Neocons who scream against “illegal aliens” are all for Law and Order. One July 27 counter-protestor’s sign in Postville IA (site of ICE raid May 12) read “What would Jesus Do? Obey the Law.” Leaving aside her failure to grasp the Christian Scripture, we can accept her emphasis on obedience as characteristic of the right wing.
Good. Let’s all obey the law. Let’s enforce all the laws. Let’s begin at the top of the Postville, IA food chain.
Point 1: Federal Government
Congress heard testimony July 24 that the government process used to arrest and convict undocumented workers in Iowa in May was illegal and violated the immigrants’ due process rights. Our democratic principles hang in the balance; “a line was crossed at Postville” according to government interpreter Erik Camayd-Freixas.
Point 2: State Government
Residents of Iowa should enjoy the protection of the state’s Civil Rights Commission and the Department of the Attorney General. Children should not be sent out of state without parental consent and approval. Some alarming initial (although as yet undocumented) reports from Postville indicate this may have occurred after the raid.
Point 3: Agriprocessors
Corporations need to follow the laws of the land. When corporate employees provide illegal identification to workers, there must be corporate accountability for their actions and corporate repercussions for the failure to adequately monitor. Why has no upper management been charged at Agriprocessors?
Further, the New York Times reported on July 27 that when federal agents raided the kosher meatpacking plant in May and rounded up 389 illegal immigrants, they found more than 20 under-age workers, some as young as 13. Perhaps our nation needs to first regulate “illegal jobs” as a means of regulating illegal immigration. Let’s put the emphasis on the proper syllable.
While conservatives beller about “protecting our borders,” the Constitution, the labor laws, the environment, our moral system, and our family values are teetering. Let’s think about protecting the core and the foundation of our nation before we get overly concerned about the margins.