Remember the Citizen Children

Jay Johnson-Castro sends a link to this April 2 Washington Post story by N.C. Aizenman. Undocumented immigrants in the USA have 3.1 million American-born children, whose rights as citizens have until recently been widely ignored. When we read stories like this, we remember the 4-year-old twin citizen chidren of the Suleiman family who were split from their mother and father during an early November raid, only to be reunited at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport for deportation to Jordan in early 2007. We do not give up hope that the twins will be brought home with their mother and father.–gm

In December, immigration agents descended on six meat-processing plants belonging to Swift & Co. and arrested 1,297 illegal workers. At one plant, in Worthington , Minn. , the workers had at least 360 U.S.-born children and probably many more, according to a local pastor who raised money for them.

Similarly, of 361 workers arrested during a raid of the Michael Bianco Inc. manufacturing plant in New Bedford , Mass. , last month, about 90 were the sole caregivers for one or more children in the United States, according to federal and state authorities.

On Thursday, a chubby-cheeked fifth-grader named Jessica Guncay joined the ranks of such children when immigration agents raided a Dixie Printing and Packaging Corp. plant in Baltimore , where her parents were working under false Social Security numbers.

During an interview in her home in Pikesville the next day, Jessica, 10, said that although she had known her Ecuadoran parents were in the country illegally, she never imagined they would be arrested.

“I feel sick inside,” she mumbled, staring at her white sneakers.

Her mother, Ana Tapia, who sat next to Jessica on the family’s brown velvet couch, pulled her daughter in for a tearful hug.

Although Jessica’s father, Jury Guncay, 45, remains in custody, Tapia, 40, was released several hours after the raid so Jessica would not be left without anyone to care for her. But the black monitoring bracelet around Tapia’s ankle testified to the limited nature of that reprieve: She must remain under partial house arrest until her case comes up in immigration court. Jay also sends the following links about immigrant rights.

For those who care and keep up on the atrocities being committed against the innocent and helpless…”for-profit”…here’s some references…

(ACLU video on Chertoff and ICE’s children prisoners at Hutto)

(Editorial from the Houston Chronicle)

(texasprisonbidness.org: A new blog that has been formed to deal with for-profit prisons)

(KPFK Audio from Beneath the Surface with Michael Slate (March 27, 2007): Interview with Jay is 40% into the talk)

( Ronnisrant: A blog that has just discovered and has weighed in about the atrocities that are being committed against immigrants in concentration camps in Texas , USA )

(A report by the Brownsville Herald and interview with our heroine, pro-bono attorney, Jodi Goodwin…about the Raymondville concentration camp. Jodi calls it Ritmo.)

(Update of the Abilene Reporter News on the Hazahza hearing this past Friday)

(xicanopwr.com: A comprehensive overview of the prison camps for immigrants)

(A great aztlanelectronicnews.net: overview of the immigrant prison camp atrocities)

(On Hutto…from Sean Cunningham of PBS)

(The ABA ’s March ’07 report and criticisms of ICE detention in pdf format)

(Dallas Morning News: On the hearing in the matter of Hazahzas v. Chertoff)

Jay

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