Sunday, July 23, 2006

INB 7/23/06: 10,000 March in Chicago; Border Deaths Near Record?

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 26 - July 23, 2006

1. 10,000 March in Chicago
2. "Return to Sender" Hits Central States
3. More Military Base Raids
4. Border Deaths Near Record?

Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; tel 212-674-9499; INB is also distributed free via email; contact to subscribe or unsubscribe. You may reprint or distribute items from INB, but please credit us and tell people how to subscribe. Immigration News Briefs is now archived at


An estimated 10,000 people marched through Chicago in 90-degree weather on July 19, from Union Park to a two-hour rally in Grant Park, to demand legalization for undocumented immigrants and a moratorium on deportations while Congress considers immigration reform. Speakers at the rally included congressional representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), religious leaders and Asian, Arab and Polish community advocates. Immigration advocates plan to march for three days in August from Union Park in Chicago to US House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office in Batavia. [Daily Herald (Arlington Hts, IL) 7/20/06]


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continued the second phase of its "Return to Sender" interior enforcement operation July 12-20 with raids through the state of Oklahoma and the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; and Kansas City, Missouri. The same operation brought the arrest of 154 immigrants in a July 10-14 sweep through three Ohio cities [see INB 7/16/06]. In the first phase of Return to Sender, 2,179 immigrants were arrested nationwide from May 26 to June 13 [see INB 6/18/06]. The operation targets immigrants who have final orders of deportation.

On July 12, before the Ohio raids were even over, ICE began a four-day sweep in Oklahoma. ICE arrested 46 Mexican immigrants in Tulsa on July 12; all were deported the same day. ICE arrested another 81 people in Oklahoma City July 13-15. The vast majority of the 127 people arrested in the two cities were Mexican, and as of July 17, 100 of them had already been returned to Mexico. The others were from Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Zimbabwe. The Oklahoma City Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Parole and Probation, US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the Muskogee Police Department assisted with the operation. [ICE News Release 7/17/06]

In simultaneous four-day sweeps July 17-20, ICE agents arrested 37 immigrants in and around Kansas City, 17 in the Chicago area and 12 in Louisville. ICE was helped in the Kansas City raid by the police department of Kansas City, Kansas; in Chicago by the Franklin Park police department; and in Louisville by the Grayson County Sheriff's Department of Leitchfield, Kentucky. In the Kansas City area, 28 people were arrested in the state of Kansas and nine were arrested in Missouri. Those arrested were citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Cameroon; four of the 37 had criminal convictions and 11 had final orders of removal issued by an immigration judge. [ICE 7/21/06; Kansas City Star 7/22/06] In Chicago they came from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Tunisia, Albania, Poland and Ukraine; six of the 17 had criminal convictions and 12 had final orders of removal. In Louisville, those arrested were from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Gambia, Mauritania and Philippines; nine of the 12 had final orders of removal and one had a criminal conviction. [ICE 7/21/06]

In a seven-day operation that ended July 14, ICE deportation officers assigned to the Miami Field Office Fugitive Operations Team arrested 61 immigrants in various Florida cities. Most of the arrests took place in South Florida, with 35 in Miami-Dade and 16 in Broward County. The operation targeted people who had remained in the US after losing their asylum cases. In its news release announcing the arrest, ICE did not identify the Florida sweep as part of operation "Return to Sender." [ICE 7/18/06; AP 7/20/06; South Florida Sun-Sentinel 7/20/06]


In the early morning of July 18, security officers from the Fort Bragg Directorate of Security and Emergency Services detained 58 contract workers allegedly using false documents to attempt to enter the army base in North Carolina. People whose vehicles clearly identified them as contract workers or people who identified themselves as contract workers were isolated for in-depth document checks, said Fort Bragg spokesperson Tom McCollum. The 58 detainees were turned over to federal agents, who took them to the ICE office in Cary. Some of the arrested workers were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, said ICE spokesperson Marc Raimondi. The US Marshals, Defense Criminal Investigation Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Attorney's Office in Raleigh assisted in the investigation. In the past year, Fort Bragg officials have detained more than 150 people--the vast majority of them construction workers--who allegedly sought access to the base under false pretenses. [ICE News Release 7/18/06; Fayetteville Online 7/19/06]

On July 21, ICE agents arrested 25 immigrant contract workers doing construction and landscaping at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The Air Force collaborated in the operation. The workers' names were put on a list by the six companies doing business on the base, said Frank Hartnett, a spokesperson for the 2nd Bomb Wing at the base. [Shreveport Times 7/22/06; AP 7/22/06]


Between Oct. 1, 2005, and July 16, 2006, the US Border Patrol recorded 319 deaths by people apparently trying to enter the US, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Border Patrol tabulated 326 deaths over the same period last year, and a record high of 472 for the fiscal year. Deaths, rescues and detentions are down in the Border Patrol's Tucson sector as increased enforcement in Arizona seems to have driven would-be immigrants east to Texas or west to California. Deaths are up this year in Texas, except in the Laredo area. [UPI 7/22/06]


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