We condemn ICE Raid in Milford, Mass. and protest insensitive media reporting about it

Last Friday, December 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents "supported" by the Milford Police Department raided an immigrant community again. They arrested 15 undocumented migrant workers. Reports indicate that most were from Ecuador. The media, uncritical and sympathetic to ICE reported that the workers were charged for violating criminal laws.

However, the same article indicated that only one person was charged with violating "criminal laws". The others “will face a federal immigration judge." In other words, the raid was about migrant workers and not about criminal law enforcement.

The local Chief of Police, Thomas O'Loughlin is quoted by the Milford Daily News as nearly lamenting that they cannot get involved in the issue of immigration, and finds the immigration system in the U.S. “laughable.” He declared, "They'll lock up one, they'll leave three ... I've had the agent say to me personally they're all illegals. We're not going to take them because there's nowhere to put them.” He also added, "If they want to go out and get illegal aliens, they can come out any day of the week."

Almost as startling as the raid itself, is the unprofessional coverage by the Daily News. At no point does the reporter interview migrant workers, their families or communities. Instead, it provides a soapbox for the local Police chief to grandstand about his views on Congress. Ultimately, the reporter’s inappropriate word choice betrays her bias. To the reporter, to the Milford Daily News, these undocumented migrant workers are "illegals," to the Chief, they are worse, "illegal aliens." The Boston May Day Coalition like much of the rest of the world, believes that that “they” are above all else, human beings only seeking to survive with dignity.

The Coalition condemns this new raid, and sees it as part of the continuing war on immigrants. Likewise, we condemn the insensitive news coverage and the demeaning language used to describe undocumented migrant workers. No worker is illegal!

We call on all people of Massachusetts to join forces to stop the raids of migrant workers, and to demand immediate amnesty for the 12 million undocumented migrant workers in the country.

Boston May Day Coalition
December 10, 2007