Cross posted from InMuscatine
POSTVILLE, Iowa — Antonio Escobedo ran to get his wife Monday when he saw a helicopter circling overhead and immigration agents approaching the meatpacking plant where they both work. The couple hid for hours inside the plant before obtaining refuge in the pews and hall at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, where hundreds of other Guatemalan and Mexican families gathered, hoping to avoid arrest.
Quaint. Unfortunately, there is no “get out of jail free” card tacked on the door of any church. The right of “sanctuary” has never been codified in American law that we have ever seen. Frankly, we are upset at the incompetence of the immigration officials if this story is true – nobody should have been able to hide for hours inside that plant.
And while we are on the subject, we would like to know exactly when being a reporter was a “get out of jail free” card when it came to being an accomplice to a crime. If such provisions exist in American law, we would like to see them repealed and the punishment stiffened by at least double. We tire of reporters being able to shield lawbreakers and fugitives because they are “working a story”. Being a reporter does not excuse you from your civic duties, and that should include harboring, aiding, or otherwise abetting illegal aliens.
Monday’s raid on the Agriprocessors plant, in which 389 immigrants were arrested and many held at a cattle exhibit hall, was the Bush administration’s largest crackdown on illegal workers at a single site. It has upended this tree-lined community, which calls itself “Hometown to the World.” Half of the school system’s 600 students were absent Tuesday, including 90 percent of Hispanic children, because their parents were arrested or in hiding.
To which we add – GOOD! Let those who break laws know fear for every waking moment. We care not the color of their skin, and they have surely shown the content of their character. Let fear be their companion every waking moment of the rest of their lives until they come here legally.
Current and former officials of the Department of Homeland Security say its raid on the largest employer in northeast Iowa reflects the administration’s decision to put pressure on companies with large numbers of illegal immigrant workers, particularly in the meat industry. But its disruptive impact on the nation’s largest supplier of kosher beef and on the surrounding community has provoked renewed criticism that the administration is disproportionately targeting workers instead of employers, and that the resulting turmoil is worse than the underlying crimes.
“They don’t go after employers. They don’t put CEOs in jail,” complained the Postville Community Schools superintendent, David Strudthoff, 51, who said the sudden incarceration of more than 10 percent of the town’s population of 2,300 “is like a natural disaster — only this one is manmade.”
We tire of people seemingly incapable of logic. How can one hold an employer liable for civil or criminal penalties if they themselves have been “duped” by forged documents? It’s like shutting down the corner convenience store if some kid buys beer with the world’s best fake ID. Personally, we wish to see David Strudthoff arrested for counterfeiting the next time he is discovered be to holding a phony $20 bill.
The odds say we have all had a fake bill, at one time or another. We probably never suspected, never knew and didn’t care. Since ol’ Dave wants employers to be instant experts in document authenticity, perhaps he should be held to the exact same standard.
Let us not forget – in addition to illegal immigration enforcement the charges alleged in this raid also dealt with I.D. theft. We know the Washington Post saw fit to bury this in the last third of the story, but it is perhaps the most important part.
Many would have us believe that illegal immigration is a “victimless” crime – we beg to differ. There are many people all across America who have had their lives ruined by ID theft, and no doubt a large percentage of these people had their lives and credit ruined by illegal aliens.
Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) said enforcement efforts against corporations that commit immigration violations have “plummeted” under the Bush administration. “Until we enforce our immigration laws equally against both employers and employees who break the law, we will continue to have a problem,” he said.
Congressman Braley, you are a pandering idiot. There is no equality in enforcement of the law, as employers and employees are held to very different standards. We don’t recall any statistic which points to the jails of this land being filled with people who present false documentation as part of the hiring process. If that were to include “resume padding”, we advance the idea our prisons would be bursting at the seems from this crime alone.
Instead of pandering to those breaking the law, maybe – just maybe – you can get off your duff, buck your party and actually do something about enforcing the laws of this land as you swore to do when taking your oath of office! Remember this :
“I, Bruce Braley, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’’
We note there is absolutely no mention of party in that paragraph. So get off your pandering ass and start upholding and defending the Constitution as you swore to do!
Of the adults, 306 face criminal charges for aggravated identity theft and other crimes related to the use of false documents.
Wow. That reporter must be plumb tuckered out devoting so much energy to the reporting of the other crimes alleged in this raid. It makes Callista Flockhart seem downright obese. Let’s put those numbers in perspective – out of nearly 400 people arrested, 306 are facing ID theft charges. To be precise – 78.66% of those arrested. Postville’s entire economy was based on a lie. It was based on crime. It does not deserve to continue.
“The problem is, who is going to do the work?” said Stephen G. Bloom, a University of Iowa journalism professor who wrote a 2000 book on the clash of cultures in Postville as Agriprocessors’ Lubavitch Jewish leaders gained influence in the mostly Lutheran town. “This is a no-win situation.”
Ahhh, yes. What would any sob story article be without the obligatory quote from a Liberal academician? We will tell you who will do the work, Mr. Bloom – Americans. Americans will do the work but not at third-world wages. What will happen is what happened at other plants raided in America, which is the wages will rise and Americans will once again fill the jobs that allegedly no American will do.
It is very much a win-win situation and not the no-win you paint, Mr. Bloom. Wages will rise, Americans will be employed gainfully once again, the economy will thrive and no longer be based on a lie.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email brianbonner90-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.