Sunday, May 28, 2006

INB 5/28/06: Senate Passes "Compromise" Bill; Hunger Strike Continues

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 20 - May 28, 2006

1. Senate Passes "Compromise" Bill
2. Hunger Strike, Protests Continue
3. Raids: 179 Arrested in Las Vegas
4. Raids: 35 Indonesians Held in NJ
5. Raids: 13 Seized on Alabama Base
6. Raids: 29 Arrested in San Diego

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 posted at


On May 25, the US Senate voted 62 to 36 to pass the Hagel-Martinez bill (S. 2611), which would provide limited legalization for some out-of-status immigrants while stepping up enforcement measures [see INB 5/21/06]. Republicans were divided on the bill: 23 voted for it and 32 voted against. Among Democrats, 38 supported it and four opposed it. One independent senator voted for the bill. [Los Angeles Times 5/26/06] A day earlier, May 24, the Senate had voted 73-25 to limit debate on the bill and take a final vote on it by May 26. [Bloomberg News 5/24/06] The Senate bill will next go to conference to be reconciled with HR 4437, a harsh anti-immigrant measure passed by the House last December. The House bill includes no legalization program.

The Senate bill calls for doubling the number of Border Patrol agents over five years, adding 14,000 agents to the existing force of 11,300; building more detention centers to hold immigrants caught at the border; and putting up 370 miles of fencing along the US-Mexico border. Within 18 months, all employers would have to start using an electronic verification system to check work authorization for new hires. Employers would be fined up to $20,000 for each unauthorized employee, and repeat offenders would face prison terms. [LAT 5/26/06] Another of the bill's provisions would add carrying fraudulent documents to the list of acts considered "aggravated felonies" under immigration law. [Washington Post 5/26/06]

The legalization plan passed by the Senate would require immigrants with less than two years in the US to leave, while those present at least two years but less than five would have to leave temporarily but could seek a work visa to come back. Immigrants in the US longer than five years could stay and eventually apply for permanent legal status if they paid back taxes and fines of at least $3,250, continued working, and learned English and US civics. [LAT 5/26/06] On May 23, the Senate voted 61-37 against an amendment introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) which would have replaced this three-tiered system with a single plan to legalize undocumented immigrants who have lived in this country since Jan. 1, 2006. [National Immigration Forum Policy Update 5/24/06]

The Senate also approved a "guest worker" program which would allow some 200,000 foreign workers per year to enter the country and ultimately seek permanent legal status. (An amendment to bar the "guest workers" from seeking permanent status was defeated.) [LAT 5/26/06] The Senate bill includes provisions that would reduce backlogs in family-based immigration, and two measures advocates have fought for in recent years: "AgJobs," which provides a path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers; and the "DREAM Act," which would do the same for students. [Immigrant Legal Resource Center 5/25/06]

The Senate defeated several attempts to make the bill harsher, including an amendment which would have delayed the legalization and guest worker programs until the Secretary of Homeland Security certified that the border had been secured, and one which would have confiscated the Social Security benefits immigrants earned before they were legally authorized to work.

Several amendments were added which softened the enforcement side of the bill. One last-minute amendment requires local, state and federal officials to consult with Mexican counterparts before building a new border fence. [Washington Times 5/26/06] Another amendment, which passed 52-45, struck the bill's controversial section 227(c); that section would have allowed the immigration service to deport anyone seeking asylum or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) before a federal court could review their case. [Asylum Working Group 5/25/06] As passed, however, the Senate bill would still limit the way federal courts review such cases, and would make it easier for the government to detain or deport immigrants, while making it more difficult for people to prove they deserve asylum or naturalization. [WP 5/26/06]

Two amendments backed by advocates were shot down on May 23: one proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) which would have provided protection for refugees deemed to have involuntarily provided "material support" to an armed group; and one offered by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) which would have enhanced enforcement of federal labor laws to protect workers' rights. [National Immigration Forum Policy Update 5/24/06]

Immigrant advocates criticized the Senate bill, while admitting that it is a major improvement over the House bill, HR 4437. The "We Are America" coalition called S. 2611 "a step forward, but flawed and unworkable." [California Chronicle 5/26/06 from LA County Federation of Labor] On May 24, a day before the bill was passed, advocates convened by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said the measure "would create deep divisions within the immigrant community and leave millions of undocumented immigrants in the shadows."

"The current Senate bill does not reflect the immigration reform called for by millions of immigrant communities marching the streets," said Sheila Chung of the San Francisco Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition. [Article by David Bacon via Pacific News Service 5/25/06]


As of May 25, two immigrant mothers who began a hunger strike in Chicago on May 10 were still consuming only liquids as they called for an end to all deportations until Congress finalizes a legalization bill [see INB 5/14/06]. Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisostomo, both of whom were arrested in immigration raids and are fighting their own deportation, have been joined by three other hunger strikers and are camping out in a plaza on Chicago's south side. They plan to continue their fast until at least June 1, the day when 23 of 26 Chicago-area IFCO Systems employees arrested in a nationwide sweep on Apr. 19 face hearings in immigration court. Crisostomo is one of the "IFCO 26." [Chicago Tribune 5/25/06]

Immigrant rights activists held new protests throughout the week of May 15, though much smaller than the coordinated marches and rallies that rocked the nation Apr. 9-10 and May 1 [see INB 4/16/06, 5/7/06]. About 1,000 people rallied in Washington in the rain on May 17. [Washington Times 5/18/06] Some 200 people marched in San Francisco on May 17, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. [SFC 5/18/06] In New York City, a May 17 march in Queens drew more than 200 participants ("dozens," according to the local Spanish-language daily El Diario-La Prensa), while a May 20 march in Manhattan drew close to 1,000 ("several hundred," according to the New York Times). [Eyewitness reports; ED-LP 5/18/06; NYT 5/21/06] Several dozen people also rallied in Brentwood, Long Island, on May 20. [Newsday 5/21/06]


Between May 20 and 25, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 179 out-of-status immigrants in Clark County, Nevada in a sweep ostensibly aimed at people who had failed to comply with outstanding deportation orders. Only 87 of those arrested were found to be violating deportation orders; 92 merely lacked legal status. "Fugitive operations teams" based in Los Angeles and Phoenix were recruited to help local Las Vegas area ICE agents carry out "Operation City Lights"; ICE said in a news release that its agents also received "substantial assistance in the operation from the Nevada Department of Public Safety Parole and Probation Division."

