Kerry on immigration raid in New Bedford
Senator John Kerry today released the following statement on the detainees and stranded children from Tuesday's immigration raid in New Bedford.
"What is happening to the children in New Bedford as an unintended result of the immigration raid on Michael Bianco Inc. is an unmitigated disaster. Over one hundred children have been stranded and separated from their families. Detainees were shipped out of Massachusetts to a facility in Texas-possibly putting half the country between a parent and their child. This is unacceptable.
"I urge Secretary Chertoff and those in charge of this raid to return all of the detainees to Massachusetts as soon as possible so that any disrupted families can be reunited and to guarantee that no other immigrants will be removed from the state until a deportation decision has been made. I also believe that all immigrant parents should be released on bond to care for their children. These children depend on their parents, and they should at least be united as families until a deportation decision has been made.
"Our immigration laws need to be enforced, and companies, like Michael Bianco Inc., that flagrantly violate the law need to be swiftly and severely punished. But enforcement actions must take place in reality. Many illegal immigrants have been here for years, have children in our school systems, and have become contributing members of their communities. When they are rounded up in mass, the entire community suffers-particularly the innocent children left behind. We need comprehensive immigration reform to prevent this from happening in the future."