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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    New Orleans - Undocumented workers stage protest, shut down traffic at major CBD inte

    Undocumented workers stage protest, shut down traffic at major CBD intersection

    Posted on November 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM
    Updated today at 2:59 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - Dozens of protesters, many of them claiming to be undocumented workers, staged a protest in the CBD Thursday that included blocking traffic on a major thoroughfare for more than an hour.

    The workers said they were protesting the crackdowns and harsh treatments of undocumented people.

    The protest started at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at 1250 Poydras and moved into the streets at Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue, where traffic was blocked for nearly an hour before about a dozen people were arrested.

    Tempers flared and shouts were heard between drivers stuck in traffic just after midday and the protesters.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Immigration protest shuts down afternoon traffic, results in 22 arrests

    By Richard A. Webster, | The Times-Picayune
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    on November 14, 2013 at 6:08 PM, updated November 14, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    A crowd of several hundred pro-immigrant activists blocked the intersection of Loyola Avenue and Poydras Street for several hours Thursday afternoon to protest what they describe as "harsh" and "devastating" tactics by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

    The protest, organized by the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, resulted in the arrest of 18 immigrants and four activists.

    Saket Soni, executive director of the Center for Racial Justice and one of those arrested, said ICE has rolled out a new program in the New Orleans area called the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative. Instead of targeting specific individuals, typically those considered dangerous or with criminal backgrounds, for deportation, Soni said ICE has been conducting indiscriminate raids in grocery stores, Laundromats, Bible study groups, and parks, picking up anyone who looks Latino.

    Bryan Cox, public affairs officer with ICE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in New Orleans, said the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative specifically targets people ICE considers to be high-priority.

    "ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States," Cox said. "ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids to target undocumented immigrants indiscriminately."

    Jennifer Rosenbaum, legal director with the Center for Racial Justice, said federal agents in the program handcuff and detain people without probable cause, take their fingerprints using mobile technology in a van and, if they are proven to be in the country illegally, they are taken to an ICE detention center where they are prepared for deportation.

    "People have been arrested in parking lots after coming out of the grocery store and then they're driven around Kenner in a van while other people are stopped and arrested for looking Latino until the van fills up. Then they're taken to the detention center," Rosenbaum said. "It appears to be numbers driven, quota driven."

    In 2011, the Obama administration issued a directive to ICE that it should prioritize undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds for deportation, but local agents are not following those orders, said Stephen Boykewich with the Center for Racial Justice.

    The Center for Racial Justice provided these recent examples:

    --In September four ICE agents arrested Irma Esperanza Lemus who is married with three children, two of whom are U.S. citizens. The family was packing for a fishing trip when the agents appeared, fingerprinted Irma and discovered she had a previous deportation order. She was arrested and is awaiting deportation.

    --In March, ICE agents arrested Denis Avila while he was driving with his pregnant wife from New Orleans to Kenner to look for a new apartment. They apprehended him as he was walking out of the apartment, fingerprinted him in the van, discovered he has a previous deportation order and took him away, leaving his eight-month pregnant wife stranded.

    --In August Ronald Martinez-Rivera was pulled over and fingerprinted by ICE agents who detained him for having a previous removal order. The agents drove around with Martinez-Rivera in the back of the van for several hours in the summer heat, even stopping at one point for an hour at the Bottom Line bar.

    "In a fairly grim way New Orleans has been the front line for some of the harshest forms of immigration enforcement so far and its particularly distressing because so much of the immigrant community in New Orleans came here to the city after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild," Boykewich said. "That's the fundamental thing these folks are asking for is the right to remain in the city they helped rebuild for all New Orleanians."

    Each of the examples provided by the Center for Racial Justice involved immigrants considered to be high-priority under ICE guidelines since they all had previous deportation orders that they ignored, Cox said.

    Lemus and several other people apprehended in these ICE raids were later released while their cases remain pending.

    Such explanations did little to quiet the protestors who gathered at 11:30 a.m. at Duncan Plaza in front of City Hall then marched to ICE headquarters at 1250 Poydras Ave., where they unfurled an orange and blue tarp on the ground emblazoned with the words, "Stop the raids."

    A group of 17 sat down on the tarp while more than a hundred gathered around them chanting, "No papers, no fear," or "Obama, listen, we are part of the struggle."

    Attorney Bill Quigley said he spoke with the officials inside the ICE headquarters who said as long as the protestors didn't try to force their way inside, they could stay for as long as they wanted.

    Two security personnel guarded the doors while a small group of New Orleans police officers watched from the sidewalk.

    An hour after they first arrived at the ICE building, the protestors moved to the intersection of Loyola and Poydras, blocking traffic in every direction.

    Metry Cab driver Joe Carrion said he understood why people would be upset if their families were being separated through deportation but he wanted the protestors to display their displeasure in a less disruptive way.

    "This is affecting my job. I can't make money right now," Carrion said. "I got bills to pay just like everybody else. I had to let the guy in my cab out and get a free ride because I can't bring him to his destination because of this."

    As the protest dragged on, the frustration of some drivers boiled over.

    A man operating an Airport Shuttle bus barreled through a small crowd of protestors pushing some aside and forcing others to jump for safety. No one was injured.

    The driver of a large dump truck wailed on his horn as two protestors lay down in the middle of the street preventing him from moving forward.

    Nearly three hours after the protest started, the NOPD SWAT team arrived shortly after 2 p.m. and 30 minutes later quietly arrested without incident a group of 18 protestors sitting in the middle of Poydras Street and four others holding a sign that said, "We are New Orleans. We have the right to remain."


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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Doesn't sound like they helped their cause by being so disruptive, not smart imo.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ReformUSA2012's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    I'd be calling that suicide just as if you jump infront of a bus that is going down the street. U block and refuse to move as they proceed then to bad. How about a bit of personal responsibility. Then all the crap about having bills to pay and being seperated from husband and 2 kids while already had a previous deportation order.... like any real American would pity her.

    Its nice to know some ICE officers have the balls to still do their job and ignore Obama.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    As far as I am concerned the race card doesn't work anymore. When they are this aggressive, they need to be removed.

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