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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Health > Undocumented Women Deserve Seperate Considerations When Caught

Undocumented Women Deserve Seperate Considerations When Caught

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According to affidavits unsealed yesterday, Insolia hired illegal immigrants instead of legal workers because the immigrants were desperate for jobs and more willing to put up with working conditions in his factory. Federal investigators allege workers were denied overtime , docked 15 minutes for every minute they were late , and fined for talking on the job, or for spending more than two minutes in the plant’s squalid bathrooms.

No one has ever said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has an easy job. In the latest mass arrests of undocumented workers, 350 were rounded up in a New Bedford leather goods factory.

Reports are citing the hysteria and fear that arose within the factory once ICE made their presence known. According to reports, guns were drawn, police officers were stationed at the exits and some of those arrested were forced to lay on the floor.

The immigrants were mostly from El Salvador and Guatemala — and mostly women.


Undocumented workers rounded up at leather goods factory.
(Source: Boston Globe)

As can be read from the entry paragraph, the government is now “explaining” itself. They are saving these women and men from being exploited.

Yet, never once did they accuse the leather goods factory of keeping these people against their will or of them being indentured servants. If things were as bad as the government outlines, anyone of these undocumented immigrants had the opportunity to walk away but they didn’t.

Yet, ICE and the federal government continue to purposely fail to see what their actions are doing to families.

Reports are trickling in of the children who have been left behind. Some only months old.

On the one hand, there are critics who say these women are bad parents if they don’t give up the information that they have children here so they can be picked up and reunited with them.

And on the other hand, you have the alternative — places like the T. Don Hutto Residential facility that though it claims it keeps families together uses old-war scare tactics like threatening the young children if they don’t behave, they will be taken away from their mothers.

Nice choice.

In fact, the humanitarian approach by ICE and Homeland Security has a long way to go according to the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children.

They have released the most in-depth and impartial study on family immigrant detention titled “Locking Up Family Values: The Detention of Immigrant Families.”

And the thrust of the report is the United States has NO standards when it comes to detaining families.

Though the government wants to show it’s “tough on illegals,” it’s time to employ some common sense when processing women, and as much as I hate to say it, take advanatage of stereotype information as well.

1. Assume most women over the age of 18 are mothers.
2. Assume these children are very young, could be infants.
3. Assume these children are in the care of a family friend or family member.
4. Assume they are not going to betray the whereabouts of their children.
5. Assume their children, especially under the age of 10, are U.S. citizens.
6. Assume that because their children are U.S. citizens, these women will do what it takes to correct their citizenship status.
7. Outfit these women with ankle bracelets to electronically monitor their whereabouts.
8. Set them up with a court date.
9. Issue them a special “employment permission” to work while their cases are being appealed.
10. Dictate that all family members must attend court proceedings.

These points would only cover non-Mexican undocumented women. Mexican women are subject to automatic deportation and there it is much trickier to determine if children are being left behind.

Of course, the best route to take is to call a moratorium on immigration round-ups and wait and see what Congress decides.

That is much more preferable than breeding a large group of children into becoming nothing more than this country’s version of “street children.” Like ones found all over South America who sleep wherever they can, pickpocket and steal just to get food – and these children are younger than 12 who do this.

Do we not have the foresight or do we not care, that this is what can happen in this country?

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