How the Swift Raids Are Resounding Three Years Later

December 2009

Community members and immigration advocates gathered Saturday night at Al Frente de Lucha in Greeley for a candle-light vigil to remind area residents that the impacts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on the Swift meatpacking plant (now JBS) are still resounding throughout their community, writes The Greeley Tribune. The fallout from the December 12, 2006, sweeps, which included six plants across the country, has meant legal limbo for some of the workers accused of using false Social Security numbers: It appears not all of the immigrants netted were illegally employed and now must await court decisions before they can work again. Still, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a contender in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, continues to defend the raid, telling 9News, "it has helped the understanding of the issue, and if we're going to resolve this issue, one of the prerequisites is understanding." Others believe the event has cast a negative light on Greeley. As 5280's Robert Sanchez explored in August 2008, the raid put the northern Front Range city in the spotlight of immigration-reform. Those of us who were outside the meatpacking plant that day can attest there was nothing humanitarian about the endeavor, regardless of one's views on immigration. But in New Jersey, The New York Times reports on a unique collaboration between ICE and a local church that mitigates some of the concerns of immigration advocates, as well as law enforcement officials.