New Bedford immigration raid sign now

In New Bedford, Massachusetts on March 6, 2007 , the Federal Government raided a sweat shop arresting 361 illegal immigrants being from Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Cape Verde, Portugal and Brazil. The immediate effects of this raid was the unconscionable separation of hard working, law abiding families that contributed to the community. Of the 361 people who were arrested at Michael Bianco Inc., (not to be confused with the owners name Francesco Insolia 50 of 3 Country Club Circle in Pembroke, Massachusetts) more than two-thirds have been flown to out-of-state detention facilities, according to a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As reported in the Boston Globe, State and Congressional officials asserted on March 8, 2007 to the Bush administration that the detention of some of the workers was endangering their children. Meanwhile, the company's owner was granted permission to travel to Puerto Rico on business. Mr. Insolia was forced to surrender his passport and agreed to travel only in the continental United States, with provisions for business trips to Puerto Rico, one of which was planned for March 8, 2007.

Francesco Insolia, faces federal charges of conspiring to hire illegal aliens at Michael Bianco Inc. According to an affidavit in the case, when an undercover ICE officer posing as a new Michael Bianco employee told Mr. Insolia she was an illegal from Mexico and without identification papers. Mr. Insolia replied, "everyone has papers." The affidavit further contends that plant manager Ms. Figueroa told a Michael Bianco Inc. employee turned informant that Mr. Insolia would not hire his workers' grandchildren because he wanted only "illegal aliens." It is important to remember that Francesco Insolia operated what can only be described as a sweat shop. According to sweatshopwatch.org the four characteristics that are consistent with a sweat shop are as follows:
(1) Extreme exploitation, including absence of a living wage or long work hours.
(2) Poor working conditions, health and safety hazards.
(3) Arbitrary discipline, such as verbal or physical abuse.
(4) Fear and intimidation when they speak out, organize or attempt to form a union.

Conditions at the Michael Bianco Inc. manufacturing plant harken back to the sweatshops of the early 1900s, according to the U.S. Attorney General's Office. Information in the federal indictment, based on an undercover federal agent who worked at the plant, stated employees were fined $20 if they were in the restroom for more than two minutes. If they went to the restroom twice, they were fired. One roll of toilet paper was placed in each stall and if it was gone within an hour of startup time, was not replaced. Workers actually made far less than $7 an hour because they were fined for so many violations. Employees were forced to work double shifts stitching military gear, but Mr. Insolia did not pay overtime, according to some workers.

Francesco Insolia, owner of Michael Bianco Inc. still benefits from the $83.6 million in military contracts to make backpacks and ammunition pouches for the military. He further benefits from a special tax agreement from the city of New Bedford, saving $57,000 in exchange for his company to retain 65 jobs and create 85 new jobs for people from New Bedford. The Defense Logistics Agency, suspended the company from all future contracts, however he has yet to be fined or even threatened with jail time for his obvious criminal violations. Meanwhile the workers he victimized have been transferred from Fort Devens to prisons in New Mexico, Texas and Massachusetts.

If you are interested in helping these workers please send these requested items including diapers in all sizes, baby wipes, bottles and bottle liners, Enfamil Soy baby formula, all types of baby food and winter baby clothing. Canned food is needed. To organize your donations, contact the St. James Church rectory @ (508) 992-9408, and ask for Ana or Carol Oliver. If you are able to make monetary donations, mail checks to the MIRA Coalition, 105 Chauncy St., Boston, MA 02111. Be clear in the memo line that donations are for "New Bedford Immigrant Families/Ninos Fund." Donations are tax-deductible, and all donations marked as "New Bedford Immigrant Families/Ninos Fund" will be distributed to selected community organizations.

If you would like to see long term justice carried out in order to deter criminals like Francesco Insolia from taking advantage of the poor and disenfranchised please sign the following petition which will be sent to Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Ted Kennedy. We the undersigned feel outrage at the detainment of the workers of the Michael Bianco factory and would like the following demands met:

(1) The immediate return of the immigrants that were taken from the State of Massachusetts so that they can be reunited with their families.

(2) The release of the workers on their own recognizance, the same privilege that was extended to Francesco Insolia.

(3) Amnesty given to the workers so that they may be able to become legal citizens in the country they have contributed countless tax dollars to.

(4) A community center built for the workers to aid them and their children to more easily acclimate to their new home.

(5)All expenses of the following to be subject to payment by Francesco Insolio in lieu of the prison time he truly deserves.

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Latest Signatures

  • 01 December 2015200. Jane Deeg
    We should not allow our government to tear mothers away from their children. My heart breaks for these families.
  • 20 November 2015199. Carolyn Db
    I support this petition
  • 13 November 2015198. Lyn Es
    As a constituent, please support these very worthwhile proposals
  • 04 November 2015197. Sharon S
    THE PEOPLE THAT HIRED THEM SHOULD BE THE ONES TO GO TO JAIL FOR ALONG TIME ,ALL THESE POOR PEOPLE HAVE DONE IS LOOK FOR A BETTER LIFE ,WORK HARD FOR NOTHING NO MONEY BARELY AND THATD SAD , THESE PEOPLE DID THEIR JOBS ND I ASK IF THEIR NOT TROUBLE MAKERS A
  • 27 October 2015196. Alexander W
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 2015195. Kristin A
    I support this petition
  • 01 October 2015194. Schuyler E
    I support this petition
  • 05 September 2015193. Christina B
    I support this petition
  • 08 August 2015192. Isidro Vr
    I support this petition
  • 02 August 2015191. Roxana L
    I support this petition
  • 28 July 2015190. Kendall D
    The raid was a disgrace which, unfortunately, has become typical of the heavy handed responses to matters that would otherwise require much thought and sensitivity in handling.
  • 25 July 2015189. Susan Andrewst
    I support this petition
  • 02 July 2015188. Toni Mariep
    I support this petition
  • 15 June 2015187. Email Protectedcdatafunctiontryvarsaijrclbdocumentgetelementsbytagnamescriptlbblengthprevioussiblingalgetattributedatacfemailifasrparseintasubstrforjalengthjjcparseintasu
    stop worring about illegal immigrants and start cracking on on the pedephiles, and drug dealers and gang banger that are out ther killing our children, let these people be,they are human just like you and me.this racism needs to stop
  • 27 April 2015186. James M
    I support this petition
  • 24 April 2015185. Afrakomah A
    I support this petition
  • 18 April 2015184. Elizabeth Bp
    I support this petition
  • 12 April 2015183. Diomar C
    we should treat everyone the same. we are all human beings!!!
  • 06 April 2015182. Stanley D
    I support this petition
  • 04 March 2015181. Fladu F
    the federal officers and whomever put this plan together are also illegal immigrants, had the indians deported their forefathers the same way they feel empowered to do now then none of us would be here. if they were allowed to stay then why cant everyone
  • 25 February 2015180. Max R
    I support this petition
  • 21 February 2015179. Chris Wise
    I support this petition
  • 18 February 2015178. Marlo P
    I support this petition
  • 07 February 2015177. Regina W
    New Bedford Immigration raid is a result of the powerful against to the powerless people. As human beings we all deserve and have the right to be treated respectfully and Slavery it is illegal and morally wrong.
  • 16 January 2015176. Martine G
    I support this petition
  • 14 January 2015175. Lisa B
    I support this petition
  • 21 December 2014174. Michael S
    Mordern day slavery in full affect

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Information

Megan EscobarBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy & Congressman Barney Frank

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