'"the agents were waiting for them and put them in a car "a patadas y esposados" kicking them and handcuffing them. They took them two by two or three or four to offer them work.. They came back in different cars each time and different people. My brother said to me, I am in the big jail in Hartford, I"m hungry. I haven't had anything to eat or a glass of water since yesterday." He called me secretly from someplace because they were not allowed to make calls, and just then, they discovered him.'
from newspaper El Canallita, Danbury, CT
This posted on a blog related to the city of Danbury, CT. They translated an article from a Spanish language newspaper. Interviews with detainees are eye-opening.
Translation from Spanish Language Newspaper "El Canillita" in Danbury Ct.
The police said that the events occurred in response to the blocking of traffic in the Kennedy Park area, and with the support of ICE, a federal agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security, they arrested 11 people who were identified as illegal immigrants, and were later taken to Hartford by ICE agents for processing.
For us it's a public safety issue; we contacted different agencies, it's our job, said Captian Robert Myles of the Danbury PD. "The Danbury Police didn't bring charges against these people, that's an ICE issue," and he made no further specific comment as to the motive for participating with ICE in those activities. He said also that there had already been warnings to day workers in Kennedy Park for about two months regarding the access/blockage problems that occurred.
"We worked with the Danbury Police Dept, we identified 11 people who were in this country illegally, all are Ecuadoran and are under arrest, facing charges on immigration violations, they will be processed," said Paul Grenier, spokesperson for ICE. We arrest people every day for violation of immigration laws, and what happened on Tuesday was at the request of the Danbury Police Dept.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT POSITION:
el Canillita decided to research the position of Danbury local government and contacted Michael McLachlan, Administrative Assistant of Mayor Boughton, who provided comments on behalf of the Mayor, to be *returning from Brasil at the deadline of this edition of the newspaper. "The Mayor supports enforcing immigration laws, he has a definite position in support of compliance with and obeying the laws of the USA, and that's the only statement I can give with regards to the position of local government on the events that occurred."
I can't comment on or speculate on whether these activities will occur again in the future, but they seem to have increased in recent months.
I don't think this is just a local issue, but rather an enforcement effort on a national basis. It looks like it will happen in the future, but not only in Danbury; it could be Stamford, Brewster, Katonah, I don't know, and we don't know where or when it will happen, but these appear to havae been increased in recent months, many of the arrests have nothing to do with criminal activities but solely to violations to immigration laws”.
Testimony from witnesses who were effected
el Canillita interviewed Julia Lebron, mother of Juan Carlos Simbana, 24 yrs old, who is one of the men who were arrested. she commented: Y came from work, I have a night shift at a printer. When I got to the bus stop at Kennedy Park, about 7:30 am, I saw my son waiting to be contracted. I also saw an American man who picked up two workers, and thought that was to give them work. When my son didn't come home all day, I looked for him and went to the police the next day, we found his name on the list of those arrested."
Juan Carlos Simbana came to this country three months ago and reunited with ims mother whom he had not seen for 16 years, the entire time she'd been living in the USA.
"They have seized my son just as we had barely begun to get reacquainted again... I don't know what will happen with him, but I think that he will be deported," said Julia Lebron, who lives in Danbury and has four other children.
Jose Andrade is a 29 years old Ecuadorian who has been living in Danbury for six years. This is what he said for el Canillita:
I arrived at about 7:15 am and was parking my bike on the side of Maine St when I saw a gray (truck or van?) parked on the corner of Main and Kennedy", a un costado del Kennedy Park. Just then all the workers that had gathered on the corner ran to get hired and I knew that a man picked up three of them to work. About 15 minutes later, the same truck came back and I then ran to ask for work, but other workers got there first ahead of me. An american man put four workers on the seats and a fifth in the back, at the driver's suggestion. I could see between the truck there were work helmets and safety vests like those used in construction. I asked the driver if he'd take me so I could work, and even told him that I remembered him, that I had worked for him before, even though really I had never seen him, but it's a strategy that has worked for me in the past. The man looked at me strangely, and he said to me that he would ask his boss. and if he needed more workers, he'd come back for me. I heard that the man told them that they'd be taken to work on construction of a fence some place near main street, near the library.
After all this, Jose Andrede was hired for a roofing job and left about 7:50 am. He witnessed two occasions in which the truck took workers, but suspected that a third trip before he arrived might have occurred, since a friend of his was on the list of people arrested and he didn't see him in either of the first two groups or during the time while he waited to be hired.
"I feel like now I can't trust anyone, I don't know if I'm going to go into a restaurant and have the person waiting on me be someone from immigration who will arrest me, said Jose Andrade. The police had warned us before that we shouldn't hang around in certain areas of Kennedy Park, but we were there because we needed to work. Besides, I have worked for the police doing gardening work at their own houses."
el Canillita also interviewed Carlos, brother of Luciano Moroches, one of the arrested group, and he said:
I got a private call on my cell phone at 10:35 am on 9/20 (the day after the arrests), and it was my brother. HE told me that immigration had caught him, and explained that he and three other workers were seized by some american men who wore red work helmets, to hire them to make a fence. After picking them up in a gray pickup truck as if everything was normal, they drove them over near Food Market on Main St and when they got out, the agents were waiting for them and put them in a car "a patadas y esposados" kicking them and handcuffing them. They took them two by two or three or four to offer them work.. They came back in different cars each time and different people. My brother said to me, I am in the big jail in Hartford, I"m hungry, I haven't had anything to eat or a glass of water since yesterday." He called me secretly from someplace because they were not allowed to make calls, and just then, they discovered him.
previously posted on http://hatcityblog.blogspot.com/2006_09_24_archive.html