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OPPERATION WAGON TRAIN!!!!
December 13, 2006 7:14 PM   Subscribe

OPPERATION WAGON TRAIN!!!! The ICE just launched raids of meat packing plants in six states (Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Minnesota). Workers are seperated by skin color and the Hispanic looking ones scrutinized. Here in Iowa, an Infant is now without her mother. Just in time for the hollidays
posted by delmoi (108 comments total)

 
You didn't mention the phrase "illegal alien" anywhere in your post. And yes I know they fucked up and deported a US citizen.

Anyway, this entire thing is an exercise in futility. I'm sure everyone they're deporting will be back in the US in a week tops.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:21 PM on December 13, 2006


Good.
posted by matkline at 7:26 PM on December 13, 2006


So wait, we're not supposed to sort workers by color and it's also an outrage that an American citizen felt like an illegal alien during the raid? I don't think we should be sorting people by color, but if we do, every single American citizen will experience exactly what she experienced.

It's tragic that mothers and separated from children, but that's a tragic consequence of enforcing plenty of laws. Sometimes, we have to take mothers away from their children, it's sad, but that's life. Also, this is not your usual round up of illegal immigrants, these people are using SSNs stolen from real people. This is a very real crime, with very real victims.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:32 PM on December 13, 2006


Interestingly, the employer was apparently using the Federal Basic Pilot Program to confirm the legal status of employees, but the employees had convincing fraudulent identification, apparently using the names and social security numbers of citizens or legal residents. The feds made these raids because of the privacy/identity theft implications. I'm guessing that there might be more than simple deportations over legal status here: the government might go for fraud convictions.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:34 PM on December 13, 2006


Who got deported? They detained some people, they have not deported anyone yet.

Also, this was not a random raid, they were serving warrants.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:42 PM on December 13, 2006


It doesn't just happen to brown folks.
posted by photoslob at 7:45 PM on December 13, 2006


So wait, we're not supposed to sort workers by color and it's also an outrage that an American citizen felt like an illegal alien during the raid? I don't think we should be sorting people by color, but if we do, every single American citizen will experience exactly what she experienced.
That's sophistry.

The outrage is not merely "an American citizen felt like an illegal alien", it is that an American citizen was made to feel like an illegal alien by the government specifically and only because of the color of her skin.
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 PM on December 13, 2006


No one wants to do the work these illegals do, nor do the corporate bosses want to pay wages for legit workers, nor do consumers want to pay for goods or services made by legal residents. And yet so much hate.

It boils down to "them durn furriners, by an accident of birth they're not as privileged as I am! Fuck 'em!"

Mix equal parts ignorance and racism and here we are. Bread and circuses. Plus a lot of law-and-order idiots who get wood when they see strapping young men wearing riot gear and yelling "hut hut" are made happy.

Yeehaw.
posted by maxwelton at 7:56 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, if we didn't hate the people who perform the tasks no one else is willing to do, it wouldn't be long before we start liking them, and feeling sorry for the crap they have to do, and promote them to something above shoveling shit... but then who would shovel shit? Robots, obviously. Fuckin' robots stealin' our jorbes.
posted by wumpus at 8:09 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in Atlanta, Lou Dobbs is making his O-face.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:09 PM on December 13, 2006 [3 favorites]


Futile. The more illegal aliens you deport, the wages go up for the remainder. The rising wages attract more aliens. The wages go back to where they were before only when the supply of aliens reaches the same level. Econ 101.

Politicians are not serious about solving the "problem" of illegal immigration until they start throwing the employers in prison. Until then, stop wasting money on "shows" like this.
posted by swell at 8:10 PM on December 13, 2006


I disagree. I think the real outrage is that anyone would be descrminated against because of their skin color by the US Government. If they are tracking down people with illegal SSNs, there are other ways than "rounding up all the browns" and making them stand in line. I think they were just using the stolen SSNs as an excuse to round up all the illegals.

I mean, this leads to a whole other debate, but something needs to be done to eliminate this obscene discrimination and racism.

Ive lived in Southern California for 22 years. I saw first hand what illegal and legal immigrants were like. I know that mexican nationals or mexican americans would primarily perform manual labor jobs for under the table wages. Many times, they are taken advantage of and paid under the minimum wage. There needs to be a way to allow immigrants into the country. There are over 15 million people in the Los Angeles area. There are hundreds of thousands of acres in the Los Angeles area alone that are empty and vacant. There are thousands of jobs for spanish speaking people or bilingual persons in that area. I dont believe that our country or economy couldnt (read: doesnt want to) support 5-10 million more immigrants.

