MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – President Donald Trump announced U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents plan to begin raids targeting thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country on Sunday.
There are no Minnesota cities mentioned on the list, but immigrants in one diverse town in the southwest part of the state are worried.
The population of Worthington is comprised of people representing 80 different countries, and 20% of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
The same weekend the raids will reportedly occur, Worthington is hosting its 26th annual International Festival.
“This is the perfect time for us to organize,” said Jessica Velasco, one of the volunteers helping with the festival who is also of Hispanic descent.
Velasco is an immigrant advocate in Worthington for the group Unidos MN. Her group organizes raid response training and teaches undocumented immigrants their rights.
“We don’t want our community to feel fear and powerless – that’s the big thing,” said Velasco.
Galdys Aldana has lived in Worthington the last eight years. Her mom moved to the United States from Mexico and started working at the pork processing plant in Worthington, where 200 workers were targeted by ICE agents back in 2006.
“Even my mom being a U.S. citizen, she’s still afraid,” Aldana said.
Aldana says fear of deportation could impact the festival this weekend.
“I feel like some parents or anyone is taking precaution,” Aldana said.
“If it wasn’t for the community that looks like this, Worthington would be like other rural cities in Minnesota that are dying out,” Valesco added.
Unidos MN and the United Food and Commercial Workers of America, are hosting another raid response training session. For security reasons, they are not disclosing the location.
If you’d like to participate, you can contact the organizations directly.
- Unidos MN: 763-301-1459
- UFCW: 507-376-4234