This lawsuit is one of several cases arising from immigration raids conducted by federal authorities at Swift meat packing plants throughout the country on December 12, 2006. [See Valenzuela v. Swift Beef Company, Inc., IM-TX-19; Swift & Company v. ICE, IM-TX-20; and United Food and Commercial ...
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This lawsuit is one of several cases arising from immigration raids conducted by federal authorities at Swift meat packing plants throughout the country on December 12, 2006. [See Valenzuela v. Swift Beef Company, Inc., IM-TX-19; Swift & Company v. ICE, IM-TX-20; and United Food and Commercial Workers Int'l Union v. Chertoff, IM-TX-23]. During the operation, federal immigration authorities raided six Swift plants and swept up about twelve thousand meatpacking workers, thousands of which were members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
In this case, which was filed as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on December 13, 2006 in U.S. District Court District of Colorado, the UFCW sought the release of Swift employees and union members detained during the raid at the Swift plant in Greeley, Colorado. Plaintiffs alleged that they were being subjected to arbitrary prolonged and indefinite detention, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs further alleged that they were denied access to counsel.
The District Judge (Senior Judge John L. Kane) immediately issued an order to show cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted. The government responded by denying petitioners' allegations and asserting that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter and that the UFCW lacked standing to bring the action.
On December 28, 2006 Judge Kane amended the show cause order to permit the release of petitioners on bond or on their own recognizance. The government was also allowed to remove alien petitioners from the U.S. who requested voluntary removal. Petitioners were subsequently granted leave to add 252 additional individual detainees as named parties.
On January 12, 2007, the District Court (Judge Kane) heard arguments of the parties and then issued an order requiring the government to provide a bond hearing within 48 hours for any detainee not previously afforded one. The government was also ordered to allow any detainee to withdraw their agreement to voluntary removal, if the detainee claimed it was fraudulently or wrongfully obtained. Petitioners' attorneys were directed to meet with their clients and the parties were to report back to the Court with a status report.
Following a status report on January 22, 2007, Judge Kane concluded that the government had complied with the Court's order and corrected the constitutional violations. Final judgment was entered in favor of petitioners against the government on January 25, 2007 and the case was closed.Dan Dalton - 10/23/2007