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ICE Raids Sent 'Shockwaves' Through Canton, Massillon Hispanic Communities

photo of Canton IWP
Inside the Canton office of the Immigrant Worker Project, Director Jeff Stewart says they are compiling a list of about 100 people still being detained by ICE following Tuesday's raid at Fresh Mark facilities in Canton, Massillon and Salem.

The immigration raids at a meat supplier in Salem this week have triggered concern among people who work at other plants owned by the same company.

Immigration officials arrested more than 140 people on Tuesday at the Fresh Mark plant in Salem, and also seized documents at Fresh Mark facilities in Canton and Massillon.

Although no arrests were made there, attorney Jeff Stewart says it still sent a shockwave through the Hispanic community in Stark County. He’s director of the Immigrant Worker Project in downtown Canton, and says they held an informational meeting to address people’s concerns on Wednesday afternoon. And he says his office is compiling a list of about 100 people who are still being detained.

“People that have ongoing cases – and people that we’re working with [for] work authorization -- we’re going to make an attempt to reach out to ICE and try to get all of those people released as soon as possible, without having to go back to a hearing for a bond re-determination.”

Stewart says about 40 people arrested in Salem have been released, either on humanitarian grounds, or because they were found to be here legally.

The raids were condemned by Stuart Applebaum, president of the union representing workers at Fresh Mark, as well as Sen. Sherrod Brown, who says ICE officials need to be more careful during raids.

In a raid at a commercial greenhouse in Sandusky, “There was at least one American citizen that we were able to get released, who was not treated very well even though she said, 'I have papers in the car.'  And these ICE agents wouldn't let her get them initially.”