We could constantly live with the attitude we had in teh 80s. The borders would be closed but immigrants would still have rights. This is quickly becoming a country I detest.
posted by subaruwrx at 8:12 PM on December 13, 2006


I disagree. I think the real outrage is that anyone would be descrminated against because of their skin color by the US Government.
In what way do you disagree? That's essentially what I said.
posted by Flunkie at 8:16 PM on December 13, 2006


I took your statement to mean that you were outraged thet American citizens were being mistreated. I wanted to emphasize that we should be outraged that anyone should be mistreated like this.

Sorry... Yeah, What he said.
posted by subaruwrx at 8:21 PM on December 13, 2006


mexican americans would primarily perform manual labor jobs for under the table wages. Many times, they are taken advantage of and paid under the minimum wage.

are you sure you know what "mexican-american" means?
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2006


A friend of mine is a teacher in Grand Island, NE. He told me that the superintendent kept schools open to house the suddenly-refugee students.

There's a bunch of articles about the various impacts in the Grand Island Independent, but they're all behind a registration wall, so I can't link to them.
posted by dw at 8:29 PM on December 13, 2006


"Also, this is not your usual round up of illegal immigrants, these people are using SSNs stolen from real people. This is a very real crime, with very real victims."

Yeah, those damn identity theives, contributing to my SS account.
Hey illegal immigrants, wanna get jobbed by FICA for me?
posted by klangklangston at 8:40 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


I have such mixed feelings about this stuff. I don't want anyone separated from their families or to lose their livlihood, but damnit, they're in the country ILLEGALLY. They are breaking laws. Using false and/or stolen SSN's. Everything about them being here is illegal, so of course they have to expect repercussions when caught. It's sad, it sucks, but you're breaking the damn laws of the country.

However, why do the employers get off scot free? I work in a plastic bag factory where 99% of the "bag catchers" are hispanic. I asked the HR person about hiring illegals and she says every single hire produced a SS card. That's it. That's all they do. I bet that a percentage aren't legal. But they've done what they legally have to do. I don't know how I would feel if they were persecuted for hiring illegals. SHould they have done more?

Sure, there are some people who want to get rid of all immigrants, but most people just have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants. My ancestors came in legally, why can't you? The more legal immigrants the better. But if you don't respect our major laws from the beginning, it's not a good sign.

I don't agree that "americans don't want the jobs." I think lots of americans would want the jobs, but they don't want it at the prices they are paid. If they raise the wages, they raise the prices of everything that's made. So people have to choose-cheap labor & products or enforce the laws? That seems to be something most people liek to overlook. Personally, I'd rather the higher prices, but I"m not usually crunched for cash.

The whole situation sucks all the way around and that's why it's the hot potato it is right now.
posted by aacheson at 8:40 PM on December 13, 2006


Merry Christmas. Working at one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, and now this, a few weeks before Christmas.

I hear that GWB had no questions to ask after the Iraq Study Group gave their report.

That's his M.O. no questions, because our president doesn't know shit. If he were to ask a question, he might have to involve himself in a....dialogue, a discussion, a debate.

But...he is The Decider. The Dictator.
posted by kozad at 8:49 PM on December 13, 2006


If the agents in this case sorted people by color, that's a problem, but it doesn't make rounding up people who violate our immigration laws wrong. Also, I think we need to be careful to call this "discrimination". It's a bad policy because it makes it easy to miss certain illegal immigrants and because it makes the US look bad, but unless they deported someone simply for being too dark, I don't see how anyone's rights were violated.

Don't get me wrong, I love immigration, it's a good thing and it makes this country stronger and better. The flip side of that, is that we can't just open our borders to everyone. We just can't support everyone who wants to be here. I'm all for letting more people in, but if we do that, we have to enforce the limits we set. Letting certain people get around those limits simply because they can get here without trying very hard is not a good way to run things.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:49 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm missing the "separated by color" part here.

she and others were forced to stand in a line by U.S. immigration agents. Non-Latinos and people with lighter skin were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets. The rest, mostly Latinos with brown skin, waited until they were 'cleared' or arrested

So actually, they were not separated, they were all lined up together and cleared or arrested one by one. Most, but not all, of those left after the initial screening were latinos and they too were either released or arrested.

