Things That Matter

Woman Records Scene Inside Family Car As ICE Pulls Husband Out While Daughters Cry And Scream

Milwaukee Police Department is facing backlash after officers with the department were caught on camera helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) execute an arrest. The collaboration is troubling for the immigrant community in Milwaukee because Chief of Police Alfonso Morales previous said that local law enforcement would not collaborate with the immigration officials. Several police departments across the country, including Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, have stated that they would not adhere to federal mandates by helping out ICE when looking for backup and/or information during their raids. Other cities, police departments have been mandated to cooperate with ICE.

The Milwaukee Police Department is accused of assisting ICE to detain a father who now leaves behind his wife and three daughters.

Credit: Kristine De la Cruz / Facebook

The Milwaukee Police Department released the following statement, according to the Shepherd Express that expresses they assisted ICE because they were requested to: 

“Enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws is the responsibility of the federal government, particularly the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Accordingly, the Milwaukee Police Department does not unilaterally undertake immigration-related investigations and does not routinely inquire into the immigration status of persons encountered during police operations. This prohibition does not preclude the department from cooperating with federal immigration officials when requested, or from notifying those officials in serious situations where a potential threat to the public is perceived.”

The only reason the public is aware of this detainment by ICE and the Milwaukee Police Department is because of a local immigration organization was informed of the detainment as soon as it was happening and recorded the entire thing.

Credit” Voces de la Frontera / Facebook

Voces De La Frontera was informed that  Jose Alejandro De la Cruz-Espinoza was being detained as he was parked outside of his house after his wife called them on their hotline. The hotline was set up for any undocumented immigrant to request help. The video shows individuals confronting police officers and asking them if they had a warrant, and if they had shown the warrant to De la Cruz-Espinoza family. 

An immigration advocate asked a Milwaukee police officer why he was there helping ICE, the officer said that they just happen to be in the area.

Credit: Voces de la Frontera / YouTube

The unnamed man tells the officer “we pay your taxes, you’re supposed to be working for us.” The officer responds by saying, “that’s why we are here, to make sure you don’t meddle in their business.” 

“I just can’t believe the Milwaukee Police Department is collaborating with ICE.”

Credit: Voces de la Frontera / YouTube

The heartbreaking video shows the moment that De la Cruz-Espinoza steps out of the car and his daughters are there screaming and crying. A woman in the video, who Voces De La Frontera said is his wife, said in the video that ICE agents reached into her car through the window and unlocked it. “They wouldn’t let us say goodbye, they wouldn’t let us hug him. Nothing,” according to a Voces de la Frontera press release. “They physically dragged my daughters out of the car, and they did not provide a search warrant. They terrorized my family.”  

The video also has the immigration advocate saying “Chief Morales is gonna love to see police collaborating with ICE.”

Late last year, according to the Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Police Department Chief Morales said that the immigration community should not fear the police and that they would not work with ICE. “I promised to bring back the public trust. My job is to bring (back) trust from the community and work with them; my job is not to go out and enforce those types of laws.” He did say, however, that the police would work with ICE in the cases of “homicides, armed robberies or high-level drug offenses.” He added, “We are not a sanctuary city — we’re here to enforce the laws,” Morales said.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Milwaukee, released the following statement: 

“At a time when the MPD and Chief Morales should be focusing on improving practices and rebuilding damaged relationships with the community, their decision to join in immigration enforcement undermines the confidence and trust of Milwaukee residents. Having local police participate in immigration enforcement also makes our city less safe. When people believe that police officers will enforce immigration laws against them, they become less willing to report crime or serve as witnesses for fear that the police will help deport them. Moreover, this arrest ran counter to the intent and spirit of MPD’s own Standard Operating Procedure 130, and prior statements by Chief Morales. It must end.”

Here’s a video shot by De la Cruz-Espinoza’s wife from inside the car.

Video of Alex being arrested illegally this morning. A Milwaukee Police Officer reached in my car and unlocked the doors without a warrant.

Posted by Kristine De la Cruz on Monday, September 23, 2019

A Gofundme page has been set up for the family. Click here if you’d like to help.

READ: Louisiana Police Detained A US Citizen After A Judge Cleared His Release Because He’s A Latino

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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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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