The majority of those arrested were Mexican citizens; others came from Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Egypt, the Philippines, Samoa and Iraq. As of May 25, 134 of those arrested had already been removed from the US, according to ICE. Officials said those who had not yet been deported--including an Iraqi man--were awaiting travel documents from their home countries. "Whether it's Iraq or Peru, we will reach out to officials in that country to obtain travel documents," said ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice.

"I find it hard to believe that this wasn't done to show Congress and the American public that they can deport people," said Jeremiah Wolf-Stuchiner, a Las Vegas-based immigration attorney and the head of the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). "Although people say it's impossible to deport 11 million people living here illegally, ICE is showing they can do this." [AP 5/25/06; ICE News Release 5/25/06]


Before dawn on May 24, about 24 officers from the ICE field offices in New York City and Newark arrested 35 Indonesian immigrants in a sweep through the area of Edison, New Jersey. Of the total arrested, 32 had been denied asylum or ordered deported; the other three were out-of-status immigrants caught fleeing the scene of the raids. Agents issued a notice for 15 other people who cooperated to appear at the ICE office for processing. Most of the deportation orders for those arrested were issued between two and five years ago, authorities said. Some of them had been appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), though the majority of those appeals were denied within the last year, authorities said.

"When they receive their orders from the immigration judge, they should have contacted our office to start the official removal process," said Raymond Simonse, acting Newark ICE field office director for detention and removal operations. Simonse said about 20 of those arrested lived at an apartment complex in Woodbridge. The others were at different sites in Edison and Metuchen. According to Simonse, ICE planned the raid after research teams identified a large pool of people in the same area who had ignored final removal orders. "We put together an operation to gather them all at once, so that those we didn't get couldn't abscond," Simonse said. Simonse said local police departments were notified just prior to the operation, but did not participate. Those arrested are being held at Hudson County Jail, Middlesex County Adult Correction Center and Elizabeth Detention Center, Simonse said. [Home News Tribune (central NJ) 5/25/06; ICE News Release 5/24/06]


On May 24, ICE agents questioned 50 people working at the US Coast Guard's Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, and ended up arresting 13 Mexican immigrants who were helping build an airplane hangar there. Mickey Pledger, resident agent in charge of the ICE office in Mobile, said six of the workers had no legal documentation and will be deported; seven workers employed by construction contractors working on the base were charged with possessing fake resident alien cards or Social Security numbers. Affidavits filed in federal court show Coast Guard officials alerted ICE that some of the workers for the contracting firms were presenting "questionable forms of identification" when they came on the base. [AP 5/26/06]


On May 23, ICE arrested 29 immigrants employed by the Standard Drywall Company, a San Diego area business that provides contract construction workers to perform services at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Oceanside, California. None of the workers arrested on May 23 were identified as having worked at Camp Pendleton. One of the arrested workers is Honduran; the rest are Mexican. They were arrested at their homes after being identified in an ICE review of hiring records of more than 360 Standard Drywall employees. Standard Drywall cooperated fully with the investigation. The raid capped a four-month joint investigation involving ICE and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Seven of the 29 arrested workers had prior criminal convictions; two were lawful permanent residents whose criminal convictions made them deportable, according to ICE. [ICE News Release 5/23/06]


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".)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

INB 5/21/06: Raids Protested in Detroit; 34 Arrested in Western NY

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 19 - May 21, 2006

1. Raids Protested in Detroit
2. LA Water & Power Raided
3. 34 Arrested in Western NY
4. Construction Raids Continue
5. Senate Moves on Immigration Bill

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 posted at


On May 15, about 50 people braved the rain in front of the federal building in Detroit to protest a May 12 immigration raid. Agents from the fugitive operations team of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided three homes in southwestern Detroit on May 12, looking for three people with oustanding deportation orders. They ended up arresting one of the people they were looking for, along with 17 other people who happened to be at raided homes. Four people--including the person originally sought--remain detained; the other 14 were allowed to post bail, said ICE spokesperson Robin Baker. The person officials were originally looking for was previously convicted of auto theft and will soon be deported to Mexico.

Children were among those arrested in the raids, according to activist Elena Herrada. "We have to respond," said Herrada at the protest. "More and more people can disappear." People "don't feel safe," said Edith Castillo, executive director for a Detroit-based group called Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED). [Detroit Free Press 5/13/06, 5/15/06, 5/16/06; Detroit News 5/16/06; AP 5/15/06]


On May 16, ICE agents arrested five immigrant workers at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), culminating a year-long investigation. Three other LADWP workers were arrested previously as part of the same investigation. LADWP cooperated fully, and its human resources department helped arrange the arrests. LADWP General Manager Ron Deaton said his office worked closely with ICE to examine the records of more than 7,000 LADWP employees.

