Did federal ICE agents just racially profile Asian Americans in massive PA raid yesterday?

Authorities raid Fuji & Jade Garden in State College, PA yesterday as part of a 9-restaurant raid of Asian businesses. (Screen capture: WTAJ)
Authorities outside of Fuji & Jade Garden in State College, PA yesterday as part of a 9-restaurant raid of Asian businesses. Agents were seeking undocumented workers. (Screen capture: WTAJ)

Yesterday, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted a massive raid in State College, Pennsylvania. According to reports, ICE agents joined forces with local police and members of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to invade several private homes and small businesses, and at many of the locations, people were detained and asked to present immigration papers. Several people were taken away in handcuffs when they could not produce their immigration documents.

According to scattered reports, all of the businesses raided yesterday in what ICE officials are calling a “targeted enforcement operation” were Asian restaurants.

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Free the #ElPaso37! Punjabi men launch hunger strike to protest ~1 year of ICE inaction

A list of names smuggled out of an El Paso ICE detention facility shows the men, along with the dates of their "credible fear" interviews. Photo credit: Colorlines
A list of names smuggled out of an El Paso ICE detention facility shows the men, along with the dates of their “credible fear” interviews. Photo credit: Colorlines

Last summer, forty Sikh men from Punjab were brought to an El Paso-based Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility, a facility that Colorlines reports predominantly houses immigrants from India or Central America seeking political asylum in the United States. All forty of the Punjabi men — most aged 22 to 27 years old — were politically active in a Sikh minority party in Punjab, and all forty were targeted by opponents with violent retribution for their political activities.

Says Buta Singh,  one of the detainees: “They will kill us if we go back, sir.  That’s why we came here — to protect our lives.”

So, the forty men fled to America, and were brought to the El Paso facility immediately upon their arrival, hoping to receive political asylum in America.

Instead, these forty men have spent the last 11 months imprisoned in an ICE detention facility, while their cases languish in administrative limbo. And now, faced with a seeming indefinite detention, they have been forced by government inaction to launch a hunger strike in a final desperate plea to draw attention to their case.

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