Looking for Freedom

In the Peach State, local police are dealing with another issue. Hispanic immigrants come to America looking for a better life, but in Bainbridge, Georgia, many are forced to live in fear. City police say at least one migrant worker is attacked and robbed each week, and it has to stop.

Police say these attacks are common during prime farming season as the immigrants come here to find work. Now, even though summer is over, police say many of the workers have settled here and the beatings are becoming even more frequent.

Every summer, Hispanic immigrants come in droves from their native lands to Bainbridge, ready to work hard and then bring that money back home. The farming season may be over, but police say migrant workers in the city are still being violently beaten and robbed on a weekly basis.

Police say many Hispanic immigrants have decided to settle here permanently. They say the ones who don't speak English at all are the most frequent targets."

"They're not local, they don't have access to vehicles that much, they walk the streets, they work in the labor camps and they carry their belongings and whatever currency they have with them," says Robert Humphrey, Investigator, Bainbridge Public Safety.

Most immigrants declined interviews, except for one man who says he has faith in local police, but police say as soon as darkness falls on these streets, so does the migrants' level of safety.

Several arrests have been made in migrant beating cases, but police say the victims are often too frightened to press charges. Police are advising all migrant workers to travel in groups, especially at night, and leave their cash at home.


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