While the country had our eyes glued to Postville, Iowa, smaller raids are occuring everyday in the US. In an interview with Aaron Hutson, Program Director of the Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, FIRM learned that worksite and home raids took place at the end of April in the State of Kentucky.
Huston said that in late April, a Kentucky State vehicle enforcement unit stopped a driver and obtained information about the driver’s workplace during the arrest. Afterward, the same unit went to his workplace and arrested 9 other undocumented migrants, with no warrants or just cause. This led to a much larger investigation and over 50 people were arrested.
Hutson noted that the vehicle enforcement unit was going into homes and workplaces without warrants.
He said that over 12 people have been marked for deportation and at least 6 children have been left without families or caretakers. These children may become wards of the state.
Like in Postville, there is a change in tactics, from charging immigrants with state level deportation orders, to federal charges that come with jail time.
Hutson said that after the silent raids, he and fellow migrant’s rights advocates were able to organize over 100 people for a meeting. They held an impromptu “know your rights” class and talked about due process and legal representation. He highlighted the need for an infrastructure of immigration attorneys who would be available for rapid response to future raids.
Click here to listen to the entire interview.