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Worthington workers sue over tactics in immigration raid

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  • peaceandjustice2005
    This Web page from Minnesota Public Radio has been recommended to you... WORTHINGTON WORKERS SUE OVER TACTICS IN IMMIGRATION RAID The lawsuit claims ICE agents
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2007
      This Web page from Minnesota Public Radio has been recommended to you...

      The lawsuit claims ICE agents hurled insults at

      the Hispanic workers, ordered female Hispanic workers to disrobe and
      insulted, abused, and humiliated" the plaintiffs during the Dec. 12
      raid at the
      Swift & Co. plant.


      For more information from Minnesota Public Radio News, visit


      This article was sent to you by someone who found it on SFGate.
      The original article can be found on SFGate.com here:
      Tuesday, September 4, 2007 (AP)

      Minn. Meatpackers Sue Over Federal Raid

      By GREGG AAMOT, Associated Press Writer

      (09-04) 15:48 PDT MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --

      A lawsuit filed Tuesday claims that federal immigration agents who
      raided a meatpacking plant detained Hispanic workers, hurled racial
      epithets at them and forced the women among them to take off their
      clothes, while white workers were spared the harsh treatment.

      The federal lawsuit was filed by Centro Legal, an immigrant rights
      group, on behalf of 10 workers at Swift & Co.'s Worthington plant who
      are in the U.S. legally. More than 200 illegal immigrants in
      Worthington were arrested Dec. 12 as part of a six-state raid of Swift
      plants that netted more than 1,200 undocumented workers.

      The plaintiffs, all of whom were working at the Worthington plant when
      it was raided, claim they were detained and searched or interrogated
      without being advised of their constitutional rights, the lawsuit
      claims. None was charged with a crime, said Gloria Contreras-Edin,
      Centro Legal's executive director.

      Federal agents "insulted, abused, and humiliated the plaintiffs on
      account of their race" and ordered female Hispanic workers to disrobe
      in front of federal agents, the lawsuit claims. White workers,
      meanwhile, were allowed to move about the plant freely during the raid
      and weren't subject to unlawful conduct on the part of agents,
      according to the lawsuit.

      "This is about upholding the basic constitutional rights and freedoms
      of Americans — whether they are black, white or Latino,"
      Contreras-Edin said.

      The lawsuit claims civil rights violations, abuse, discrimination,
      unlawful search and unlawful detainment. It seeks unspecified damages
      and a court ruling barring ICE from conducting similar raids.

      Tim Counts, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
      said Tuesday that government lawyers hadn't reviewed the lawsuit. But
      he said agents did nothing wrong during the raid.

      "The worksite enforcement operation at the Worthington plant was done
      lawfully and in full accordance with ICE policies and procedures,"
      Counts said. "Each person encountered was treated with respect and has
      been given full access to due process under the laws."

      Worthington is a city of about 15,000 residents near the Iowa border.

      Centro Legal has also sued on behalf of Hispanic residents in Willmar
      who claim agents broke into their homes and illegally detained them
      during a sweep in April. Many Hispanic immigrants in that west-central
      Minnesota community work at a poultry processor owned by Austin-based
      Hormel Foods Corp.

      ICE has also claimed its agent acted properly in that raid, which led
      to the arrests of about 50 people.

      Copyright 2007 AP
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