Central Coast farmworkers oppose processing center
March 6, 2014
Central Coast farmworkers are strongly objecting to a proposed Santa Maria facility for processing convicted criminals who are illegal immigrants.
Immigrants would be photographed and fingerprinted in the facility before being transferred to Southern California or deported. Federal and local officials had viewed the facility as non-controversial.
However, many immigrant farmworkers view the transfer station as a powerful symbol of the U.S. deportation machinery and have threaten to take their labor elsewhere. Farmers worry that if Santa Maria gets a reputation as being hostile to farm laborers, the local economy could collapse.
The proposed Santa Maria center would hold a maximum of 13 people who have been release after serving criminal sentences. They would spend about four hours being processed at the facility.
David Marin, office director for ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, said they do not do raids or workforce enforcement.