HNBA Condemns Holiday Immigration Raids and Calls for a Moratorium on Further Action

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hispanic National Bar
Association (HNBA) condemns the recent multi-state immigration enforcement
raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials at Swift and
Company plants and other areas throughout the United States. The HNBA is
reviewing the raids to determine whether a recommendation is warranted for
an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office
of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and the DHS Office of Inspector
Immigration officers conducted pre-Christmas raids at U.S. meat packing
plants across six states and rounded-up close to 1,283 workers. Reportedly,
"non-Latinos" and light skinned employees were provided blue wristbands
which exempted them from questioning, while "Latinos," persons perceived to
be of Hispanic or Latino origin underwent immigration processing. The raids
occurred less than two weeks from the Christmas holidays and resulted in
the separation of families, including children. The raids underscore the
need for immediate comprehensive immigration reform.
"The raids so close to the holidays and are particularly harsh and
unwarranted, especially since they involve hard-working people that show up
daily at their jobs," said Jimmie V. Reyna, National President of the HNBA.
"But the serious concern is the use of police and immigration officials to
sort amongst workers and determine upon unknown criteria who is Latino, and
then to assume that all persons perceived to be Latinos are illegal. Does
this mean that by law all Latinos and only Latinos should carry citizenship
papers? We don't think so. The government should immediately call for a
moratorium on further raids until it determines how to eliminate "drag net
enforcement" that entraps on the basis of race or color."
The HNBA is a non-profit, non-partisan, national legal association
representing the interests of 38,000 U.S. Hispanic attorneys, judges, law
professors, law students, and legal professionals. Its mission is to
improve the study, practice, and administration of law and justice for all
Americans by ensuring full and meaningful participation by U.S. Hispanic
legal professionals in the legal profession, and to address legal issues
that affect the Hispanic community.

SOURCE Hispanic National Bar Association