Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Immigration: a Rush to Injustice

The Boston Globe weighs in on the May ICE raid in Iowa, largest immigration raid in U.S. history: Globe Editorial: May 30, 2008

AUTHORITIES went too far when they raided Agriprocessors, an Iowa meatpacking company. Typically illegal immigrant workers face civil deportation proceedings. But this case was more drastic: workers faced criminal charges such as identity theft. In a matter of days, nearly 300 immigrants accepted a plea bargain. Most agreed to spend five months in jail and then be deported. Foul, cried the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, arguing that lawyers representing 10 or more detainees lacked sufficient time to sort out relevant details of criminal and immigration law. This rush to justice does little to solve the nation's illegal immigration woes.
Now to the "Every Cloud has a Silver Lining" Department:
My 88 year-old mom is a good barometer of how people in middle America think. When my husband and I left Iowa to work on immigration issues in Texas a couple years ago, she clearly disapproved. The mainstream media moulded her opinion, and it wasn't pro-immigrant. Now, after observing the situation in Postville (from her vantage point just 65 miles away), she is outraged. "What they did to those people just is not right!" she vents with the venom she usually reserves for GWB.

ICE is turning the hearts of middle America. Our immigration laws are not in sync with reality. We need to pressure our leaders to face facts and resolve this mess.
And from the "BTW" Department:
* The Iowa Independent reports that the Iowa Division of Labor Services fined the Agriprocessors plant $182,000 in March, based on 39 violations, but the fines were later reduced to $42,750. [emphasis mine]

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