It sucks, but isn't that what serving a warrant is all about?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:09 PM on December 13, 2006


So wait, we're not supposed to sort workers by color and it's also an outrage that an American citizen felt like an illegal alien during the raid? I don't think we should be sorting people by color, but if we do, every single American citizen will experience exactly what she experienced.

They would? I was under the impression that police could not detain people and demand identification. If that impression is wrong, I don't see any reason why different standards should apply to different people based on skin color. I'd rather not live in a country where white people get liberty, freedom and apple pie and everyone else gets to live in a "papers please" police state.
mexican americans would primarily perform manual labor jobs for under the table wages. Many times, they are taken advantage of and paid under the minimum wage.
are you sure you know what "mexican-american" means?


Actually a lot of the ethnic Mexicans who do menial jobs are U.S. Citizens, sometimes children of illegal born here. Other times they're not Mexican at all, but poor Puerto Ricans.

So actually, they were not separated, they were all lined up together and cleared or arrested one by one. Most, but not all, of those left after the initial screening were latinos and they too were either released or arrested.

The way I read it, everyone lined up, and non-latino people were pulled out of the line out of order.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 PM on December 13, 2006


It amazes me how quickly white anglo saxon americans forget how their ancestors got here in the first place. I bet many of the people being deported can trace their ancestors on this continent further back than some of the same people doing the deporting.
posted by hangingbyathread at 9:17 PM on December 13, 2006


Meh, if these illegals want to enter and take over, they should probably take a look at a history book and start doing it right.

Guns and disease beat living in fear and hard labour any day of the week.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:25 PM on December 13, 2006


They didn't just randomly walk in an ask everyone for papers, they were executing a search warrant. If we don't allow immigration to check people when they execute a warrant, I have no idea how you expect them to do their jobs.

Also, hanging, how long your ancestors have lived on this continent is completely immaterial. My ancestors have lived on this continent longer than many people living in Canada, it doesn't give me the right to go live there if I want. I have to abide by their laws, just like these people should abide by ours.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:26 PM on December 13, 2006


They didn't just randomly walk in an ask everyone for papers, they were executing a search warrant. If we don't allow immigration to check people when they execute a warrant, I have no idea how you expect them to do their jobs.
Did you RTFA? The issue is not that they "checked people" while executing a warrant.

This is the issue:
Non-Latinos and people with lighter skin were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets.

The rest, mostly Latinos with brown skin, waited until they were 'cleared' or arrested by 'la migra,' the popular name in Spanish for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), employees said.
posted by Flunkie at 9:35 PM on December 13, 2006


They didn't just randomly walk in an ask everyone for papers

I don't see how those two statements are exclusive.

If we don't allow immigration to check people when they execute a warrant, I have no idea how you expect them to do their jobs.

Simple answer: Who cares? If they can't do their job without harassing and hauling thousands of potentially innocent people to undisclosed locations, it's probably not a job that ought to be done. In some locations all immigrants, regardless of status were taken away, children were left without parents. Legal or not it shouldn't happen.
posted by delmoi at 9:38 PM on December 13, 2006


Non-Latinos and people with lighter skin were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets

If you play around with Venn diagrams for a while, you'll notice that this could well be taken to imply:
Non-Latinos, and people with lighter skin (including some Latinos) were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets...
posted by uosuaq at 9:39 PM on December 13, 2006


Flunkie, Did you read the rest of the thread?

delmoi claimed that this raid was forcing people with dark skin to live in a "papers please" style police state. I was just pointing out that this was in response to a legal search warrant, and thus, there's little reason to fear that this was some how totalitarian.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:40 PM on December 13, 2006


(The implication being that they were essentially separating people based on both race *and* color, prior to checking into their backgrounds. I just don't see how one can defend that.)
posted by uosuaq at 9:41 PM on December 13, 2006


Did you RTFA? The issue is not that they "checked people" while executing a warrant.

Did you? It looks like that is exactly what they did. You are also getting one woman's perspective in the article.

It amazes me how quickly white anglo saxon americans forget how their ancestors got here in the first place. I bet many of the people being deported can trace their ancestors on this continent further back than some of the same people doing the deporting.

I think that we need to be careful to distinguish between the law enforcement agents that do their sucky jobs and the voters that elect "get tough on illegals" ideologues into office require the agents' jobs to get pointlessly suckier. The people "doing the deporting" in this case are the voters. This is what they asked for.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:46 PM on December 13, 2006


Should have previewed.

demoi, which two statements? If you mean you're not sure how executing a legal search warrant is different from a random search, then I don't think there's much help for you. One is conducted with the consent of a judge, with a certain level of evidence, and with legal protections. This is how our legal system works, and it's generally a pretty good system. The other is an exercise of arbitrary power, that is dangerous and should be feared. I'm not sure how anyone could seriously claim that the two are indistinguishable.

