gov. Deval Patrick urged federal authorities Thursday not to move any more factory workers detained in an immigration raid out of state until their children are found and arrangements are made for their care.

    More than 300 people were detained for possible deportation in a raid Tuesday at a leather factory that makes equipment for the U.S. military. About 150 have been flown from the plant at the former Fort Devens military base to a detention center in Texas, the governor said.

    "I urged the federal government to stop all flights out of Fort Devens immediately until we can be assured that all parents have been identified and appropriate arrangements made for their children and dependents," Patrick said.

    Federal authorities postponed a third flight that was to depart at noon Thursday after Patrick twice called Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff seeking better cooperation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

    Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers said ICE agents asked each of the those arrested if they were sole caregivers to children, and 60 people were released because they were. An agency spokesman has said ICE notified social workers about the raids ahead of time, and that no children were stranded.

    But Massachusetts Department of Social Services spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said one woman was still detained Thursday despite her infant having been hospitalized for dehydration Wednesday night because she could not nurse. Monteiro said the mother was to be released and reunited with her infant.

    The state has identified about 35 children whose parents were arrested, said JudyAnn Bigby, secretary of Health and Human Services. She said those children were staying with relatives or friends, but she added that it's important for state social workers to interview their parents to make sure the kids are staying with responsible adults.

    There are other children who had keys to their homes "and went home with no one there," Bigby said. "We have no idea how many that is."

    At least 361 people were detained in Tuesday's raid at Michael Bianco Inc. in New Bedford, 47 miles south of Boston. Owner Francesco Insolia, 50, and three top managers were arrested, and a fifth person was charged with helping workers obtain fake identification.

    Authorities allege Insolia oversaw sweatshop conditions so he could meet the demands of $91 million in military contracts to make products including safety vests and lightweight backpacks.

    Investigators said the workers toiled in dingy conditions and faced onerous fines, such as a $20 charge for talking while working and spending more than two minutes in the bathroom.

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  2. #2
    MW
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    Aren't these folks being offered the opportunity to deport with their children and spouses? What good does it do to deport a criminal alien when the father and child is left behind? Having something to come back to will make her or him more determined to come right back.

    Come ICE, working harder isn't the same as working smarter. Please, deport the whole family whenever possible.

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

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  3. #3
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    But Massachusetts Department of Social Services spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said one woman was still detained Thursday despite her infant having been hospitalized for dehydration Wednesday night because she could not nurse. Monteiro said the mother was to be released and reunited with her infant.
    And the care-giver couldn't give water or formula?
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    OK delay there departure to insure the children are not in any danger.
    After all most of the kids are anchor babies and the taxpayer most likely
    has footed the bills so far. prenatal,birth WIC,foodstamps,medical and school as well as section 8 housing.

    I would hope the federal government takes the employers assets to reimburse the taxpayers. I know i sound like i have been hitting the adult beverages to even suggest such a thing.After all they didn't get to be contractors for uncle sam without making a friend with some pull.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
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    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... rom_state/

    US judge halts the removal of more detainees from state

    DSS, immigration agency ordered to sort out problem of left-behind children

    By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff | March 10, 2007

    A federal judge ordered immigration officials yesterday not to move out of state any of the remaining detainees from Tuesday's raid of a New Bedford sweatshop and to allow them access to lawyers.

    Judge Richard G. Stearns also instructed the state Department of Social Services and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to work together to solve the problem of detainees who are mothers or primary caregivers and have been separated from their children. He ordered those agencies to give him a progress report by Tuesday.

    "We haven't won, but we have made progress," said lawyer Harvey Kaplan after the hearing at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in South Boston. Kaplan is representing a group of immigration advocates who filed an injunction against the agency Thursday afternoon.

    Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday he was receiving more cooperation from immigration officials after several days of tensions over state officials' access to the detainees.

    "We now have full names, addresses, and dates of birth," Patrick said at a press conference at a healthcare center in South Boston. He said state officials would compare the information with lists compiled by the advocates during extensive interviews with families affected by the raid.

    Today, the Department of Social Services plans to send two teams of 18 people to Texas -- one to El Paso, and the other to Harlingen -- said spokeswoman Denise Monteiro . Commissioner Harry Spence will travel to Harlingen.

    Patrick also said that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement had agreed to release a mother who was flown to Texas. State officials learned the woman was a mother when her 7-year-old child called a hot line created to reunite families following the raid.

    "I understand that the federal government has a job to do in enforcing immigration laws and there was a practical reason for them doing it the way they did it," Patrick said. "The problem is when they executed it, it turned into a race to the airport."

    Ali Noorani, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said during the press conference at the courthouse: "ICE really had no idea about the impact of their actions. They're trying to clean up a mess."

    The raid Tuesday morning at Michael Bianco Inc. sent shockwaves through New Bedford's immigrant community, as 361 workers, mostly from Guatemala and El Salvador, were detained because they could not prove they were in this country legally. The owner of the company, Francesco Insolia, and three of his managers were arrested for conspiring to hire illegal aliens. The four posted bond, and the company was open for business the next day.

    "I want to extend my most heartfelt sympathy to the families of our loyal workers whose lives have been terribly disrupted by the events of the last few days," Insolia said in a statement. "When the dust has settled on this unfortunate episode, I guarantee that everyone that can be hired and wants to return to work will have a job at Michael Bianco Inc."

    "I urge you to withhold judgment until all of the facts come out and these accusations can be confronted in a less chaotic environment and in the proper forum," the statement said.

    According to immigration officials, about 70 of the 361 workers detained Tuesday morning have been released . Ninety people are being held in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, at the Bristol County House of Correction , the Barnstable County House of Correction , and the Wyatt Federal Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I. There are 207 detainees in Texas, with 91 at the Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Harlingen and 116 at the El Paso Service Processing Center.

    Eight minors were picked up during the raid. Three of them have been released, but the remaining five were taken to a facility in Miami. The immigration agency was in the process of getting them back to New Bedford, said spokesman Marc Raimondi.

    "As we have been doing since before the enforcement operation began, we continue to coordinate closely with our federal, state, and local counterparts, including DSS," Raimondi said. "The fact that DSS has not notified us of a single child in a risky or inappropriate setting. . . . says that the cooperation between us has yielded the results intended."
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