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<nettime> Olympics Antics
TONGOLELE on Sun, 27 Jan 2002 04:20:09 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Olympics Antics


Subject: Persecution of Latinos in Utah


---------- From: Speak Out <speakout {AT} igc.org>


271 WORKERS AT SALT LAKE CITY AIRPORT DETAINED IN "SECURITY" SWEEP AGAINST
POSSIBLE TERRORISM DURING THE OLYMPICS

Last Dec. 11, 271 workers at the Salt Lake City airport were detained
following a 7-week investigation by federal authorities to find workers
suspected of applying for employment with false ID. The result has been
legal persecution and family impoverishment of Latinos that continues
today.

200 were fired immediately. U.S. marshalls arrested 69 others, of whom 63
are undocumented Latinos, some of whom had used falsified Social Security
cards (normally a misdemeanor) in applying for airport work. Officials
confirmed that none of the Latino workers had a criminal record. The only
workers who did were six Anglos with criminal records, which they had
concealed when applying.

Some workers had access to cargo and runways; most worked in food service,
car rental agencies and airport shops as well as cleaning bathrooms and
other manual labor. During their incarceration, children were left
parentless as spouses struggled to earn some income. Many workers were
denied back wages owed to them. Three women were released for reasons of
hardship as mothers.

Latino community members and even the Mayor of Salt Lake City protested
the massive detentions and how they were handled. A judge released the
workers on their own recognizance but the INS  then jailed them on a
$5000-cash only bond. They were denied permission to work in order to raise
the bond.
Later the bond was reduced to $3000 cash or property (in some cases of
extreme hardship, $1500).

At this time most of the 63 are out of jail but unable to work.. Most of
The others have been released on bond temporarily, pending INS hearings.
Many face felony charges for what has always been a misdemeanor. In any
case,the workers and their families are the victims of post-Sept. 11 racial
and anti-immigrant profiling plus security measures for the Olympics that
have been announced as the most intense ever.

The workers and their families face great hardship and could become
homeless. Latino community organizers plan to hold a rally on Jan. 26 at
the capitol and may also march on the first day of the Olympics with the
homeless, who are planning to demonstrate that day.

Please help these Latino workers with legal and living expenses. Send a
contribution to: Centro de la Familia de Utah 320 West 200 South, Suite
300-B Salt Lake City, UTAH 84101

For more information: (801)521-4473, Rebecca Chavez

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