As for the second point, immigration enforcement does frequently demand aggressive tactics. The same is true of criminal law enforcement. Both are valid, useful things for the state to do, because these are valid, useful laws that need enforcing. Clearly, we have to set limits on how aggressively these laws can be enforced, but that's not an argument for setting those limits so strictly that the laws can not be enforced.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:50 PM on December 13, 2006


I think that we need to be careful to distinguish between the law enforcement agents that do their sucky jobs and the voters that elect "get tough on illegals" ideologues into office require the agents' jobs to get pointlessly suckier. The people "doing the deporting" in this case are the voters. This is what they asked for.
Again, I really don't think the issue here is whether illegal immigrants should be deported. Of course I'm sure some people think it's not a good idea, but hey, they're *illegal*, obviously there's a case to be made. I just don' t think that's what this story is about.
posted by uosuaq at 9:50 PM on December 13, 2006


Bulgaroktonos, I beg to differ. Borders serve no purpose beyond causing conflict between fellow humans and as a foothold for rascist thought and tendencies. If I have the determination to make an honest life for myself somewhere else, who has the omnipotence to tell me I can't? Surely not American lawmakers who dispossessed these land in the first place.
posted by hangingbyathread at 9:57 PM on December 13, 2006 [2 favorites]


As for the second point, immigration enforcement does frequently demand aggressive tactics.
Okay, once more, it's not about these people being surprised on their jobs and made to line up. The news stories we have at the moment suggest that after being lined up, people who didn't look Hispanic (whether Hispanic or not, legal or not) were let go, and people who did (whether Hispanic or not, legal or not) were, apparently, packed onto buses and then I don't know what. It doesn't actually matter what happened after that. Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but that seems wrong to me. It's not the same as taking a few six-foot tall guys in green jackets in to the station because the suspect was six feet tall and wearing a green jacket. This is taking certain intrusive, disruptive "enforcement" tactics and applying them to all and only those people who resemble the popular image of a certain race or ethnicity. I call shenanigans.
posted by uosuaq at 10:04 PM on December 13, 2006


Not to derail this into a discussion of the merits of borders, but I completely disagree. Society needs rules, in modern complex societies that means laws. You might disagree about the merits of anarchy, but until we see functioning anarchy on a large level, I'm unconviced. In the absence of some unified world state, territorially defined polities are how we make and enforce those laws. The ability to exclude people from that territory is one of the most basic powers necessary to accomplish that. Without this, there effectively would be no state. The ability to move easily in and out of the zone of the state's control renders it effectively useless. Do we actually need to limit the number of people who come into this country to ensure the survival of the state? Of course not, but we need to have that power. If we decide to exercise that power, that's a legitimate policy choice.

Reasonable people can disagree about the necessity of borders, but the fact is that they are. Illegal immigrants are not making some bold stand against the racist idea of borders, they are trying to do something they know is against the law, and if they get caught they should expect to suffer the consequences.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:10 PM on December 13, 2006


Hey, is anyone here else worried about the baby?

I mean, yeah, we should enforce our laws. But I think we should enforce illegal immigration laws with a little bit more consideration for the fact that many are not simply individuals living on their own; a lot of them have families. The least that could be done is to allow candidates for deportation to let their family know and make arrangements for care of children who cannot care for themselves.

It might take more time and money. Maybe it's not the job of the law enforcement in the United States, but I think it at least is a decent thing to do. Illegal immigrants might be criminals, but they're a lot worse off because they aren't citizens, yeah? They don't get the rights of a criminal citizen. But what about the kids? Are we going to place th burden of their parents illegal actions on the children as well?

Hearing about the baby just... gah.
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:12 PM on December 13, 2006


demoi, which two statements? If you mean you're not sure how executing a legal search warrant is different from a random search, then I don't think there's much help for you.

Re-reading my comment it seems I mis-pasted. I meant these two statements:

1) They didn't just randomly walk in an ask everyone for papers

2) they were executing a search warrant.

I was just pointing out that this was in response to a legal search warrant, and thus, there's little reason to fear that this was some how totalitarian.

First of all, having a warrant doesn't give the police free reign. It only allows them search the specific things listed. I don't know what was on the warrant and neither do you, but police often overstep their bounds.

