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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights

Chicago Immigrant Workers Win Delay, End Fast

On June 1 in Chicago, immigration judge John Brahos granted a continuance of more than four months to Flor Crisostomo and five other workers arrested last Apr. 19 in an ICE raid of the IFCO Systems pallet company in Chicago. The six workers must return to court Oct. 12.
Immigration judge Carlos Cuevas gave another 13 of the IFCO Chicago workers (or 15, according to the Chicago-based Spanish-language daily Diario Hoy) only a two-month continuance: they must return to court on July 31. Another three workers have immigration court dates set for June 6 and 7. A total of 26 workers were arrested at IFCO's Chicago warehouse during the Apr. 19 sweep; they were among 1,187 workers were arrested that day at 40 IFCO sites in 27 states [see INB 4/22/06]. [Diario Hoy 6/2/06; Chicago Tribune 6/2/06; Nuevo Siglo (Chicago) 6/2/06]

About 150 supporters of the Chicago-area workers rallied in front of the immigration court building before the hearings. [CT 6/2/06] Later on June 1, following the hearings, Crisostomo and Elvira Arellano annnounced the end of a hunger strike they began May 10, seeking a moratorium on raids and deportations [see INB 5/14/06, 5/28/06]. "We are ending the strike for the sake of our health," said Arellano. "Also to have the strength to return to Washington to lobby and prepare ourselves to support the next workers who will appear in court." [DH 6/2/06] Film student Victor Arroyo, who joined the hunger strike on May 13, and student Jesus Carlin, who joined it on May 16, also ended their fast on June 1. Roxana Licona ended her fast on May 31 for health reasons (she had joined it on May 13), but remained camped out in solidarity with the others at Tenochtitlan plaza on Chicago's south side. [NS 6/2/06; La Raza (Chicago) 6/2/06]



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