The arrested LADWP workers were from Ethiopia, Nigeria, El Salvador, the Philippines and Mexico; all had entered the country legally, but several had visas that did not authorize them to work. One employee was on a student visa, one was on a visitor's visa, and one had applied for temporary protective status, said ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice. Three of the workers were lawful permanent residents with criminal convictions that make them eligible for deportation, Kice said. The arrested workers held positions including management analyst, customer service representative, water sampling technician, maintenance worker and electrical engineering associate. All of the arrested workers were processed for administrative immigration violations and will undergo deportation proceedings, ICE said. The raids were part of an ICE program targeting critical infrastructure facilities. [ICE News Release 5/16/06; Los Angeles Times 5/17/06]

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office welcomed the arrests. "Mayor Villaraigosa has made the safety and security of the residents of Los Angeles his top priority and thanks the Department of Homeland Security for this joint effort," said spokesperson Janelle Erickson. [LAT 5/17/06]


Early on May 19, some 50 ICE agents and state troopers arrested a group of 29 undocumented Mexican immigrants who were traveling in vans to jobs at Schictel's nursery in Springville and West Valley, New York, just south of Buffalo. ICE was contacted after a sheriff's deputy pulled five Schictel's workers over on a traffic stop late on May 18; those five workers were handed over to ICE after they failed to produce proper documents. Most of the workers had been living along Route 219 in Springville, in what used to be a motel and is now owned by Schictel's. According to Peter J. Smith, the ICE supervising agent who headed the raid, "different buses...would come and shuttle them from the motel out to the worksite." The 34 arrested workers will not face charges; most were expected to be sent back to Mexico on May 20. "This is right in line with the president's plans to have illegals sent back immediately," said Smith. [WIVB TV4 Buffalo (Niagara Falls) 5/20/06; AP 5/19/06; Buffalo News 5/20/06]


Ten undocumented workers were arrested in a May 18 raid at a construction site for a H-E-B grocery store in Beaumont, Texas, immigration officials said on May 19. ICE personnel received a tip that dozens of undocumented aliens were working at the site, Houston-based ICE spokesperson Luisa Deason said. H-E-B Houston division spokesperson Cyndy Garza-Roberts said on May 19 that the undocumented immigrants were employed by independent subcontractors working at the site. H-E-B has asked its contractor, Dallas-based Aguirre Building Systems, to ban any of the subcontractors who were involved until they can prove every worker is documented. [Beaumont Enterprise 5/20/06]

On May 16, ICE arrested five undocumented immigrants from Mexico who were working for a subcontractor at a Wal-Mart construction site in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The workers were arrested at a local hotel and have been charged with possessing fraudulent documents. Undocumented workers also have been arrested in recent months at Wal-Mart construction sites in Bismarck and Dickinson. In October 2005, Wal-Mart temporarily shut down work on seven stores under construction in North Dakota to check for unauthorized workers [see INB 11/20/05]. [AP 5/18/06]

On May 16, police in Casper, Wyoming arrested two undocumented workers of a cement company pouring the foundation on a local Wal-Mart site. The two men were charged locally with interfering with an investigation by giving false names to police. ICE spokesperson Carl Rusnok said on May 17 that ICE had placed detainers on the two workers and will investigate. Heggem Construction, based in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, released a statement on May 17 claiming it does not "knowingly hire unauthorized workers." The arrest temporarily shut down work at the site for a second time this year; in March construction stopped for several days after concerns arose about the immigration status of some workers. [Casper Star-Tribune 5/18/06]

On May 16, three Mexican immigrants installing drywall on a school construction site in Belgrade, Montana, were arrested by local police and jailed in nearby Bozeman at the request of immigration officials. Belgrade police began investigating the men on May 16 after a pawn shop employee alleged they stole a drywall tool worth $100; the tool was later found in the store but the three men were turned over to ICE because they couldn't provide proper documentation. As of May 18 they were in ICE detention in Colorado, and had agreed to be deported without seeing an immigration judge, Rusnok said on May 19. No criminal charges have been filed. [AP 5/20/06]

On May 17, ICE arrested at least six suspected out-of-status immigrants at an apartment complex in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, in the southern suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. The arrests were fallout from a May 9 raid in the area targeting construction subcontractors working for Fischer Homes [see INB 5/14/06]. When US marshals arrived at the Ft. Mitchell apartments to serve a summons for a man wanted for questioning in the Fischer Homes case, they found men they believed to be undocumented immigrants and called ICE to detain them. [ (Cincinnati) 5/18/06]

On May 19, local authorities arrested three undocumented immigrants working on a construction site in Triadelphia, West Virginia (near Wheeling, in Ohio County), and turned them over to ICE in nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two of the men were subsequently released after agents found they had been previously processed by ICE. The three men were working for a Virginia subcontractor installing cable service for Comcast. The arrests were prompted by a tip from someone who reported that possible undocumented immigrants were working at the site, said Ohio County Sheriff Tom Burgoyne. [Wheeling News-Register 5/19/06]


During the week of May 15, the Senate resumed debate on S. 2611, an immigration bill introduced by Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Mel Martinez (R-FL). On May 17, the US Senate voted 99 to 0 to approve an amendment by Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) which would exclude immigrants who have committed one felony or three or more misdemeanors from legalizing their status. In a compromise, senators agreed to let some immigrants who have ignored deportation orders remain eligible for legal status if they show their deportation would cause "extreme hardship" to legal residents or US citizens, or could prove they did not receive adequate notice of a deportation hearing. The Senate voted 83-16 to approve an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) which calls for the construction of 370 miles of fencing along Arizona and California's borders with Mexico. [Bloomberg News 5/17/06; Border Working Group Press Release 5/17/06; Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) 5/18/06]

The fencing would replicate the "triple fence" model--three layers of 15-foot-high solid walls--already used along the border near San Diego, California. Some worry that walls in Arizona and California will just push people to cross the border farther east, through the deserts of New Mexico and Texas. A recent New York Times/CBS poll published on May 14 showed that 66% of the US public opposes using fencing to control immigration, while 29% favor such a strategy. [BWG Press Release 5/17/06]

On May 17, the Senate voted 66-33 to reject an amendment sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) which would have blocked immigrants present in the US illegally from gaining legal status. On May 16 senators voted 69-28 against an amendment that would have eliminated a guest-worker program. Senators have approved amendments lowering the number of guest-worker visas to 200,000 per year, setting wage rules for the program and preventing it from being used where more than 9% of low-skilled US workers are unemployed. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has said the Senate will complete work on the bill by the end of May. It will then have to be reconciled in committee with HR 4437, passed last Dec. 16, which includes harsh repressive measures and no legalization program. [Bloomberg News 5/17/06]

