FLOC FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST THE BORDER PATROL

FLOC FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST THE BORDER PATROL

************PLEASE FORWARD TO YOUR LISTS !!!***********

*FLOC files Federal lawsuit against US Border Patrol and local law
enforcement agencies*

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and its members have joined
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc (ABLE), the law firm of Murray
and Murray, Co. L.P.A., and the Immigrant Worker Project (IWP) in filing
a class action complaint against the US Border Patrol and several local
law enforcement agencies in Northwest Ohio. The suit challenges the
Border Patrol and local agencies’ practice of restraining and
interrogating Latinos about their immigration status based solely on
their Hispanic appearance. The suit argues that this violates the 4th
Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and
the 5th Amendment’s guarantee of due process and equal protection of the
law.

“I think it is imperative that we not only address this issue, but tell
them to quit it,” says Baldemar Velasquez, FLOC founder and President.
“Stop spreading fear in the Latino community and start doing the serious
police work.”

Racial profiling in NW Ohio and SE Michigan worsened after the Bush
administration significantly increased the Border Patrol’s budget. New
offices opened along the border with Canada, affecting Michigan and Ohio
residents. FLOC argues that the Border Patrol may have had difficulty
justifying the increased budget and has subsequently tried to create
numbers by going after farmworkers and other Latinos in the area. One
case presented in the complaint refers to a person who was pulled over
because the light over his license plate was dim. When he presented his
valid Ohio Driver’s License, the officer unreasonably demanded proof of
immigration status from him and his five passengers. All of them turned
out to be lawful permanent residents, but their brown skin seemed to be
cause enough for the local enforcement agent to intrude upon their civil
liberties.

“In some cases”, says ABLE attorney Mark Heller, “the U.S. Border Patrol
has offered to come and restrain and interrogate persons that the local
law enforcement agencies have already seized, violating the 14th
Amendment’s guarantee for due process and equal protection of the law.
There really is no legitimate defense to what they are doing”.

*LET’S JOIN FORCES TO PUT A STOP TO THE RACIAL PROFILING BY THE BORDER
PATROL AND LOCAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES !!!*

*ACTION:*

1. Please help us by locating members in the community who may have
suffered this type of discriminatory practice. The lawsuit
currently has 12 plaintiffs, but we are certain that there are
hundreds more who have suffered this discriminatory practice.
Contact Beatriz Maya at FLOC bmaya1
<mailto:bmaya1 or 419-243-3456 ext 3.
2. Write or call the US Border Patrol and demand an end to all racial
profiling:

Acting Chief Michael J. Fisher, Office of the Border Patrol

1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington DC 20229

PH (202) 344-2050

3. Write your member of Congress and ask them to scale back the
bloated funding for the US Border Patrol. You can get contact
information in Spanish and English for your member of Congress at
www.contactingthecongress.org <http://www.contactingthecongress.org
4. If you want to be involved in the campaign, email: bmaya1
<mailto:bmaya1; or call FLOC at 419-243-3456 ext. 3

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