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Workplace Raids: The New Frontier for Family Separation

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Lynn Tramonte: “The U.S. government is deploying military-style raids to arrest humble farm workers, people who put food our tables every day”

Yesterday, Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took to task terrorizing and disrupting more communities across Nebraska and Minnesota – arresting 133 agricultural workers in their latest set of mass roundup raids.

As Meagan Flynn of Washington Post reports:

In O’Neill, Neb., which is home to about 3,700 people, workers at the tomato greenhouse, potato processing facility and a cattle feedlot were greeted about 8:45 Wednesday morning by agents who loaded those suspected of being in the country illegally onto coach buses in the parking lot.

…Amy Shane, superintendent of O’Neill Public Schools, told The Post she caught wind of the raid about 9:30 Wednesday morning and decided to open the elementary school to provide guidance counselors to children whose parents or family members were arrested. About 12 to 15 children showed up. But Shane said she suspects anywhere between 50 to 100 kids in her district may have been separated from a relative or immediate family member given how many people in the community were employed by the raided businesses. Most of the children likely stayed at home, she said.

At least three children were separated from both their parents, she said. One was in third grade, another in fifth. One was a baby.

The raids in Nebraska and Minnesota follow similar operations in Ohio and Tennessee in recent months.  

While much of the public’s attention has been focused on family separations happening at the southern border, these raids are tearing children from parents in the interior.  American children are being left with babysitters, extended family, or to fend for themselves because their own government has arrested mom and dad.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deportation Defense Coordinator for America’s Voice:

The U.S. government is deploying military-style raids to arrest humble farm workers, people who put food our tables every day.  Imagine going to work in a physically demanding job, for very low pay, and suddenly being surrounded by uniformed agents with guns, screaming at you.  Imagine the pain you would feel, wondering who will take care of your children and feed your family, while you are locked up in immigration jail.

This is a completely disproportionate response to a paperwork violation.  The government is using our tax dollars to raid meatpacking plants and round up dedicated workers.  We are all complicit in perpetuating a system that relies on immigrants to harvest our crops but keeps them ‘in check’ through the constant threat of deportation and family separation.  It’s immoral and we need to demand that it stop.