The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs will launch a humanitarian fund to help the families of immigrants detained May 12 at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Indiana. It was the largest workplace raid at a single site in U.S. history.
JCUA is “outraged by the manner in which the immigration raid was conducted and by its devastating impact on the more than 300 people it has detained and on their families, which were left unable to pay for housing, food or legal fees,” said executive director Jane Ramsey in a statement.
Noting a growing consensus that the U.S. immigration system is “inconsistent, ineffective and inhumane,” Ramsey said, “Major U.S. industries are run on the backs of immigrant workers — underpaid, uninsured, unprotected individuals — and the capricious ICE round-ups, incarceration and deportation of these workers represent further abuses of their human rights.”
She called for swift enactment of comprehensive immigration reform and called on President Bush “to reverse the charges against these workers and allow them to return to their families and communities.”
JCUA said 56 detainees, including 18 juveniles, were released with ankle bracelet monitors and another 300 are slated for deportation.
JCUA also expressed concern over reports of abuse of workers and mistreatment of animals at the AgriProcessors plant.