Christine Stuart photo
Yale Law Student Simon Moshenberg (Christine Stuart photo)

A small group of immigration and workers rights advocates gathered outside Hartford’s U.S. District Court Friday to support the Danbury 11 and a California court’s decision to end the “No-Match Letter Program.”

Yale Law Student Simon Moshenberg, who is helping defend 9 of the 11 undocumented workers swept up by an undercover Danbury police officer on Sept. 19, 2006, said the judge postponed the release of the ruling in their deportation case, but remains optimistic the court took its arguments in the case seriously.

He said the Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport the men based on their illegal arrest. He said no state or local police officers are allowed to make immigration arrests on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

In this case, an undercover Danbury police officer picked the 11 men up and told them he was taking them to a worksite, then delivered them to I.C.E. officials, Moshenberg said. For an in-depth interview with Moshenberg check out his interview with the Hat City Blog here.

Andrew Schneider, executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, applauded a California court’s decision to put on hold new rules that would require companies to fire employees whose names do not match their Social Security numbers. He said Friday that the Department of Homeland Security had been trying to use the “No-Match” rule as a tool in immigration enforcement when it’s full of inconsistencies. He said the Social Security Administration is not supposed to be in the business of immigration enforcement.

David Lenzner, a Trinity College student from Stop the Raids!, said the “No-Match” program “directly targets hardworking men and women in an effort to destruct union forces.” He said I.C.E., like the “No-Match” program intends to keep workers from fighting for decent wages and conditions while “inducing terror in our community here in Hartford as well as all over the nation.”

Lenzer encouraged the public to attend a “Free the Danbury 11” parade on Monday, Oct. 15. He said supporters will meet at the Trinfo Café at 7 a.m. and at 7:30 a.m. start marching toward Hartford’s U.S. District Court, 450 Main St.