On May 18, the Senate voted 50-49 against an amendment proposed by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) which would have stripped Social Security earnings from millions of immigrants. [National Immigration Law Center (NILC) 5/18/06] Also on May 18, the Senate voted 63-34 for an amendment introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) stating that the federal government "shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States." The Senate also voted 58-39 for an amendment by Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) declaring English the "common and unifying language of America." Both amendments are seen as largely symbolic. [Houston Chronicle 5/19/06]

On May 18, the Senate voted 56 to 43 for an amendment offered by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) that would allow immigrant workers to apply for permanent residence without the sponsorship of their employers. [NY Times 5/18/06]

On May 18, President George W. Bush wrote to House speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), formally asking for an emergency appropriation of $1.9 billion to pay for the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to assist the Border Patrol, part of a plan Bush outlined in a May 15 speech. Bush said he would cut a similar amount from an emergency request for funds for the Department of Defense. [NY Times 5/18/06] Bush made a photo op visit of less than four hours to the Arizona border city of Yuma on May 18 in an effort to sell his immigration reform plan. Since the start of the fiscal year last Oct. 1, the Border Patrol's Yuma station has become the busiest in the nation with more than 84,000 immigrants apprehended, up from about 77,000 a year ago. [ADS 5/19/06] Immigrant deaths in the Yuma sector hit a record 51 in 2005, up from 15 two years earlier. [LAT 5/19/06]


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".)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

INB 5/14/06: Day Laborers End Trek; Appeals Court Frees Detainee

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 18 - May 14, 2006

1. Day Laborers End Trek
2. Day Laborers Win Court Victory
3. Homebuilder Contractors Raided
4. Midwest Restaurants Raided
5. Arrests at Florida Air Base
6. More Raids, Communities Respond
7. Appeals Court Frees Detainee

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 posted at


A group of 12 day laborers marked the end of their 3,000-mile relay run across the country on May 5 with a press conference at New York's City Hall, then ended a full day of events with a stop at a day laborer job center in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and a spiritual ceremony at Coney Island beach. The "Day Laborers Run for Peace, Justice and Dignity" began on Mar. 4 in Santa Monica, California; it was sponsored by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) to bring a message of solidarity to the estimated 117,000 day laborers in the US, and to support calls for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. At day labor sites along the route, the 12 runners were greeted by other day laborers who ran segments of the relay, carrying a sacred Macehualli staff (Macehualli, in the Nahuatl language of indigenous Mexico, means one who builds a community). [Diario Hoy (NY) 5/6/06; Latin American Workers Project Press Release 5/5/06]

In other news, some 3,000 people--including many day laborers--marched in Hempstead, Long Island, on May 1 as part of a national day of action for immigrant rights [see INB 5/7/06]. [Newsday (NY) 5/8/06]


On May 1, US District Judge Consuelo Marshall in Los Angeles ruled that the southern California city of Redondo Beach cannot arrest day laborers for standing on sidewalks. Marshall found the ordinance used to justify the arrests--which bars people from standing on public streets, sidewalks and curbs while soliciting work from passing motor vehicles--to be overly broad and unconstitutional. Judge Marshall had issued a temporary injunction on Dec. 13, 2004 [see INB 12/25/04]. "This is an important, full vindication for day laborers who seek only the right to fill jobs that willing employers are offering," said San Francisco-based attorney Robert Rubin, who represented the workers. City Attorney Mike Webb said on May 2 that he was frustrated by the decision and planned to appeal, unless directed otherwise by the mayor or City Council. [Los Angeles Times 5/3/06]


On May 9, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 76 undocumented construction workers in the Kentucky towns of Hebron, Union and Florence. The workers were laboring as subcontractors for Fischer Homes, part of the Fischer Group based in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. ICE also arrested Fischer Homes supervisors Timothy Copsy, Doug Witt, William Allison and Bill Ring; all four posted bond and were released after being charged in US District Court in Covington, Kentucky, with one federal count each of "harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain." [ICE News Release 5/9/06; AP 5/9/06] The workers may face federal misdemeanor charges, and others could face administrative immigration violations, said ICE spokesperson Dean Boyd.

According to the complaint filed by the US Attorney's Office, authorities visited several Fischer home sites in January claiming to be searching for a Hispanic male wanted in Texas for murder. When officials interviewed workers on the site, many admitted to being in the country illegally. The complaint alleges the managers at each of the sites knew they were using undocumented workers. The investigation is ongoing, Boyd said. [AP 5/9/06]


On May 10, ICE agents executed a sealed federal search warrant and arrested nine employees of Julio's Mexican Restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri in a raid during lunch hour rush. ICE agents loaded the nine arrested workers into a van at the back of the restaurant while deputies from the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department controlled the front door. [KQTV (St. Joseph) 5/10/06; ICE News Release 5/11/06] Later on May 10, ICE arrested the restaurant's co-owner, Julio Zapala-Urbina, on criminal charges of knowingly hiring illegal aliens to work at his restaurants.

ICE had executed a sealed federal search warrant and arrested 12 employees on Apr. 27 at another Julio's Mexican Restaurant co-owned by Zapala-Urbina in Cedar Falls, Iowa. ICE also arrested co-owner Juan Lopez-Angel, who they said was living in the US illegally, and seized business paperwork, tax forms, a laptop computer, business bank account information and $17,000 cash. The company's bank account was also seized.

The investigation began Mar. 23 after ICE was notified of a man whose Social Security number was discovered to be invalid, following his application to reside in a Cedar Falls mobile home village. The man indicated that he worked at Julio's restaurant. ICE agents later arrested two other immigrants who were involved in a traffic accident in Benton County, Iowa. They both also indicated that they worked at Julio's restaurant. Further investigation revealed that none of these employees had been required to complete any paperwork or provide any documentation in order to work at the restaurant.

