The Oregonian is running a fascinating story about fallout from the feds' June raid of Portland's Fresh Del Monte Produce plant, which arrested 167 people in a sweep targeting illegal workers.
Staff writer Esmeralda Bermudez reports on "bracelet women"–the 30 or so former Del Monte workers now unemployed; single mothers under house arrest here (complete with electronic tracking anklets) who are sole support for their children. They've been living on donations from sympathetic folks in Portland and beyond, and have banded together to raise additional money from selling homemade Mexican food, as well as pool their resources of clothing, toys, household supplies and other crucial things.
The effort isn't a perfect system; some women with other financial support took money from the group under false pretenses. Anti-immigrant feelings run hot and hateful rhetoric is spewed about those who break the law to come into the country in search of decent wages. But the bracelet women are hanging in there, waiting for their slow-grinding court cases to play out.
"For many of the women, the group has been a refuge," writes Bermudez. "It has made waiting for deportation more tolerable."