Secondly, let's assume that the warrant did call for the checking of everyone there. I don't understand why you think that makes this OK, if an action is totalitarian, it's still totalitarian if it has the right paperwork filed or not. Certainly judges can be just as totalitarian as any other branch of government.

Warrants are thrown out of court for being unconstitutional all the time. A warrant just mean that a search was constitutional, it just means one judge thought it might be, without hearing any counter arguments.

So I'm not certain that the search was executed appropriately, or that it was constitutional.

But beyond that, the fundamental question was whether or not it was right. I can't think of any moral or ethical system where the rightness of an action is Dependant on the paperwork filed on it. What does paperwork have to do with morality? What does it have to do with totalitarianism? Nazis loved paperwork.

finally, you never responded to the issue of singling out Latinos for "special scrutiny" while letting white people off without any hassle.
posted by delmoi at 10:14 PM on December 13, 2006


Interestingly, the employer was apparently using the Federal Basic Pilot Program to confirm the legal status of employees, but the employees had convincing fraudulent identification, apparently using the names and social security numbers of citizens or legal residents.

I know someone in HR at a big electrical firm in the DC area and they use this program also. They use it to cover their own ass while continuing to hire illegals. They'll say, "Carlos says you're a good worker, but you need the SSN before we can hire you... don't you know any way to get a SSN? Maybe you can talk to your amigo Carlos and see how he did it..." It's like a drug test where they know that you use but then hire you anyway only to blackmail you keeping quiet about short/late paychecks, dangerous work conditions, or shoddy work/over billing. This is just one place that I know about. It's not everywhere, but just because these packing plants are "following the rules" does not make them innocent.

Which is why I think the an interesting angle of the story is that ICE went after the meat industry. They are politically active and consistent republican donors. The Order Denying Injunction to Swift & Co. to Block ICE Raids from tpm is interesting reading in this regard.
posted by peeedro at 10:14 PM on December 13, 2006


The news stories we have at the moment suggest...

And that seems to be a big problem. The news story has one perspective for the events in question, the perspective of one woman, though it is careful to use disclaimers "mostly Latinos" were left in the lines, not only Latinos.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:16 PM on December 13, 2006


Mexican-Americans = US Citizens of Mexican decent
Mexican Nationals = Mexican citizens.

I dont care if they are here legally or illegally, they are still humans and while in this country, they still deserve the rights afforded "ALL MEN" under the constitution.
posted by subaruwrx at 10:17 PM on December 13, 2006


"Illegal immigrants are not making some bold stand against the racist idea of borders, they are trying to do something they know is against the law...."

They are trying to make a better life for themselves. Who are you or I to say they can't or shouldn't? I believe in laws and the states right to enforce laws but if the only law they are breaking is crossing a border well, I think you know by now where I stand on that.
posted by hangingbyathread at 10:17 PM on December 13, 2006


It might take more time and money. Maybe it's not the job of the law enforcement in the United States, but I think it at least is a decent thing to do. Illegal immigrants might be criminals, but they're a lot worse off because they aren't citizens, yeah? They don't get the rights of a criminal citizen.

Exactly, it's a question of Decency and it's a question of Dignity. It's about dehumanizing people and treating them like garbage because they belong to a different classification, a whole 12 days before Christmas even.

What the hell is wrong with treating people with a little respect?
posted by delmoi at 10:18 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm off to bed, so...last time: this is not about borders, enforcement, rules, or anarchy. It's about how our country's law enforcement treats people who are not yet known to be aliens or criminals. You shouldn't be allowed to do it the way they did, so long as our country is one whose borders deserve to be defended.
posted by uosuaq at 10:18 PM on December 13, 2006


And that seems to be a big problem. The news story has one perspective for the events in question, the perspective of one woman, though it is careful to use disclaimers "mostly Latinos" were left in the lines, not only Latinos.

Are you retarded? This happened in six different states at once how could it possibly be reported from one person's perspective? The baby stripped from her mother happened in Iowa, and the woman forced to stand in line was in Utah. Pay attention.
posted by delmoi at 10:21 PM on December 13, 2006


Nazis loved paperwork

Ding, ding, and there's the bell folks! Todays Godwin Award goes to MeFi's own Delmoi! Germans also like beer, thus beer drinkers must be evil.

First of all, having a warrant doesn't give the police free reign. It only allows them search the specific things listed. I don't know what was on the warrant and neither do you, but police often overstep their bounds.

