Deportation flights halted after requests from Massachusetts governor

[JURIST] Flights carrying illegal workers caught in a federal raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts to a deportation holding facility in Texas were delayed Thursday after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick [official website] asked federal authorities to stop the flights until the workers' children could be accounted for [press release]. The US Department of Homeland Security [official website] detained more than 300 people for possible deportation after a raid Tuesday at Michael Bianco Inc.. [corporate website], a leather factory that makes equipment for the US military. Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers [official profile] said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] agents released 60 people who said they were the sole caregivers for their children. One woman was detained until Thursday night, despite having a 7-month-old infant in the hospital for dehydration, according to Massachusetts Department of Social Services [official website] spokeswoman Denise Monteiro.

Workers were flown to a Texas detention center, where they face possible deportation [JURIST news archive]. Factory owner Francesco Insolia and three top managers were arrested for allegedly running a sweatshop, and a fifth person was charged with helping workers get fake identification. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) [official website] said Thursday it was suspending the company from bidding on future military contracts, but no changes were made to the firm's current $83.6 million contract. AP has more.



 

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