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Organized Labor Roundly Condemns Immigration Raids in Ohio

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Ohioans are outraged at the military-style immigration raid carried out by federal immigration agents at Corso’s Flower and Garden Center and Fresh Mark meat processing plants.  Labor unions have come out in full force denouncing this corrupt intimidation tactic and outrageously aggressive treatment of humble workers.

At this link are quotes about the raids from labor leaders as well as others in Ohio and across the United States.  Below are excerpts from some of the latest response from organized labor, as well as the Catholic DIocese of Youngstown.

Marc Perrone, President, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

[The Fresh Mark immigration raids] will only drive this nation further apart, while also spreading unmistakable pain among neighbors, friends, coworkers, and loved ones.  Our top priority is to provide whatever assistance and counsel we can to any of our impacted members and their families. The broken policies that led to these and other workplace raids must be addressed immediately.

Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Our union will not stand for violence against immigrants; we will not stand for tearing families apart and we will not stand for the terrifying tactics of the Trump Administration. The RWDSU is committed to assisting workers affected by this ICE raid and will continue to fight against any and all heartless attacks on immigrant workers seeking to provide for their families.

Kenneth Rigmaiden, General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

Attacks against any workers regardless of affiliation on their job site, by unscrupulous contractors, overzealous Government agents or anyone else is something that undermines our ability as workers to bargain for better wages and better conditions.

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades will stand with our Brothers and Sisters in the Working Families United coalition and demand action in our communities as we push for an end to these unjust enforcement policies and call on legislators to provide comprehensive immigration reform that includes a clean path to citizenship.

Jim Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The assault on workers must stop now.

Petee Talley, Secretary-Treasurer, Ohio AFL-CIO

In the face of multiple devastating worksite raids in less than a month, the Ohio AFL-CIO says enough is enough.  Worksite raids do nothing to raise wages and standards for working people in Ohio. In fact, they create fear in our workplaces and communities, which actually makes us all less safe.

Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary, North Shore AFL-CIO

Rounding up people at work prohibits them from making arrangements for their children, much less notifying them or affording them the opportunity to say goodbye.  This is cruel and inhuman. This makes the United States resemble a fascist dictatorship more than a representative democracy.

Yanela Sims, Ohio State Director/VP, SEIU Local 1

Random raids won’t make a perceived “problem” go away or make the country safer, or magically make more jobs appear.  Random raids separate families, destroy lives, condone hate, and show us all that only some citizens of our society are regarded as human beings who deserve the better life that we all want for ourselves and our families.

Deb Kline, Director, Cleveland Jobs with Justice and President, OPEIU Local 1794

The lack of compassion shown towards the children of these workers, who were left on their own after the raids, is startling but now no longer surprising.  We see it at the border, where the children are being ripped from their mothers’ arms, just as we saw it in Erie County. Lady Liberty is weeping in the harbor; her light to freedom and liberty is no longer burning.

Linda Lynch, OPEIU Local 1794

It is REPREHENSIBLE that in our “free” country, workers of Hispanic descent had machine guns pointed in their faces, were zip-tied and arrested while on their jobs. In one case, a Hispanic American CITIZEN was caught up in the raid and was released only after Senator Sherrod Brown’s office intervened and evidence of citizenship was provided.

Baldemar Velasquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)

This is about human beings and who we are as a nation.

Very Reverend Monsignor Robert J. Siffrin, Vicar General, Diocese of Youngstown

The family is the central social institution that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. When family separation takes place at the border, or as a result of sudden and unannounced raids in our local communities, the Church decries the terrible impact on vulnerable and innocent children and families.

See here for quotes from these and other concerned Ohioans.