Ah, the OJ defense. Police are often corrupt, therefore OJ didn't murder anyone. I'm betting that they had a list of names and descriptions of suspects.

finally, you never responded to the issue of singling out Latinos for "special scrutiny" while letting white people off without any hassle

I'll respond again to this: they didn't. Everyone was lined up, everyone got checked, even the non-latino white people. There were also people there with video and still cameras, I'll guarantee that, so if they did not do the above there will be heads rolling.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:29 PM on December 13, 2006


Let me deal with the last point first.

"I don't think we should be sorting people by color";"If the agents in this case sorted people by color, that's a problem"

I dealt with it. Let me say again, I don't think it's a serious legal issue unless they actually deport people for being too dark. It might be unfair, but if the people singled out were subject to the warrant, then they should be checked. The fact that agents didn't search other people doesn't change that. That said, it's a terrible policy, if it's a policy, which it probably isn't. We're probably dealing with enforcement agents trying to make their job easier, and they should be dealt with by their agency.

I also think it's highly unlikely that the warrant did not give the enforcement agents a right to check for illegal immigrants. Immigration raids are fairly commonplace, and that would mean either a)the government got an unusual limited warrant or b)the government is overstepping its bounds frequently. Obviously both are possible, but I doubt it.

As for whether or not a warrant prevents it from being police state, I think you're way off base. The key with warrants is that they ensure that there is some involvement of all the various branches of government. The legislature writes immigration laws, and the executive enforces them, subject to judicial controls. Is it possible that all three branches would coordinate themselves to, in this case, deport a legal resident? Yes, it's possible, but it's very unlikely. The "paperwork" here is a moral statement, it's a statement that we have a fairly high threshold for these sorts of actions, and that the executive will not be allowed to exercise arbitrary power in these matters.

It is possible that the warrant was bad, or that it was unconstitutional. If that's the case, then these people have a case to made in court about that. In the end, that's what keeps this from being any sort of "police state" action. The enforcement agents got authorization from a judge; these people will not be deported without some legal proceeding. This is not about "paperwork" it's about that legal protections that that paperwork represents, we have that, the Nazis didn't. It makes out paperwork mean something.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:29 PM on December 13, 2006


This happened in six different states at once how could it possibly be reported from one person's perspective? The baby stripped from her mother happened in Iowa, and the woman forced to stand in line was in Utah. Pay attention.

And the article insinuating that "people were separated by race" was about one of the raids. Pay attention.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 PM on December 13, 2006


Hmm, racial profiling. Beckons with efficiency... Unlike the often (meta) stereotypes of harassing Middle Eastern looking people for being bombers (Rudolph, Kaczynski) or pulling over black guys in expensive cars (plenty of middle class), the chances of an illegal immigrant from Mexico not looking Mexican seem pretty darn tiny to me.

Now, the resentment and insult of being a US citizen in the line up with the 'spic looking crowd'... well...
posted by anthill at 10:44 PM on December 13, 2006


Ding, ding, and there's the bell folks! Todays Godwin Award goes to MeFi's own Delmoi! Germans also like beer, thus beer drinkers must be evil.

The idea that we shouldn't mention the Nazis while measuring totalitarianism is truly idiotic. If the Nazis represent some upper bound of totalitarianism, then discussing totalitarianism without mentioning them is stifled. I know comparison's to Stalin are all the rage now, but the Bolsheviks were known for their meticulous record keeping.

The point I was making, which you haven't addressed is that simply filing paperwork does not make an act just, or moral, or even legal (since warrants and evidence gathered by using the warrants incorrectly are thrown out of court all the time). Nazi's loved paperwork, and their actions were not moral It's called a counterexample.

It's as if you claimed that no beer drinker could ever be immoral, and when someone points out that Nazis drank, you say it doesn't matter, because of Goodwin's Law.

Ah, the OJ defense. Police are often corrupt, therefore OJ didn't murder anyone. I'm betting that they had a list of names and descriptions of suspects.

Hmmm... And you think everyone taken away was on the list? They knew of 170 people suspected of identity theft, and they arrested over a thousand people. Several accounts indicate all immigrants were taken away on buses. All of them. Not that you're a mathematician.

I'll respond again to this: they didn't. Everyone was lined up, everyone got checked, even the non-latino white people.

Now you're just lying. The white people were plucked out of line the only thing checked was their skin color. this is the paragraph from the article:
she and others were forced to stand in a line by U.S. immigration agents. Non-Latinos and people with lighter skin were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets.
I'm not going to go over it word by word, anyone can read it. It does not say that everyone got checked.

