In June, we told you about an immigration raid on Morgan County's Wildcat Dairy that led to the arrests of eleven workers and caused fear among many others. This week, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition announced that while five of the workers have already been deported, the criminal charges -- including using forged documents to get jobs -- against the six others have been dropped.
Julie Gonzales, CIRC's director of organizing, released a statement:
Today is a win for the immigrant community of Fort Morgan, who have waited for the last six months as fathers and brothers sat in jail watching their families struggle to survive in the wake of a devastating raid. This decision shows that Colorado attorneys are not going to turn dairy farmers into criminals, and are not going to pursue cases which we have been advised by an attorney are constitutionally suspect, just to look tough on immigration.
In addition, CIRC executive director Julien Ross sent a link to a video of a group of children, including a little girl named Jenny whose father was arrested, speaking to a community gathering soon after the arrest "on why their dads were not criminals and how sad and lonely they were with their dads locked up in jail."
"The struggle of Jenny and the six reunited families is not over," Ross wrote. "Federal immigration charges could ensue. And the other five Fort Morgan families whose dads/brothers were already deported before today remain separated: a sobering reminder that our long-term struggle remains as daunting and critical as ever."
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More from our Immigration archives: "Immigration review pilot program that may close low-priority cases coming to Denver."