This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 680 immigrant workers during their workday in six cities throughout Mississippi. With this latest atrocious action, the Administration continues to target immigrant families and communities. Families were torn apart on Wednesday. On their first day of school, some children came home to an empty house. Some toddlers were left in daycare while other children had to spend the night in a gymnasium. The trauma inflicted on these workers, their children and communities will not fade easily.
These raids fit into a trend to criminalize immigrants at their workplaces after reporting labor abuses. The company at which these workers worked — and the very site of these raids — just last year had to pay out $3.75 million dollars to settle an EEOC class-action lawsuit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latinx immigrant workers at one of its Mississippi plants.
With these raids, the Trump Administrations wants to send a clear message to workers: if they assert their rights they will face retaliation. The barriers to come forward as survivors of workplace sexual harassment are significant in nature; immigrant women are already less likely to report cases in fear of retaliation.
At CDM, we will continue to advocate alongside migrant workers, regardless of immigration status, and their families here and abroad for humane policies that respect and advance their dignity as human beings.