ICE's planned raids are putting the restaurant industry on the edge

ICE's planned raids are putting the restaurant industry on the edge

In February, 7, 2017, foreign nationals were arrested during a targeted enforcement operation carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Los Angeles. (Charles Reed / Associated Press)

The national restaurant industry is addressing the US Customs Immigration and Enforcement operation which could balance hundreds of migrant families who have received deportation orders. Restaurant owners and workers advocates expect the operation, which is intended to commence on Sundays, not interfere with an already injured industry, or which will expand in a wider inquiry into employees who are not on the Trump's expulsion lists. .

President Trump announced on Monday that the rounds would transfer despite discussions within the administration on the possible humanitarian issues (separation of parents) and disagreement. political (political disputes such as the Conference debate on a $ 4.6 billion supplementary aid package to deal with the crisis at the border) of the operation to remove up to 2,000 households. Subsequent news reports confirmed that the Homeland Security Department and ICE would proceed with the “family op,” as the agencies call for the plan, in up to 10 major immigrant destinations such as Los Angeles, Houston, t Miami and other cities.

Immigration associations and immigration advocacy groups around the country were sending out mass emails to members and workers this week, informing them of their rights if ICE agents came on their doors. California Restaurant Association, Illinois Restaurant Association, t Restaurant Opportunities United (recommended by restaurant workers), South Asian Americans Leading Together (which advocates the rights of South Asians in the United States) and the Restaurant Law Center (the National Restaurant Association's legal affiliation) were among the groups to alert people. partners about the expected ICE actions.

Their messages were essentially the same: They provided information on what employees and employers can and cannot do when they are targeted as part of the ICE raid. The groups highlighted many of the same points, including that ICE agents must have a signed judicial warrant to enter the workplace and employees have the right to remain silent. A number of advocates, in the light of federal immigration officers, often said that employers and employees do not understand that they have the right to incriminate themselves.

Fear, Saru Jayaraman, president and co-founder of ROC United, said he was part of the Trump's administrative tasks in announcing the ICE raids. It is a distinctity (10 cities) and randomness (no one knows where agents will show) that they are concerned about workers, she said. Employees will only leave their places of work rather than wait for ICE agents to be seen, and sometimes their departure leaves restaurants in the lurch.

“Every time this new threat emerges, workers don't show up.” Jayaraman said. “This is not the first time, and every time it only hurts the workers and their families, but it hurts the owners and customers.”

The restaurant industry, observers pointing out, is particularly vulnerable to immigrant enforcement actions. It is estimated that 1.3 million unauthorized workers are working in the leisure and hospitality industries, according to the Pew Research Center. That's about 8 percent of the labor force.

“I would like to pay a fortnight's pay that every business has at least one undocumented employee with more than 20 employees in the hospitality sector,” said Madeleine Tillotson, sales and marketing director of Rooam, a mobile industry-oriented payment firm . As part of his job, Tillotson speaks to many clients, and potential clients, in the Chicago area, often listening to the anxiety through the restaurant industry.

In response to questions about the agency's tactics and expanding the scope of its operation, spokesman Kate Pote sent an email: “ICE officials regularly carry out targeted enforcement activities. Officers do not send 'concentrated'; or ids raids ’, and do not interact in a non-discriminatory manner with and / or engage with individuals.”

The Trump administration has indicated that the upcoming raids will only target those migrant families who have undergone an appropriate process and received a final deportation order. But Lakshmi Sridaran, interim director of SAALT, said that information is being passed on under the “immigration hub” – a coalition of organizations of right immigrants who share information from the field – that Trump's administration has expanded beyond its core targets including “Children without escorts with an age out. ”Minors, in other words, are 18 years of age or older.

What's more, the ICE raids recently made at restaurants are beyond the goals they were intended for. In April, ICE agents focused on a 42-year-old man from Mexico who was working in a Mexican restaurant in Crawfordsville, Ind., About 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The man had a felony conviction for a domestic and sexual battery. The federal agents got to man. They also received six other restaurant employees – known as “collateral catches” – who are said to be unauthorized to work in the country. ICE's widespread concern raised concerns in the mainly conservative community.

A few months earlier in January, ICE agents focused on a restaurant in Chatham, N.Y., looking for a Guatemalan man who has not documented with pending criminal charges. According to the Times Union newspaper, “The officers went back into the kitchen and began to question workers about their immigration status. They seized three men – including the one they were originally aimed at. ”

Restaurant owners are also concerned that ICE officials may be co-ordinating with the Social Security Administration, who, according to the New York Times, have sent letters to more than 570,000 employers since March, notifying the companies that make the names of some employees do not match their Social Security number. Restaurant owners are afraid that ICE may be targeting those employees who have unsuitable Social Welfare numbers.

These letters are not uncommon, ”said Melissa Stewart, executive director of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association. "They can be for numerous reasons." Social Security numbers cannot sometimes come together, said Stewart, because of basic clerical errors, although she did not end the possibility of undocumented workers, either.

Once migrant families – and any other persons involved in ICE actions – are retained – the Immigrant Justice Corps retains their fleet of solicitors to assist them. Jojo Annobil, IJC executive director, said that despite the assurances from the Trump administration, many of the targeted migrants were unlikely to have received an appropriate process. The “rocket slip” brought by those immigrants through the courts left many of them for a loss of what they should do, he said. Some had no barristers. Some people were not made aware of their hearings. Some said that, because English was their second language, their ICE agency checks were their court hearings, Annobil said.

The Immigrant Justice Corps has put in place an information network to try and track migrants who are detained by ICE for expulsion. IJC plans to file emergency offers to reopen their cases as Annobil says there is a good argument for many immigrants because of legitimate threats back in their home countries.

“There is a more humanitarian way to do this,” said Annobil about the immigration system.

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