A project of the Center for Community Change

ACTION: Help Victims of the Raid in South Carolina!

Since last Tuesday’s raid in Greenville, South Carolina, the details of what happened have been scarce. But, today I received an update on the situation in Greenville and I finally have information for those who want to help.

If you would like to help the families and victims whose lives have been torn apart by this raid you can send donations.

Catholic Charities has set up a fund for the families affected by the raid:

Check must be made to:
Catholic Charities Piedmont Region
Memo for the check: Humanitarian Immigration
P.O. Box 12, Greenville, SC 29602

It seems as though the investigation into Raeford Farms (the site of the raid) has been ongoing for 10 months. “It is believed that this investigation began after the publication of an article in the Charlotte Observer regarding working conditions at the plant. This article reported that of the most employees interviewed admitted that they were not authorized to work in the United States.”

At least 300 people were arrested in Tuesday’s raid. Witnesses say that workers were gathered in the break room and were told to divide up into two lines; one for men and the other for women. They were then asked to show their ID.

Of the 300 arrested, 58 have been released on “humanitarian grounds” and are forced to wear ankle bracelet monitoring devices.

Also, it has been reported that 6 of the workers arrested were under 18 years of age. According to ICE’s guidelines, undocumented juveniles who can’t be released into the custody of a trusted adult were handed over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The Greenville community is still reeling from the raid. Latino restaurants and businesses are eerily empty and families are wondering how they will make ends meet.

Emilio Espinoza manages the Guatemala Restaurant in a strip mall with a grocery store, bakery and nightclub, all catering toward Hispanics.

His usually packed restaurant was empty at lunchtime Wednesday for the first time since he opened seven years ago. Half his employees didn’t show up because they were scared immigration agents might be in the area.

“People are afraid to leave their homes,” said the 35-year-old Espinoza.

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