Things That Matter

An Undocumented Mother Of 3 Is Facing Deportation Back To Mexico For A Misdemeanor Committed 7 Years Ago

Cristina’s Statement to ICE

WATCH, SHARE, SIGN: Cristina read this message to ICE just before going to her check in. She was then detained. Please take the time to sign and share her petition at #CristinaBelongsHere #Not1More

Posted by American Friends Service Committee on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cristina Rodriguez is facing deportation for a misdemeanor committed 7 years ago while trying to leave an abusive partner.

In a story that is becoming all too familiar, a mother of three is facing deportation for an old crime that, according to her attorney, James Lamb, is one of the lowest level misdemeanors in the state of Colorado. James Lamb, a senior associate at Chan Law Firm in Denver, Colo., spoke with mitú about the deportation of Rodriguez. Cristina Rodriguez’s problems started in 2010 when she tried getting away from an abusive partner.

Rodriguez called the police on her abusive partner and told the police that she was holding their infant son when he struck her. When the police arrived, they discovered that while Rodriguez’s partner was abusive, Rodriguez was not truthful in telling the police that she was holding the infant when he struck her. This falsehood led the police to arrest Rodriguez for lying to the police. The child was taken to the emergency room by police, where evidence of previous sustained physical abuse was found. Rodriguez’s partner was convicted of felony child abuse. Rodriguez had no knowledge of the child’s abuse until she called the police and the proof was discovered by the doctors, according to Lamb.

“I don’t think it would be fair to categorize her as a negligent mother or anything like that. Certainly, since that case, which concluded in 2010, she has not had any other criminal encounters at all,” Lamb told mitú. “So, that got the ball rolling on immigration proceedings. There was prior counsel on that case and Cristina eventually ended up taking voluntary departure. It’s not necessarily the case strategy I would have chosen, for a number of reasons but that’s what happened.”

Rodriguez was detained after going to a scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a technique of detention that is being called a “silent raid.” A “silent raid,” according to America’s Voice, is defined as the practice of immigrants going to ICE office for routine check-ins and being detained and deported.

In Rodriguez’s case, she went in for her check-in on Wednesday, June 21 and is expected to be deported today, Friday, June 23. The quick turn around for her deportation is because of her nationality. As Lamb explained to mitú, when it comes to deporting people, there is usually a schedule set up by the ICE office in the area. For Colorado, Mexican nationals are deported Friday mornings.

“We’re dealing with something that’s more machine that human. So, they have a day when they tend to send out Mexican nationals and in the Denver area, that just happens to be Friday morning,” Lamb told mitú. “That doesn’t mean you’re going to be deported that day, just means that you’re probably going to be moved probably to Arizona or New Mexico to a staging facility and held there until they get around to finally taking you across the border.”

Lamb told mitú that it is likely that ICE won’t hold Rodriguez long since publicity is building around the case.

Since her detention, #CristinaBelongsHere is being used by those who have learned about the case to bring more visibility to Rodriguez’ situation. Rodriguez was brought to the U.S. when she was just 5 years old by her parents and has very few memories of Mexico, according to Rodriguez’ recorded statement. The statement was recorded just before Rodriguez went for her check-in with ICE.

“It’s very sad that this country, being so powerful and full of opportunity, can’t fix the immigration system,” Rodriguez said in her recorded statement. “Thousands of families are being separated daily and they don’t understand that it tears not only the families but everything we’ve accomplished.”

Lamb confirmed to mitú that ICE has denied Rodriguez’ stay of removal and a recent press release confirms that she has been moved to a facility in Arizona.

READ: Colorado Man Who Spent Months In A Church To Avoid Deportation Is Detained By ICE

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


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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