"Businesses who knowingly employ illegal aliens are on notice that they will be criminally prosecuted," said Pete Baird, assistant special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Kansas City. Assistant US Attorney Peter Deegan, Northern District of Iowa, is prosecuting this case. [ICE News Release 5/11/06]


During the week of May 1, ICE agents arrested three undocumented Mexican workers at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, in response to a call from military personnel working at the base's main gate. The three men were employed by a sub-contractor to do scaffolding work at the base. Two of them were booked on administrative immigration violations and were served with notices to appear before an immigration judge. The other had a fraudulent resident alien card with him; his case was handed over to the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida for criminal prosecution. [ICE 5/5/06]


Early on May 1, ICE agents arrested 36 women and 30 men at 15 locations in Union City, West New York and New York City. The raids came just hours after New Jersey State Police pulled over two vehicles carrying at least 10 Mexican women who worked in brothels in the Washington, DC area, said Kyle Hutchins, special agent in charge of the Newark ICE office. ICE believes some of the women may have been trafficked. All but two of those arrested were being held on immigration charges for being in the US illegally, Hutchins said. [AP 5/2/06]

On May 5, about 30 immigrant rights activists rallied in front of the federal immigration building in Miami to protest ongoing raids and mass deportations in South Florida. Immigration authorities deny carrying out "random sweeps" but said they have stepped up arrests of immigrants with prior deportation orders. The protest was led by Honduran Unity leader Jose Lagos, who charged that federal immigration authorities had deported at least six planeloads of immigrants from Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. ICE spokesperson Jamie Zuieback said ICE recently dispatched 11 planes with deported Hondurans aboard as part of a new initiative to quickly deport certain Central Americans caught attempting to enter the country illegally. [Miami Herald 5/6/06]

On Apr. 27, ICE agents arrested 14 undocumented immigrants in a 3am raid in Leesburg, Virginia. "We responded to a request by the Loudoun County Police Department [and] encountered 14 illegal aliens in a van," said ICE spokesperson Ernestine Fobbs. "We are looking into the possibilities of [it being related] to smuggling. It's an ongoing investigation."

The raid, and word of others like it, sparked panic among local immigrants, advocates said at an Apr. 28 press conference at the Foundry United Methodist Church in northwest Washington, DC. "[We] formally demand that President [George W.] Bush and the Department of Homeland Security put a moratorium on these raids until comprehensive immigration reform has been reached [in the Senate]," said National Capital Immigrant Coalition (NCIC) president Jaime Contreras. "If they don't stop, we will be planning major activities at their offices and remind them that we are not intimidated in [any] shape or form... and we will be doing civil disobedience if necessary," he said. [Washington Times 4/29/06]

In a May 1 press release, the Philadelphia-based American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) called on the US government "to immediately stop all raids or the detention of immigrant workers employed at companies, businesses, factories and other job sites throughout the country." [AFSC 5/1/06]

On May 10, two immigrant mothers who are fighting deportation began a hunger strike at Plaza Tenochtitlan in Chicago to demand that Bush call a moratorium on "raids, deportations and separations of families" until Congress comes to a resolution on immigration. Elvira Arellano was working at O'Hare airport when she was arrested in an ICE raid in December 2002 [see INB 12/13/02]; she then joined with other immigrants facing deportation to found Familia Latina Unida (United Latino Family) and is now the group's president. The other hunger striker is Flor Crisostomo, who was one of nearly 1,200 employees of the IFCO Systems pallet company arrested in a nationwide ICE sweep last Apr. 19 [see INB 4/22/06]. As of May 13, the hunger strike had been joined by two more activists. The hunger strikers plan to travel to Washington, DC on May 15 to press legislators for legalization and a moratorium on raids. [Press Bulletin 5/13/06 from La Familia Latina Unida, Centro Sin Fronteras and Chicago IFCO 26, forwarded by National Immigrant Solidarity Network]


In a unanimous ruling on Mar. 17, ten days after hearing arguments in the case, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of Sri Lankan asylum seeker Ahilan Nadarajah, saying his lengthy detention violated the Supreme Court's June 2001 Zadvydas v. Davis ruling barring indefinite detention. [AP 3/19/06; Los Angeles Times 4/7/06] After more than four years in detention, Nadarajah was freed on Mar. 21.

Nadarajah left Sri Lanka in September 2001 after being tortured by the Sri Lankan army, who accused him of belonging to the Tamil Tigers, designated a terrorist group by the US State Department. He planned to go to Toronto, but was arrested on Oct. 27, 2001, at the San Ysidro, California border post while trying to enter the US from Mexico using false documents. A US immigration judge granted him political asylum, and that decision was upheld on appeal, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) kept him detained and sought to deport him, claiming he was a national security threat, based on information from a secret informant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The government argued Nadarajah's detention was not indefinite because Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would review his case at some point. However, "no one can satisfactorily assure us as to when that day will arrive," the appeals court ruled, calling the government's arguments "patently absurd," "implausible" and "baffling." Nadarajah is free on $20,000 bond; he must wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle and be home by 5 pm every day while he waits for Gonzales to review his asylum case.

According to Nadarajah's lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Los Angeles, another longtime detainee from Sri Lanka was released on Mar. 27 in what they believe was fallout from Nadarajah's case. Saluja Thangaraja had also been granted asylum by an immigration judge, but the US government kept her detained near San Diego for nearly five years. [LAT 4/7/06]


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".)

Sunday, May 7, 2006

INB 5/7/06: Special May Day Issue

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 17 - May 7, 2006

Special May Day Issue

1. May 1: "Day Without an Immigrant"
2. Boycott's Economic Impact
3. Northeast: New Hampshire to Virginia
4. Southeast: Florida to Louisiana
5. Midwest: Ohio to Oklahoma
6. Southwest: Texas to California
7. Northwest: Oregon to Alaska

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 posted at


May 1, International Workers' Day--a holiday in most of the world, but not in the US--was celebrated by immigrants and their supporters around the US this year with rallies, marches and a nationwide boycott urging "no school, no work and no shopping." The latest protests came three weeks after a nationwide day of action on Apr. 10 [see INB 4/16/06], part of a growing movement demanding legalization and full rights for all immigrants, and an end to deportation, raids and stepped-up enforcement. Most organizations backed the May 1 day of action, but were divided on whether or not to support the call for a strike and boycott.

