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La Liga de Las Americas

Statement regarding May 19th ICE roundups—It is Painful in Painesville!

The raids conducted in Painesville, Ohio May 19, 2007 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) invoked terror in Painesville’s Mexican and non-white community. There are reports of harassment against certain ethnic groups by ICE personnel. This is unconstitutional and appalling in the United States of America.

The migration “crisis” has not occurred on a level playing field. Many of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be considered economic refugees, forced from their homes due to globalization and trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

Millions of Central American Farmers have been put out of work due to U.S. trade policies. Central America cannot compete against multinational agricultural corporations and U.S. taxpayer farm subsidies. Migrants are victimized by “first world” trade policies, forcing them to leave their countries to find work to feed themselves and their families.

Migrants help keep the “developed nations” economies afloat by providing cheap labor for food production and other commercial industries. Migrants provide such valuable service, in spite of the injustice perpetrated against them by U.S. trade and immigration policies, that we should be thanking them instead of arresting them.

The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network condemns ICE’s handling of Painesville’s immigrant community and calls on the U.S. Congress to put an immediate halt to immigration raids as seen in Painesville and around the nation, until an investigation of ICE is conducted. The resources of ICE should be used in a search and detainment of those who are a threat to our security, not those who are contributing to our economy. The heavy-handed tactics of ICE against U.S. citizens and non-citizens have been reported by various ethnic and religious groups in the United States.

The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network

By Don Bryant, President

Linda Park, Vice President

BOARD: Kim Alibasi, Khalda Abdullah, Brian Fry, Vera Hall, Yoshiko Ikuta, Mary Anne Kerr, and Yasir Hamdallah





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