62 Arrested in Beardstown

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Sixty-two undocumented workers were arrested for various reasons as well as two managers who hired them on Wednesday, April 4, 2007 in Beardstown, Ill. About one hundred workers, worked at the plant that processed as many as 18,000 hogs a day.
The arrests came during Holy week and the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights have denounced the actions and timing of the raids and said in a press release, “While people of faith are gathering to celebrate with family in the days
leading up to Easter, the families, and especially children, of Beardstown are being traumatized and terrified by the actions of ICE.”
Twenty five employees were charged with identity theft, eleven of those were arrested. Another forty nine were arrested for being undocumented. Guardian News reported that it was not clear if anyone arrested had an attorney. No Cargill employees were arrested, immigration and company officials told the press.
The workers were employed by QSI, which was hired by Cargill.
Authorities said that the arrest were because of identity fraud. The managers would help the workers get false identification documents.
A 24 hour toll free hotline exclusively for families affected in the raid is available at 1-866-341-3858.
The Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights said on their website that the phone number was nominally helpful. “ICE’s use of such tactics are merely PR (public relations) window-dressing over the truth: a community traumatized during Holy Week and families split apart. What good does it do for a child to be placed with a stranger or bureaucrat, when the simple truth is that these children have been torn from their mother or father, traumatized, and terrified during this, the Christian Holy Week?”
The mayor of the town, Bob Walters, told Reuters news service that he welcomes immigrants but that there’s a right way to do it.

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