Friday, December 1, 2006

INB 12/1/06: Raids in Kentucky, Atlanta, NYC & NJ

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 41 - December 1, 2006

1. More Kentucky Construction Raids
2. Atlanta Airport Raid
3. More Raids in NYC, NJ

Immigration News Briefs is a 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 for info. You may reprint or distribute items from INB, but please credit us and tell people how to subscribe. Immigration News Briefs is archived at


On Nov. 29, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 32 suspected undocumented workers--including one woman--in northern Kentucky. Thirteen of the workers were arrested at two parking lots near a construction site in Covington, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The other 19 were arrested in a parking lot at the Home Depot store in Florence, in Boone County, Kentucky, where they were waiting for transportation to the Covington construction site. ICE spokesperson Gail Montenegro said those arrested were taken to the Boone County jail. They were to appear in US District Court in Covington on Nov. 30.

The immigrants had been contracted to do commercial drywall work for the Spectrum Interiors firm. Dugan and Meyers is the main contractor on the Covington construction site, where a $55 million, 21-story condominium project--the "Ascent at Roebling's Bridge"--is being built. "Home Depot was a pickup location where they all got in a van and went to Covington," explained Tom Scheben of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

Scheben said the ICE agents are "not trying to pick up one or two here or there. They're trying to get large numbers and they're trying to get the people who are employing them." The arrests followed a coordinated investigation by ICE, the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Labor, and the US Marshals Service. ICE was also assisted in the investigation by the Florence, Covington and Lexington police departments, the Boone County Sheriff's Office, the Kenton County Sheriff's Office and Boone County Jail. [ 11/29/06; Cincinnati Enquirer 11/30/06; Cincinnati Post 11/30/06; ICE News Release 11/29/06]

Between May 9 and June 2, ICE arrested at least 89 people in the same area of northern Kentucky in a raid targeting immigrants employed by subcontractors for the Fischer Homes construction firm [see INB 5/14/06, 5/21/06, 6/18/06]. Five Fischer Homes supervisors were indicted on federal charges in connection with the arrests, but on Nov. 15 US District Court Judge David Bunning dismissed the charges because a key witness, subcontractor Nelson Trejo, could not be found. Trejo had said he would cooperate with federal prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence. Two other subcontractors who made similar deals are still facing charges. Fischer Homes as a corporation was not implicated or charged in the case. [ 11/29/06; Cincinnati Enquirer 11/16/06]


On Nov. 29, ICE agents arrested six undocumented Mexican immigrants who worked installing drywall at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. They worked for T.C. Drywall, Inc. of Alpharetta, according to ICE. The workers had security badges that gave them access to restricted areas of the airport, including the tarmac. None of the men was considered a security threat. They were arrested in Hartsfield's south terminal as they arrived for work in the morning. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11/29/06] The operation was conducted with the assistance of the Hartsfield Department of Aviation and the Atlanta Police Department and coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration. [ICE News Release 11/29/06]


In a seven- or eight-month investigation ending Nov. 30, ICE agents joined with officers of the New York City Department of Probation in arresting 81 immigrants with prior criminal records in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The raids were part of "Operation Retract," an ongoing effort by ICE's New York office to arrest immigrants on probation for prior misdemeanor or felony convictions and place them in removal proceedings. Of the total number arrested, 45 were legal permanent residents and 36 were out of status. All but nine of the arrested immigrants were from either Latin America (52) or the English-speaking Caribbean (20). They came from the Dominican Republic (28), Mexico (13), Jamaica (10), China (5), Trinidad (4), Colombia (4), Guyana (3), Ecuador (3), El Salvador (3), Korea (2), Antigua (1), Barbados (1), India (1), Grenada (1), Honduras (1) and the United Kingdom (1). ICE agents transported the immigrants to detention facilities where they will be held during removal proceedings. [ICE News Release 11/30/06]

On Nov. 29, ICE arrested 45 immigrants in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan who according to ICE are "child predators and criminal alien sex offenders." The arrests were made under ICE's "Operation Predator" and were separate from those made under "Operation Retract," although the arrested immigrants were also on probation in New York City for prior misdemeanor or felony convictions. Those arrested were citizens of Bangladesh, Bosnia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Romania and Trinidad. [ICE News Release 11/29/06]

Another 137 people were arrested in New Jersey between Nov. 13 and 18 in "Return to Sender" raids, which target people with prior removal orders. ICE said 54 of those arrested had been ordered removed by an immigration judge; the other 83 were simply without status. Only 17 of the 137 had criminal records. Those arrested came from 21 countries, including Poland, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Albania, Macedonia and the United Kingdom. [Press of Atlantic City 11/21/06; ICE News Release 11/20/06]


Contributions toward Immigration News Briefs are gladly accepted: they should be made payable and sent to Nicaragua Solidarity Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012. (Tax-deductible contributions of $50 or more may be made payable to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute and earmarked for "NSN".)

No comments: