Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prayers for immigrant taxi drivers in Philly

On Wed., June 30, 26 Philadelphia taxi drivers arrived at the Philadelphia Parking Authority's garage on Swanson Street expecting to be paid for credit card transactions still owed to them. When they got there, however, the majority of them were handcuffed and detained by Immigration and Customs enforcement agents for being in the United States without documentation. According to a report filed July 2 by the Philadelphia Daily News' Gloria Campisi, "all but four were released but their names were placed on a deportation list." She added "Two of the three cleared drivers identified themselves as American citizens and said that the experience had been harrowing and humiliating and that they, too, had been handcuffed and interrogated." According to Campisi, the ICE spokesperson said "those arrested were from the United Kingdom, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Jamaica, Ivory Coast and India." Wed., July 7 at noon, the Unified Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, members of the New Sanctuary Movement, Juntos-Philadelphia, the IWW, the Media Mobilizing Project and people of faith from throughout the city joined in a prayer vigil
in support of the drivers and their families. One of the apprehended taxi drivers slated for deportation attended the prayer vig
il - wearing an ankle monitoring device. Photos by Sam Williams for the Catholic Standard & Times.

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