200 Armed Federal Agents and Police Terrorize Immigrant Workers in Ohio

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On June 5, in the largest workplace raid in over a decade, 200 heavily armed immigration agents and other police carried out a terrorist raid on over 300 immigrants, mostly from Mexico, at a flower and nursery center in Sandusky, Ohio. Some of the agents and police were armed with AR-15 automatic rifles, and some wore bulletproof vests, and they came with canine units and a helicopter hovering overhead. Like Nazi storm troopers, they grabbed, cuffed, and searched everyone, eventually taking 114 workers away in buses to a detention center. Some were scheduled to be deported that day; others are threatened with multiple felonies—including aggravated identity theft and impersonation of U.S. persons.

One Mexican man who works at the center with his daughter described the scene:

They were very, very rough.... A bunch of cops came running into the warehouses, pointing guns at people. Everybody was scared. They tied everybody’s hands up with black zip ties. Even we (my daughter and I) were tied up even though we’re U.S. citizens.... But it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are or where you are from. We are supposed to be treated like humans. We shouldn’t be treated like animals. Everybody was running, and they were throwing dogs on the people and pointing guns. That’s ridiculous. That’s too much. (Emphasis added.)

He said that when people tried to take pictures and videos with their phones, the police “started pointing their guns at us again” and took phones away. What scared him the most was when he and his daughter were separated; all he could think about was the young Guatemalan woman shot in the head by an agent at the south Texas border two weeks earlier. Dozens of children of people who were seized were left stranded at day-care centers or with babysitters. The trailer park where hundreds of Mexican workers’ families lived for years soon became a ghost town, with so many families having fled. The Trump/Pence regime has again shown utter depravity toward human beings they demonize as “criminals” and “animals.”

The acting director of ICE announced last year that 2018 would see four to five times as many workplace raids as in the past. They kicked off their offensive in January by raiding 98 7-11 stores around the country and making 21 arrests. Another highly publicized raid was carried out two months ago at a meat processing plant in Tennessee, with 97 arrests. These raids are meant to send a message to businesses to stop hiring undocumented workers. And to the immigrants, a different message is being delivered: Even your ability to work to support yourselves and your families—here and in your homeland—is under threat.

Day by day, the Trump/Pence regime is increasing its threats and terror toward immigrants. Their poisonous propaganda that immigrants are a danger to the country is aimed at whipping up hatred that is putting immigrants in intensifying danger—and isolating them so these fascists can commit greater crimes against them without broad outrage. There is mounting fear among immigrants that their children could be snatched away while they are at work or while their children are at school.

These vicious anti-immigrant attacks are a key link and battering ram in the Trump/Pence regime’s moves toward consolidating fascist rule. “Making America White Again,” the real underlying meaning of "MAGA," the rallying cry mobilizing tens of millions of Trump’s white supremacist supporters, goes hand in hand with their message on undocumented immigrants—and really, ALL immigrants of darker skin: “You are NOT Americans, you don’t belong here—expect to be treated that way.” This is a program of ethnic cleansing: aiming to deport immigrants in record numbers; creating an atmosphere so ugly that others will be convinced to leave; and increasing the dangers facing those seeking to come to this country across the southern border.

Remaining silent or relying on the system itself to do the right thing, as the fascists march ahead in this monstrous direction, is complicity in crimes against humanity. This fascist regime must be STOPPED, it must be DRIVEN OUT—with our sights set on nothing less than a world that welcomes people regardless of their place of birth!



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