--

I dealt with it. Let me say again, I don't think it's a serious legal issue unless they actually deport people for being too dark. It might be unfair

Deal with it? To hell with that.

As for whether or not a warrant prevents it from being police state, I think you're way off base. The key with warrants is that they ensure that there is some involvement of all the various branches of government.

Right well, it's not like all three branches of government can't conspire to lead us down the path of totalitarianisms. We used to have segregated society, and then that went away. If things can get better, they can get worse. It's important to guard against that. I mean for fucks sake we just got of Habeas Corpus. How that isn't totalitarian is beyond me.
posted by delmoi at 11:06 PM on December 13, 2006


Hmm, racial profiling. Beckons with efficiency... Unlike the often (meta) stereotypes of harassing Middle Eastern looking people for being bombers (Rudolph, Kaczynski) or pulling over black guys in expensive cars (plenty of middle class), the chances of an illegal immigrant from Mexico not looking Mexican seem pretty darn tiny to me.

There are plenty of illegals running around from eastern Europe too.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on December 13, 2006


I was under the impression that police could not detain people and demand identification.

Hiibel says differently—the police can demand identification from anyone suspected of criminal activity. No warrant needed. And if they were using someone else's SSN, that's criminal activity. It sucks, but it's true. Write your senators and representative and see if they give a shit.

It amazes me how quickly white anglo saxon americans forget how their ancestors got here in the first place. I bet many of the people being deported can trace their ancestors on this continent further back than some of the same people doing the deporting.

These "everyone's an immigrant" arguments are always trotted out in threads like this, and they're almost always useless. This is not an exception. I am not an immigrant; I was born in the U.S. My parents are not immigrants; they were born in the U.S.

I believe in laws and the states right to enforce laws but if the only law they are breaking is crossing a border well, I think you know by now where I stand on that.

So...states can enforce laws, and have the right to do so, but only the ones you choose? I was not aware that you had been made king.
posted by oaf at 11:12 PM on December 13, 2006


I know someone in HR at a big electrical firm in the DC area and they use this program also. They use it to cover their own ass while continuing to hire illegals. They'll say, "Carlos says you're a good worker, but you need the SSN before we can hire you... don't you know any way to get a SSN? Maybe you can talk to your amigo Carlos and see how he did it..." It's like a drug test where they know that you use but then hire you anyway only to blackmail you keeping quiet about short/late paychecks, dangerous work conditions, or shoddy work/over billing. This is just one place that I know about. It's not everywhere, but just because these packing plants are "following the rules" does not make them innocent.


This is pretty much exactly what I've experienced in food service establishments around the south.

The place I worked treated the illegals just like any other employee, but we knew they were illegal. Asking them to 'bring in your papers before we can put you on the schedule' only covered our own ass. As long as the company has convincing documentation for all thier workers, they can play innocent if/when the Feds crash the place.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:15 PM on December 13, 2006


Also, I'm not surprised that they're cracking down on illegal aliens in this country, since they're cracking down on lunch.

Yes, lunch.
posted by oaf at 11:15 PM on December 13, 2006


oaf, do you obey every law?Do you speed? Wear your seatbelt EVERY time? Should you be lined up and denied rights because of that?

What if the police set up a road block to catch people who werent wearing seatbelts and when they got a bunch of people, all of the white people were let go on the assumption that they were wearing a seat belt, but black people, brown people and basically anyone without white skin was detained for "investigation". Surely, you think that is unreasonable. True, they are breaking the law. But that is an unrealistic level of enforcement, not to mention the egregious racial undertones.

Oaf, you may be a minority, or you might not. Surely you have to agree that there are some laws you dont agree with. Everyone here has some. I think crossing borders should not really be enforced. I think its WRONG for people to be racially profiled, regardless of the crime. Detaining Indians or people who appear to be middle eastern on no basis other than their looks is wrong. Detaining Hispanics because they may be here illegal is wrong.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:25 PM on December 13, 2006


Hiibel says differently—the police can demand identification from anyone suspected of criminal activity.

This is incorrect, from your link:
United States Supreme Court decision that ruled that the United States Constitution does not prohibit police officers from demanding that a suspect give his name when he has been stopped due to a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
There are a couple of differences:

1) it's when the police have reasonable suspicion, and

2) they can ask your name, but they can't demand you show them your ID.