"I don't think there are two camps," said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which backed the strike. "What I see is one big camp with different tactics. The goal is the same: legalization for the undocumented."

Some groups are backing a Senate compromise bill which would include some limited form of legalization, along with increased enforcement measures. Others would rather slow down the legislative process and hold out for something better. "There's a big gap between what advocates in DC are negotiating and what [immigrant] communities are really demanding,' said Arnoldo Garcia of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR). [Wall Street Journal 5/2/06]

As for next steps, the International May 1 Coalition announced on May 1 that it will begin planning a May 19 "March on Washington," which will bring immigrant advocacy groups from across the nation together at the White House Ellipse. [Washington Times 5/3/06]


Swift & Co. shut down its 2,300-employee pork-processing plant in Worthington, southwestern Minnesota, as well as five other meat-processing plants nationally. [St. Paul Pioneer Press 5/2/06] Perdue Farms Inc., based in Salisbury, Maryland, closed eight poultry processing plants in seven states, according to AP. Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, Arkansas, closed six of its nine beef processing plants and four of its six pork processing plants. Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the country's second-largest poultry processor, decided to halt operations at some of its 34 plants, although most remained up and running, said spokesperson Ray Atkinson. [WSJ 5/2/06; AP 5/2/06] Cargill Meat Solutions, the nation's second-largest beef processor, gave more than 15,000 workers the day off and closed plants in six states. Goya Foods, which bills itself as the nation's largest Hispanic-owned food chain, suspended delivery everywhere except Florida in what the company called a gesture of solidarity. [AP 5/2/06]

In a statement, McDonald's Corp. spokesperson William Whitman said that at some locations the restaurant chain shut outlets except for their drive-throughs, reduced operating hours and employed fewer crew members to accommodate workers participating in rallies. [WSJ 5/2/06] The Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., a chain owned by McDonald's since 1997, said 29 of its more than 500 eateries--including 16 out of a total 36 in Minnesota--were closed on May 1 because employees didn't show up. [Reuters 5/1/06; SPPP 5/2/06]

In the landscaping industry, nine out of 10 workers took the day off, especially in warehouse and distribution centers, according to the American Nursery and Landscape Association. Construction suffered some disruptions. "Most of our members are giving workers flex-time, but the majority seem to be working," said Paul Lopez at the National Association of Homebuilders. [WSJ 5/2/06] The construction industry was harder hit in Florida's Miami-Dade County, where more than half the workers at construction sites did not show up, according to Bill Spann, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida. [AP 5/2/06] Truckers who move 70% of the goods in ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach did not work. [New York Times 5/2/06] Truck traffic at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was off 90% on May 1, said Theresa Adams Lopez, a spokesperson for the Port of Los Angeles. [AP 5/2/06]

Agriculture was especially affected in Florida and California. Lettuce fields in California's Salinas Valley were without workers to harvest the produce, and several lettuce packers in the area closed their plants. [WSJ 5/2/06] The United Farm Workers union said the boycott shut down grape, strawberry and citrus harvests throughout California for the day. [AP 5/2/06] Ray Gilmer, spokesperson for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, said about 50% of workers, pickers and packinghouse employees did not show up for work on May 1. [South Florida Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) 5/3/06]

Bay Area 2nd Mom Inc., a caregiver referral service in Palo Alto, California, saw a sharp increase in calls on Apr. 30 and May 1 from parents who needed a last-minute nanny or baby sitter, said Chief Executive Shalini Azariah. [AP 5/2/06]

The casino industry in Las Vegas, Nevada, reported few disruptions, partly because many casino owners announced their support for workers at a news conference the week before May 1, and more than 40 casinos agreed to set up tables in employee lunchrooms for workers to sign petitions calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. Leaders of Local 226 of the Culinary Workers Union, which represents 50,000 hospitality workers, urged members to go to work. [NYT 5/2/06] Local 226 officials said more than 40,000 casino employees signed the petitions on May 1, and the petitions were to remain in the casinos throughout the week in an effort to collect another 10,000 to 20,000 signatures. [Las Vegas Review-Journal 5/3/06]

Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., said the economic fallout of the one-day boycott could be as high as $200 million in Los Angeles County. The estimate, a fraction of the $1.2 billion in economic activity the county generates daily, consisted of business lost on Monday and took into consideration commerce that would be made up later in the week. [AP 5/2/06]

Law firms have been advising their clients that the immigrant labor boycott is protected by the National Labor Relations Act, even though it isn't specifically a union action. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a Philadelphia-based law firm, on Apr. 27 issued a client alert that recommended employers not impose restrictions or penalties on workers' absence for the rallies which employers don't impose on other types of absences. [WSJ 5/2/06]

In addition to the boycott and strike, marches and rallies were held in numerous locations around the country.


New Hampshire: More than 200 people rallied at City Hall in Nashua, and over 100 rallied at City Hall in Manchester. [AP 5/1/06]

Massachusetts: In Boston, hundreds rallied outside the Statehouse on the Boston Common. Several hundred marched through East Boston to Chelsea City Hall. [Boston Globe 5/2/06; AP 5/1/06] Another 150 people gathered outside City Hall in Lowell, a few hundred rallied in New Bedford and about 1,000 gathered in Worcester. [AP 5/1/06] About 60 people, mainly Brazilians, rallied in Martha's Vineyard. [Vineyard Gazette 5/5/06] Ali Noorani, executive president of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said there were events in 30 communities around the state. [AP 5/1/06]

Rhode Island: Police estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people marched in Providence. Some 40% of Providence's 24,800 students skipped school. [Providence Journal 5/2/06, 5/3/06]

Connecticut: Organizers estimated about 5,000 people marched through downtown New Haven and rallied on the New Haven Green. [Yale Daily News 5/1/06] Several hundred marched in Hartford, and several hundred more rallied in Stamford. A large march was held Apr. 30 along Main Street in Danbury. [ 5/2/06 from AP]

