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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dozens Rally Against Recent ICE Raids; Organizers Say Raids Target Businesses That Hire Illegal Immigrants
November 5, 2010

SAN DIEGO -- More than a dozen people gathered at City Heights Park Friday in response to raids they said targets businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

Abel Macias is one of the main organizers behind this coalition of groups in support of illegal immigrant rights. The gathering is protesting against recent Immigration and Custom's Enforcement raids in San Diego County.

Macias said, "We believe that these attacks are happening because there is an attempt to isolate them and to move them away from the general public."

In October, federal agents arrested the owner of S & S Bakery in San Ysidro, saying more than half of the employees were there illegally. Forty-one illegal immigrants were taken into custody and complaints were filed against two bakery supervisors and an employee.

"Some of them don't know their rights; some don't understand they have a right to have a lawyer present. We feel that everyone has a right to work, whether they are documented or undocumented," said Macias.

Critics argue businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants should be prosecuted.

ICE released the following statement:

"ICE's worksite enforcement program focuses on auditing and investigating employers suspected of knowingly employing illegal workers. When our agents conduct worksite investigations, the focus is on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers, not sweeps or raids to target undocumented workers. We also ensure that all undocumented workers are afforded an opportunity to see an immigration judge if they are detained as a result of a worksite enforcement action."