A member of the Democratic National Committee whose union represents the workers at a meatpacking plant in Salem, Ohio complained during a meeting in Chicago this week that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had showed up unannounced and took almost 150 people into custody.
"One day, the workers went to work, processing bacon as they do every day and ICE showed up with semiautomatic weapons, with guns pointed at people's faces, with a helicopter hovering overhead and 146 people were detained," the DNC member shared.
Some of them, he explained, were detained "for the crime of not bringing their papers to work that day."
The facility, called Fresh Mark, has long been on ICE's target list because they had been investigating whether employers knowingly hired illegal immigrants. Most of the individuals arrested were from Guatemala. Sister Rene Weeks, the director of Hispanic ministries at St. Paul Catholic Church, called the raid a "shock."
“Most of them are here legally, but they were taken yesterday because they didn’t have their documentation with them at the time,” Weeks said.
"That is not what I want to see," he said. "That is not what I want to see America be like. Families were separated, children were left alone, and ICE was so proud of what they did that they posted on their own website video of their agents loading their weapons before they went into the plant," the member said. "So this is a resolution I support wholeheartedly."
Democratic leaders all across the country have said more of the same. The mayors have been particularly resistant to the Trump administration's aggressive illegal immigration crackdown. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has defended Chicago's sanctuary city status. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio instructed schools to turn up their noses if ICE shows up at their doors. The leader of the "Resist" movement, though, has to be Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf, who warned illegal immigrants in her community that ICE was conducting a raid. Her warning allowed hundreds to flee.
Other Democrats are acting on their anti-ICE bias by introducing legislation to abolish the agency.