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NEW BEDFORD MIGRANT WORKERS ARE NOT THE ENEMY

Massachusetts, March 6, 2007. An army of 300 federal immigration agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has conducted yet another military style raid on migrant workers in the country. This time it was the turn for an East Coast location, New Bedford, Massachusetts where scores of workers were taken away. ICE, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security explains that their objective is "to more effectively enforce our immigration and customs laws and to protect the U.S. against terrorist attacks. ICE does this by targeting illegal immigrants: the people, the money and materials that support terrorism and other criminal activities." (From their website "About us" section).

The terms "terrorism" and "illegal immigrants" are deliberately used under the same breath by ICE officials to sow confusion in the minds of the public. We need to ask them exactly what those 'terrorist acts' are that these hard working New Bedford leather workers were accused of in that horrific military operation this morning.

Most of the workers in the Michael Bianco Textile plant are women. Many in desperation ran into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A Coast Guard helicopter however hovered overhead to give information to land troops about the location of the "enemy". While the federal and state governments fail so miserably in providing resources for the overall health, education, transportation, and other vital needs for millions of tax paying residents, our tax dollars are used to terrorize decent hard working people who only wish to provide for their families.

This raid should outrage all people of good will. The Boston May Day Coalition stands firmly in solidarity with the victims of this overwhelming, military-style attack on migrant workers.

We call on all who support justice to demand the immediate release of all victims of this raid and an end to the raids, arrests, and deportations being carried out throughout the country. Release all who are being held without criminal charge NOW! These people are not criminals.

We call on all who support justice to participate in all actions being called this Spring demanding an end to the raids and for full, immediate, unconditional, and non-revocable legal residence for all undocumented migrant workers. We must prepare now for the large mobilizations being organized for May Day 2007 in defense of the rights of migrant workers and working people in general.

Politicians and enforcement officials must be made aware that the whole world is watching. The world will mobilize on May Day to demand that no human being should ever be considered illegal anywhere in the world.

Boston May Day Coalition
www.bostonmayday.org
email: info [at] bostonmayday.org
617-290-5614