For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
May 11, 2023
Contact: Erik,

Baldomero Orozco Files Civil Rights Complaint Against ICE and DHS for Violating Worker’s Free Speech and Workers Rights

ICE continues to harass and target families torn apart in 2019 workplace raids 

“I could deport you at any time, you know?” ICE Officer Francisco Ayala, present when ICE arrested Mr. Orozco Juarez at his ICE check-in on April 12, 2023

Jackson, MISSISSIPPI On Tuesday May 9, on behalf of Mr. Baldomero Orozco Juarez, organizations filed a civil rights complaint with the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and with its Office of Inspector General (OIG). The complaint details how the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest and targeting of Mr. Orozco Juarez is a violation of his 1st Amendment free speech rights and violates DHS’ own policy.

The complaint, directed to CRCL and the OIG, requests an investigation and deportation forbearance for Baldomero, making clear how this specific ICE enforcement is severely impacting migrant workers’ free speech, and Baldomero’s rights specifically:

DHS officials appear to have violated the First Amendment and DHS guidance by arresting and refusing to release Mr. Orozco Juarez. The full history of his constitutionally protected activity and harassment by ICE … points to a retaliatory motive for the decision to arrest Mr. Orozco Juarez… [S]ince that decision, ICE’s senior official with the authority to release Mr. Orozco Juarez has revealed that First Amendment protected activity has been collected, maintained, and used to refuse his release, contrary to constitutional guarantees and DHS guidance…  

Baldomero was one of the key indigenous Mayan workers and community leaders in central Mississippi that spoke about the ongoing impact of ICE’s 2019 workplace raids and about the abuses that migrant workers confront in the construction and poultry industries. On April 12, 2023, ICE arrested Baldomero at his immigration check-in and transferred him to a migrant detention prison in Jena, Louisiana for deportation.

“ICE deliberately targeting Baldomero is sending a despicable message to workers across the poultry industry, and serves as a continuation of the harms caused by ICE’s workplace raids – the family separation, the intimidation, the assault on workers free speech,” said Jeremy Jong, staff attorney for Al Otro Lado.  “Baldomero’s courageous voice, speaking up about the realities for migrant workers in the US south, helped inform and inspire the recent federal policy to protect migrant workers that denounce workplace abuse.”

The organizations that that filed the complaint on behalf of Mr. Orozco Juarez include the Immigrant Alliance for Justice & Equity of Mississippi (IAJE of MS), Al Otro Lado, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Read the full complaint here