Things That Matter

American Teen Traveling With Multiple Forms Of ID Detained In Border Patrol Facility Plans To Sue The Government

In June, eighteen-year-old, Dallas born, high school student, Francisco Galicia, was arrested by ICE, and held in a detention center for almost a month even though he was carrying his driver’s license, his social security card, and copy of his birth certificate. 

Just days after being released, Galicia announced he plans to sue the government for his unlawful detainment.

Galicia had been traveling with friends to Ranger College from Edinburg, where he lives with family, when he was stopped at a border checkpoint, near Falufrrias, Texas. In TV news interviews, Galicia told reporters that the border agents insisted that his documents were fakes, and they wouldn’t believe that they were real. WFAA, in Texas, reported that agents told Galicia “you falsely represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States,” reported WFAA.

Spending nearly a month in the Texas detention center, Galicia saw conditions first-hand. He was housed in a room with sixty or seventy other people, wasn’t allowed to brush his teeth, his skin was dirty and dry, and he lost, a reported, twenty-six pounds. In despair about the conditions, Galicia who said that he didn’t want to suffer a day longer inside the detention center, almost volunteered to be deported. He told the the Dallas News that conditions were so cramped in the detention center that some detained migrants had to sleep on the bathroom floor.

“I almost signed an order to be deported because I didn’t want to suffer anymore. I was at that breaking point,” said Galicia.

Galicia’s lawyer, Claudia Galan believes that Galicia was a victim of racial profiling. She stated that a tourist visa issued to Galicia which incorrectly named México has Galicia’s place of birth caused the initial confusion.  In an interview given as Galicia left the detention center, Galan said, “He is a US Citizen, a natural born citizen of the United States. His mother had obtained a tourist visa, but Francisco did not apply for that visa. He is a US citizen, and we we need to focus on that. US Citizens cannot be detained.” 

According to Snopes, “The others in the vehicle with him were all Latinos, including his 17-year-old brother Marlon, who was born in Mexico and was in the U.S. illegally. Marlon told the Morning News that he agreed to be returned to Mexico.” 

It is not uncommon for Latinx people in the US to be from mixed-status families.

Reaction to this story about the eighteen-year-old Galicia by Latinx Twitter was swift. Presidential hopeful, Julian Castro, weighed in, asserting that Galicia’s detainment was not an anomaly. 

“As Trump stirs fear of immigrants to advance his racist agenda, the persecution of citizens of color is a dark, calculated outcome. Francisco Galicia was born in Dallas. His detention isn’t an anomaly—it’s a call to action. We must change our course.”

With their tweets, @blogdiva and @ldorothy21 both expressed the darkest fears of many Latinx people in the US.

@blogdiva and @ldorothy21 both predict and fear the detainment of all US born Latinx.

Twitter user @realXica believes that none of what happened to Galicia should happen to anyone “regardless of status.”

@CBP took a US citizens documents, told him he has no rights, starved him, didn’t allow him to contact family for 3 wks… @CBP is out of control. Every guard complicit w/holding a US citizen held criminally liable for kidnapping. Shouldn’t happen to anyone regardless of status!”

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

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According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Things That Matter

Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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