ICE raids protested in Minnesota, Michigan

On Oct. 24, about 60 people demonstrated in Minneapolis to protest a recent ICE sweep through southern Minnesota. The demonstration was called by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition. (The Militant, Nov. 10) From Oct. 21 to 23, ICE Fugitive Operations Team members arrested 17 people in southern Minnesota’s Watonwan County: 10 in the town of Madelia, five in St. James and one each in Butterfield and Lewisville. ICE also arrested two people in Windom, the county seat of neighboring Cottonwood County. Four of the 19 people arrested had been deported previously; five had prior criminal convictions. All 19 were from Latin American countries: 11 were from Mexico, six were from Honduras and one each were from Guatemala and El Salvador. (ICE news release, Oct. 24)

ICE spokesperson Tim Counts said six of the 19 people arrested were “fugitives” who had failed to comply with deportation orders; the other 13 were not being sought but were encountered during the sweep. Counts said several children were among those arrested; “This was because the immigration judge had ordered the entire family deported,” he explained. (Minnesota Public Radio, Oct. 24) Witnesses to the raids saw ICE agents knocking on the doors of neighboring homes and stopping and questioning people who were not specifically being sought. (The Militant, Nov. 10)

In Lansing, Mich., a group calling itself the No Human Is Illegal Network has formed in response to an ICE sweep that took place in October. The group seeks to educate people about how immigration raids are separating families. About 25 people gathered on Nov. 20 at the East Lansing Public Library for an event to raise awareness about the situation and also to raise money for the families affected by the raids. Immigrants “come here because they just want to work,” said Maximo Anguiano, a retired Lansing firefighter and member of the No Human Is Illegal Network. “And most of them pay taxes.” (Lansing State Journal, Nov. 21) ICE agents arrested 64 people between Oct. 17 and Oct. 20 in the Lansing area; 40 were “fugitives” who had failed to comply with deportation orders, while the other 24 were found to be present in the US without permission. (Michigan Messenger, Oct. 24) The raids took place at the El Azteco restaurant in East Lansing and at an apartment building where undocumented workers were living, according to an article in the Lansing City Pulse. (Lansing City Pulse, Nov. 5)

Another South Dakota dairy raided
On Nov. 21, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested five Latin American immigrant workers at a dairy farm near Hamlin County, SD. According to officials from ICE and the Hamlin County Sheriff’s office, four of the five workers face criminal identity theft charges for using social security numbers that were not their own to get jobs at the farm. The fifth worker, a woman, was taken into ICE custody on administrative immigration violations. Sheriff Dan Mack said the investigation began when the people tried to register vehicles with false Social Security numbers. (KELOLAND TV, Sioux Falls, Nov. 24; AP, Nov. 27) The latest raid came less than a month after an Oct. 29 operation in which ICE agents arrested 27 people at several dairy farms in northeastern South Dakota

From Immigration News Briefs, Nov. 30

See our last post on the politics of immigration.