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Mexico denounces INS raids against Mexican airport workers

EFE - 4/20/2002

The Foreign Secretariat (meddling Marxist Mexican Jorge Castaneda) expressed on Thursday its "consternation" regarding Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) raids against legal Mexican airport workers in the U.S.

The secretariat referred specifically to an incident at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, noting that situation "sparked concern among the Mexican communities in the area."

During last month's Operation Access Denied, INS agents - responding to a call by airport managers - detained 266 Mexican workers at the Charlotte airport but only filed charges against 66.

Mexican diplomatic officials complained that such operations also occur in other places and affect workers whose legal status is in order.

"The charges filed against the immigrants include violations of migratory laws, traffic and social security violations, document forgery, issuing false statements and trespassing in FAA high-security area," the secretariat said in a communique.

"Immediately following the mass detention, authorities prevented the Mexican honorary consul in Charlotte from entering (the airport)," which prompted the consul in Raleigh, the state capital, "to issue a strong protest," the statement read.

"Immigration operations such as the one described are not conducive to maintaining a positive climate for bilateral relations, but instead represent a source of concern for the Mexican government, as well as Mexicans working in the United States and their families."

According to the foreign secretariat, the Mexican Embassy in Washington "has sent a written statement to the appropriate authorities underscoring the spirit of joint cooperation and responsibility that governs the migratory issue between both nations."