New York: In the afternoon, a crowd estimated by Immigration News Briefs volunteers to be likely more than 100,000 marched down Broadway from Union Square. Earlier, at 12:16pm--symbolizing the Dec. 16 date when the House of Representatives passed anti-immigrant bill HR 4437--more than 20,000 people took part in "human chain" actions at sites in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx, according to the event organizers. [New York Civic Participation Project (NYCPP) 5/2/06] New York City education officials said school attendance was down about 6%. [NYT 5/2/06]

In Westchester County, 2,000 people marched to a rally in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Port Chester, more than 60 marched down Route 9 in Ossining, and as many as 500 students and others marched in White Plains. [Journal News 5/2/06]

In Albany, the state capital, about 24 Democratic members of the Assembly boycotted the legislative session on May 1 by walking out and holding a news conference in what they called a show of support for immigrant rights. The Assembly adjourned several minutes later. Peter Rivera, a Democrat from the Bronx, said it was important for state lawmakers to exert influence on the debate in Washington. [NYT 5/2/06]

About 200 college students rallied at the University at Buffalo's South Campus before marching to Shoshone Park. Police arrested two rally organizers who stepped into the street during the march. [Buffalo News 5/2/06]

New Jersey: Several hundred people gathered in Trenton, the state capital. [ 5/1/06]

Pennsylvania: About 7,000 people rallied in Philadelphia. [AP 5/3/06]

Maryland: Immigrant advocacy group CASA of Maryland said about 4,500 people rallied in Hyattsville, 300 in Gaithersburg and 1,000 in Baltimore. [Washington Times 5/3/06]

DC: About 3,000 people rallied in DC, according to CASA of Maryland. [WT 5/3/06] Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigration Coalition, which discouraged the boycott, said about 25,000 people attended seven coalition-sponsored events, most of them after attending work or school. Contreras said about 5,000 people attended a rally in DC's Meridian Hill Park. [Washington Post 5/3/06]

Virginia: About 1,000 people marched in Alexandria, said Jon Liss, director of Alexandria-based Tenants and Workers United. About 600 marched in the Culmore neighborhood of Fairfax County, and about 600 more rallied in Herndon, he said. [WP 5/3/06]


Florida: A downtown rally in Orlando, billed as a statewide event, drew about 20,000 people. More than 5,000 people rallied in the rural city of Homestead, south of Miami, while another 5,000-plus--mainly Central Americans--rallied in the Orange Bowl stadium in Miami and 2,000 more rallied at Jose Marti park in Little Havana, now populated by an increasing number of Central Americans. There was also a rally in Fort Lauderdale. [Miami Herald 5/2/06] About 7,000 gathered on Dale Mabry Highway near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Tampa Tribune 5/3/06]

Georgia: Some 4,500 people rallied in Atlanta, and 1,500 marched in Athens. [AP 5/2/06]

North Carolina: Police estimated about 5,000 people marched to City Hall in Lumberton. About 3,000 people circled the Statehouse in Raleigh, and rallies were also held in Charlotte, Wilmington, Greensboro, Hickory and Asheville. [Robesonian Online 5/3/06; Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC) 5/2/06 from AP, Knight Ridder]

Alabama: Several hundred people marched in the center of Huntsville; about 200 held a silent march through the Tuscaloosa campus of the University of Alabama; and in Dothan, immigrants and supporters marched from a church to the county government building. The strike closed poultry processing plants in Decatur, Albertville and Dothan. [El Barlovento (Mexico) 5/1/06]

Louisiana: In New Orleans, thousands rallied in two New Orleans parks and marched through the city. [El Barlovento 5/1/06; Shreveport Times 5/2/06; The Advocate 5/2/06] Police estimated turnout at close to 2,000. [ 5/1/06]


Ohio: Hundreds marched in Cincinnati, around 500 in Cleveland and 550 in Dayton; demonstrations were also held in Columbus and Tiffin. [Cincinnati Post 5/2/06]

Michigan: In southwest Detroit, a 10am rally at Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church drew about 500 people, who then marched to a noon rally at Clark Park attended by 700. [AP 5/1/06; Detroit News 5/1/06, 5/2/06, some from AP]

Illinois: In Chicago, hundreds of thousands of people took part in a rally in Union Park where US senator Barack Obama (D-IL) spoke, then marched to an afternoon rally at Grant Park. Chicago police estimated the total turnout at about 400,000, but event organizers said it was more like 700,000. [Chicago Tribune 5/1/06; AP 5/2/06] Officials from the Chicago Public Schools estimated that as many as one-third of the city's 435,000 students didn't show up for class. [Baltimore Sun 5/2/06] At Benito Juarez High School in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Pilsen, 83% of the students skipped class. [NYT 5/2/06] In cities near Chicago, 9,000 people marched in Aurora, 1,000 marched and rallied in Elgin, 600 rallied in Joliet, 500 marched at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and 200 demonstrated in the Chicago suburb of Cicero. [Chicago Tribune 5/1/06, 5/2/06] Demonstrations were also held in Rockford, northwest of Chicago; in the central Illinois towns of Champaign, Bloomington (where more than 400 people rallied) and Peoria (where about 200 people marched through downtown); and in Carbondale, in the far south of the state. About 1,000 had marched in Bloomington on Apr. 10. [AP 5/2/06; Peoria Journal Star 5/2/06]

Wisconsin: Police declined to give an estimate of the crowd in Milwaukee, though organizers Voces de la Frontera estimated some 70,000 people took part. In Madison, police estimated 3,000 people rallied at the state capitol. [AP 5/1/06]

Minnesota: Police estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people marched in Minneapolis, despite rainy weather, and another 75 to 100 people rallied in St. Paul. [St. Paul Pioneer Press 5/2/06]

Iowa: Some 200-300 people marched in Muscatine. [Muscatine Journal 5/2/06]

Nebraska: hundreds marched in Grand Island and about 100 held a candlelight vigil in Lincoln. [Lincoln Journal Star 5/2/06 from AP]

