United Way Starts Fund For Swift Workers’ Families

Myung Oak Kim, Rocky Mountain News, Dec. 13, 2006

The United Way of Weld County today established a fund to help the families affected by Tuesday’s immigration raid of the Swift & Co. plant in Greeley.

The non-profit agency already has received several hundred calls from residents asking how to help the families and a pledge from Swift & Co. to donate money in Greeley and five other cities impacted by the raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said United Way spokesperson Tori Baldwin.

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The Mexican government said on Wednesday that about 600 of the 1,282 meatpacking employees detained in immigration raids in several U.S. states are Mexicans, and called on U.S. authorities to temporarily release mothers detained in the raids so they can care for their U.S.-born children.

U.S. federal agents arrested immigrants at Greeley, Colo.-based Swift & Co. meat processing plants in six states Tuesday, after a nearly yearlong investigation revealed that illegal immigrants and others may have stolen or bought the identities and Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens and residents in order to work there.

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In other cases—presumably those of mothers with Mexican-born children—the department said it was working, with the help of U.S. community groups, to ensure those children placed in the care of relatives, or “in isolated cases,” in the care of child welfare authorities.

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