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UNION ACTION: Stop Racial Profiling

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  • lpine tds.net
    See ACTION at bottom of e-mail on how you can protest racial profiling of farm workers by Border Patrol FARM LABOR ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, AFL-CIO www.floc.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2010
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      See "ACTION" at bottom of e-mail on how you can protest racial profiling of farm workers by Border Patrol

       

       FARM LABOR ORGANIZING COMMITTEE,
       AFL-CIO


      www.floc.com

      Justice for
      Reynolds Tobacco
      field workers
      Donate to the FLOC movement

      FLOC Files a Federal Lawsuit
      Against the US Border Patrol and Local Police


      In northern Ohio, racial profiling by the Border Patrol
      and local police has resulted in a class action lawsuit by FLOC and other partners.

      The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and its members have joined Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc (ABLE), the law firm of Murray and Murray, Co. L.P.A., and the Immigrant Worker Project (IWP) in filing a class action complaint against the US Border Patrol and several local law enforcement agencies in Northwest Ohio. The suit challenges the Border Patrol and local agencies' practice of restraining and interrogating Latinos about their immigration status based solely on their Hispanic appearance. The suit argues that this violates the 4th Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and the 5th Amendment's guarantee of due process and equal protection of the law. Ten out of the twelve plaintiffs are FLOC members.

      "I think it is imperative that we not only address this issue, but tell them to quit it," says Baldemar Velasquez, FLOC founder and President. "Stop spreading fear in the Latino community and start doing the serious police work."

      Racial profiling in NW Ohio and SE Michigan worsened after the Bush administration significantly increased the Border Patrol's budget. New offices opened along the border with Canada, affecting Michigan and Ohio residents. FLOC argues that the Border Patrol may have had difficulty justifying the increased budget and has subsequently tried to create numbers by going after farmworkers and other Latinos in the area. One case presented in the complaint refers to a person who was pulled over because the light over his license plate was dim. When he presented his valid Ohio Driver's License, the officer demanded proof of immigration status from him and his five passengers. All of them turned out to be lawful permanent residents, but their brown skin seemed to be cause enough for the local enforcement agent to intrude upon their civil liberties.

      "In some cases", says ABLE attorney Mark Heller, "the U.S. Border Patrol has offered to come and restrain and interrogate persons that the local law enforcement agencies have already seized, violating the 14th Amendment's guarantee for due process and equal protection of the law. There really is no legitimate defense to what they are doing".

      Also see: FLOC's position on Immigrant Rights.

      ACTION

      FLOC asks our supporters to join the effort to stop racial profiling by the Border Patrol and local police:

      • Please help us locate people in the community who may have suffered this type of discriminatory practice. The lawsuit currently has 12 plaintiffs, but we are certain that there are hundreds more who have suffered this discriminatory practice. Contact Beatriz Maya at FLOC bmaya1@... or call 419-243-3456 ext 3.

      • Write or call the US Border Patrol and demand an end to all racial profiling:
        Acting Chief Michael J. Fisher, Office of the Border Patrol
        1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
        Washington DC 20229
        (202) 344-2050
      • Contact your US Senators and Representative:
        (1) Go to Contacting the Congress (English and espanol)

        (2) Ask them to cut back the bloated funding for the US Border Patrol.

        Join this campaign! If you or your organization want to be involved in this campaign, please contact Beatriz Maya at bmaya1@... or call 419-243-3456 ext 3.

        Thank you for your support in the struggle for justice!



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