Kansas: Organizers said more than 1,500 people gathered at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Emporia, within sight of the Tyson meatpacking plant. About 100 people held a candelight vigil in Lawrence. [Lawrence Journal-World 5/2/06] In southwest Kansas, rallies drew workers from Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef, both of which shut down production for the day. [Kansas City Star 5/2/06]

Missouri: Thousands rallied outside the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. [KCS 5/2/06]

Oklahoma: Rallies were held in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. [Norman Transcript 5/2/06 from CNHI News Service]


Texas: As many as 30,000 rallied in Houston. [AP 5/2/06] Organizers said at least 5,000 people rallied on Monday at Houston's Memorial Park. Police said the crowd size was larger than that of an April 10 protest when at least 10,000 people turned out. Another 4,000 to 5,000 attended an event at Bayland Park in southwest Houston, police said. [Houston Chronicle 5/2/06] About 200 demonstrators marched in North Dallas outside the office of US Sen. John Cornyn, who has opposed legalization for immigrants. [ 5/1/06]

In El Paso, a march from the Chamizal National Memorial to San Jacinto Plaza at the US-Mexico border drew 2,000 to 3,000 people. [El Paso Times 5/3/06] Demonstrators blocked traffic across the international bridge for about half an hour. No one was arrested. [El Barlovento 5/1/06]

New Mexico: In Albuquerque, organizers estimated the crowd that marched from Tiguex park at 5,000; police said there were 1,500. [Albuquerque Tribune 5/2/06; Rocky Mountain Media Grok 5/2/06] Thousands also gathered in Franklin Park in Santa Fe. [RMMG 5/2/06] The New Mexican reported the Santa Fe crowd as "several hundred." [NM 5/2/06]

Arizona: In Phoenix, about 3,000 people turned out for protests at various locations. [Washington Times 5/2/06] More than 20 people protested outside the closed Phoenix branch of the IFCO Systems pallet company, which was hit by nationwide immigration raids on Apr. 19 [see INB 4/22/06]. [Baltimore Sun 5/2/06] In Tucson, organizers said 3,000 or more people took part in a "Day of Action" at Armory Park which included a student teach-in, a community-services fair and a voter-registration drive. [Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) 5/2/06] Demonstrations were also held in Yuma and Bullhead City. [ADS 5/3/06 from AP]

Colorado: In Denver, an estimated 75,000 people--more than one-sixth of the city's population--marched through downtown. [Baltimore Sun 5/2/06] Several Denver area school districts reported absentee rates at some schools as high as 74%. [Rocky Mountain News (Denver) 5/3/06] Nearly 100 people marched in Telluride. [Telluride Daily Planet 5/2/06] Hundreds gathered at the Boulder Band Shell at noon. [New West Network 5/1/06] A small rally was held in Durango. [RMMG 5/2/06]

Idaho: A small demonstration was held in Boise. [RMMG 5/2/06]

Montana: Small demonstrations took place in Missoula and Billings. [RMMG 5/2/06]

Utah: In Wendover, by the Nevada border, more than 500 people marched 2 miles carrying placards and US flags, chanting "USA, USA, USA" and "Utah, Utah, Utah." [Salt Lake Tribune 5/2/06]

California: An estimated 250,000 took part in a morning downtown Los Angeles rally and another 400,000 attended a second, afternoon rally. [ADS 5/2/06 from Knight Ridder] In the Los Angeles Unified School District, about 72,000 middle and high school students were absent--roughly one in every four. Some 50,000 people demonstrated in San Jose. [AP 5/2/06] More than 200 people participated in a rally on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto. [Stanford Report 5/3/06] Some 3,000 people marched in Chico, according to organizer Rocio Guido-Ferns, a Chico State senior. [The Orion 5/3/06] A rally in Stockton drew about 10,000 people. [AP 5/4/06] Over 10,000 people took to the streets of Modesto. [Message from Xiuhcoatl posted on SF Bay Area Indymedia 5/5/06] Even law enforcement officials estimated the Modesto march crowd at up to 10,000. Another 2,000 people marched a few miles away in Ceres. [Modesto Bee 5/3/06] Some 55,000 people mobilized in San Francisco. [CNN 5/1/06] About 10,000 people marched in Santa Ana. [Los Angeles Times 5/3/06] Later in Santa Ana some people hurled rocks and plastic bottles at police, and several people were arrested. [AP 5/2/06]

In San Diego, some 3,000 people marched toward the border crossing at San Ysidro, where they were turned back by police. [El Barlovento 5/1/06] In North San Diego County, more than 2,000 people rallied in Grape Day Park in Escondido, 2,500 rallied in Vista, 125 people marched in Fallbrook, 300 marched in Oceanside, and 150 students and professors rallied on the Cal State campus in San Marcos. [North County Times 5/2/06]

In Palm Springs in Riverside County, 2,000 people marched nearly a mile to the office of Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA), co-sponsor of the anti-immigrant bill HR 4437. Bono, whose Coachella Valley district is 42% Latino, now says she supports a guest worker program that may be added to the bill in revision. Nearly 10,500 of the 16,400 students in the Coachella Valley Unified school district skipped class on May 1. [Desert Sun 5/3/06]


Oregon: An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people marched in Salem. [Statesman Journal 5/3/06]

Washington: As many as 65,000 people marched and rallied in Seattle. [Seattle Times 5/2/06] A car struck a group of marchers; injuries were minor and the driver was arrested. There were six other arrests. [AP 5/2/06] More than 3,000 people marched in Othello--a town with a population of about 6,000 in the central eastern part of the state. Some of the demonstrators traveled to Othello from nearby towns like Warden, Royal City, Moses Lake and Wenatchee. [Columbia Basin Herald 5/2/06]

Alaska: Organizers said 1,000 people rallied in Anchorage. [Anchorage Daily News 5/2/06] About 180 marched in Kodiak. There were also large gatherings in Fairbanks and Juneau. [Kodiak Daily Mirror 5/2/06]


NOTE: Demonstration reports were compiled from available press sources. Immigration News Briefs welcomes corrections and additional information.


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".)