Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Illegal immigrants dumped in Mexico

Jannise Johnson:

Day laborer activists on Wednesday called for a full investigation into the alleged kidnapping of six workers driven from the Inland Valley to Tijuana last week and abandoned.

Advocates for the day laborers said three people were approached in Rancho Cucamonga and offered employment on May 9, before they were taken to the Ontario Convention Center where they were joined by three other day laborers.

According to day-laborer organizers, the six workers were tied up and driven to Tijuana where they were abandoned.

News of the alleged kidnapping had been circulating via e-mail in the past week by immigrant-rights groups that initially blamed members of the Minuteman Project.

Robin Hvidston, a Minuteman Project rally organizer, said the group supports the humane treatment of all day laborers and there is no proof that the Minuteman Project was involved in any way.

"Day laborers have the right to stand on public sidewalk," Hvidston said.

"We have no business to get them off the sidewalk and to cause any harm to the day laborers, that's a horrifying thought."

She said allegations the Minuteman Project was involved have since been removed in e-mails and Web sites.

The sister of one of the victims reported the crime last week to Upland police, San Bernardino County Sheriff's detective Jesse Venegas said.

Detectives at the Rancho Cucamonga sheriff's station recently took over the case because the incident started at Grove Avenue and Arrow Highway in their city. Venegas said detectives are working to identify the victims and the suspects.

About 15 day laborers and their supporters gathered Wednesday to call for police to do an in-depth investigation.

Man Picks Up Illegal Day Laborers, Dumps them in Tijuana

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