Several hundred immigrants and union members rallied and marched at the Los Angeles Airport, March 28, in opposition to INS raids during the past few days. Some of those arrested in the raids included eighteen children and nine women.
"The INS raids promote panic in our communities and discrimination of those who look foreign: Latinos, Asians, or Middle Easterners. And, immigration policy continues to punish working men and women and negates an economic reality that depends on these very workers to produce vast amounts of wealth," Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, stated in response to the INS actions.
The INS has conducted mass raids of immigrants at LAX and in other locations around the Southland, sowing panic and terror among thousands of people. Eyewitnesses report that there is clearly racial profiling involved, and that people are being chased, endangered and injured. People being taken away can include both undocumented immigrants and permanent legal residents who are not carrying their "green card" on their person, or who have past convictions.
It is believed that immigration raids can destroy families; sow panic in the general population; target hardworking people who contribute to the economy and the community; are punitive, inhumane and discriminatory; they violate basic civil rights, civil liberties and human rights; are politically motivated; and, do not change basic migration patterns.
Civil and immigrant rights groups that participated in the rally in condemnation of the INS actions include: The Garment Workers Center, The Interfaith Coalition, HERE, SEIU Local 1877 (Justice for Janitors), CARECEN, Hermandad, MALDEF and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, among others.