Voices from a Raid
By: David Sullivan and Lagan Sebert
League of United Latin American Citizen
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When there are 12 million people in hiding in this country, hundreds of thousands of people crossing our borders illegally each year because they can’t make it, they can’t support their families, when companies hire undocumented workers to avoid paying overtime or avoiding union, and when we have a government that just engages in symbolic raids but isn’t willing to solve this problem comprehensively and a nursing mother is torn away from her baby during a raid, that is a problem that all of us, black, white, brown, must solve together as one nation. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m running for president of the United States of America.
MAN’S VOICE (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): 5:40. It was 5:40 in the morning. I was in a towel. Only a towel. They arrested me and made me sit down.
INGRID MUNOZ, US CITIZEN: When they came in here, it was a Monday, before six in the morning, and we were asleep. And we heard a banging on the door. And we just didn’t know. We were, like, asleep, and you just don’t know what’s going on.
TV NEWS PRESENTER: Nearly four dozen people remain in federal custody tonight after one of the biggest illegal immigration busts in Maryland in recent years. It happened earlier this morning in Annapolis, and—.
REPORTER: State police raided over a dozen houses in search of illegals who had been living in Anne Arundel County while working for Annapolis Painting. Annapolis painting also did coveted work in the governor’s mansion and on the State House.
JACQUELYN MUNOZ, WIFE OF ANNAPOLIS PAINTING WORKER: I have gone to see my husband. He is being detained at Howard County. He informed me that before six o’clock in the morning, he heard banging on the door. At that time, nobody was awake. As he was walking to the living room to open the door in his boxers, they just busted in the front door, and they, you know, pointed two guns at him and told him that if he didn’t stop, that they were going to probably shoot him. They grabbed him from the back of his neck and threw him on the floor and put the guns to his head.
MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): They arrested the others. I asked what about my son? Then a woman officer showed up. I told her, you are treating us like animals. We are not animals.
I. MUNOZ: And they searched the house. They sat my husband in the kitchen and myself on the sofa, and just like criminals they ask us questions—if we’d ever been in jail, and if we had tattoos on our bodies, and things like that.
J. MUNOZ: When I came home, I came to find my front door broken. They left my house a mess. They had taken my computer. They took my marriage certificate. They took things that, you know, they have no value to them, but they do to us. They took everything out of drawers, threw papers everywhere. They took my kids’ clothing and threw it across the room.
MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): I kept saying, my son, my son. The officer told my friend to stay with my son so he wouldn’t be alone in the house. They told her to stay but she said, “No, I have to go to work.” They told her to stay, but she left to go to work. She is a friend but… my son was left alone for a while.
TEXT ON SCREEN: The father says the child was alone for 6 hours. The Annapolis raid was the latest in a growing national trend. Arrests made during worksite raids increased in the US from 510 in 2002 to 4,940 in 2007.
J. MUNOZ: I was born in DC. This is supposed to be my country, but it doesn’t feel like that, not when they take your family away and they destroy the lives of your kids. We’re not living in our house, because we’re afraid. We don’t know what’s going to happen when we go back. What am I supposed to tell my kids? That their dad’s not there? Sorry.
League of United Latin American Citizens
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (R): I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders, ensure respect for the laws of this country, recognize the important economic necessity of immigrant laborers, apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes, and deal practically and humanely with those who came here as my distant ancestors did to build a better, safer life for their families.
WORKER DISPLACED BY THE ANNAPOLIS RAID: I’m okay if they want to take me or they have to take out from the country bad peoples. I’m okay with that. But why they have to look for worker peoples? Why, if they are working? Just working.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Congress is not expected to act on immigration reform before the November election.
Camera: Lagan Sebert, David Sullivan and Ted Roach
Editor: David Sullivan
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.