If that's not clear enough there's also this (under "misconceptions")
The Hiibel case does not compel a person to show identification to a police officer upon demand.
posted by delmoi at 11:30 PM on December 13, 2006


The white people were plucked out of line the only thing checked was their skin color.

Says this woman, does she actually have any idea why the people she reports were plucked out of line?. Secondly, yes, they were plucked out of line, in other words they were all put in line in the first place and then removed from the collective line that everyone was placed into regardless of race.

And you think everyone taken away was on the list? They knew of 170 people suspected of identity theft, and they arrested over a thousand people.

No, and I never said that. I think they had enough evidence of identity theft to get the raids approved, then they served the warrant which included checking the identification, for potential fraud, of every worker in the plants. Some people, according to the woman, often white or light skinned, were checked and released on site. Others were detained longer and finally others were removed to a holding facility until they were checked out and released or held under arrest. When you serve any arrest warrant you are going to follow similar proceedures, no? You kick in the door of the crack house, you go in and line everyone up. You find the lead suspects and take others in for questioning, some are released later, others are charged.

Ok, now let me address this:

The idea that we shouldn't mention the Nazis while measuring totalitarianism is truly idiotic.

First of all I was being a bit sarcastic, but really, you are comparing these raids to the rounding up of various ethnic groups for extermination? Really? They are comparable actions? Did anyone die in these raids? Has anyone even been convicted of a crime yet? This is not krystalnact here, it's a raid on a meat packing plant after a months (perhaps years) long investigation resulting in US attorneys in 6 states getting 6 separate warrants. If there is evidence of improper actions by the agents then by all means be outraged, however comparing these raids to the holocaust based on one article stating that some whites got preferential treatment according to one angry woman who did not receive preferential treatment and another stating that a baby has had trouble breastfeeding because its mother has been detained is just hysterical and hyperbolic. The ancient chinese loved paperwork too, wow.

But no, filing paperwork does not make an action just or moral. Nor does it mean on its own that the raids were completely legal, a completely different issue. It does go quite a long way towards showing legality of the raid, particularly as the raids occurred in different states and different districts. Stating that police often overstep their bounds does not mean that they did in this case either.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:57 PM on December 13, 2006


SERIOUS IMMIGRATION REFORM PLEASE! That goddamned wall is the most ridiculous, medieval idea... We need to establish parameters that are fair.

I see the recent immigrant waves as a benefit to the US.
posted by punkbitch at 12:25 AM on December 14, 2006


Boy, some people love their police state, don't they? Everyone loves a man in uniform!
posted by maxwelton at 12:51 AM on December 14, 2006


Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do

posted by algreer at 2:21 AM on December 14, 2006


The rising wages attract more aliens. The wages go back to where they were before only when the supply of aliens reaches the same level. Econ 101.

Yet if in the "raids" the employER was punished more than the employEE , the cost/risk of getting illegals would become higher for the employer so he would offer lower wage for illegals. One doesn't have to punish the weak as they are millions anyway as you noticed, go punish the employer who is richer and eventually can corrupt the officier ; but to pay the officier he needs to pay the employees less, which reduces the wage and makes the position less attractive, reducing pressure at border.


I dont believe that our country or economy couldnt (read: doesnt want to) support 5-10 million more immigrants.

At under the table wages and with no insurance and no additional risk, certainly ! I mean a free meal is a free meal, even if it isn't top quality it will fill your stomach somehow. The extreme right will offer xenophobic arguments such as maintaining national identity (an ironic joke in a land of immigrants) or hating the mexicans in an attempt to conquer some votes (while happily importing the people they claim to hate) while the extreme left will suggest that they are the lifeblood of a nation of immigrants and that we should do melting pot and yadda yadda, a cultural coverup to the fact that THE WAGE and lack of social security (costs) is what make them attracting to begin with. Yet such a very low cost isn't always NEEDED, it is WANTED to obtain very high profit margins, with the arguments of extreme competition and china as excuses to shift ALL the risk on the workers because one can divide the risk among more of them evenly, thus making the single risk load not that high.

Which is bullshit, the load a single worker can sustain is minimal because of his/her lack of financial strenght and security.

Bottom line is too many people want to become too rich in a too short time without doing much ; the fastest way is to make more people more poor, subtract from their life ; these are leech profiteers, not enterpreneurs value builders.

I say let the system suffer from the LACK of low cost high exploitation workers, rather then suffering from its presence which is a distortion in market.
posted by elpapacito at 2:29 AM on December 14, 2006


Who do you think did these jobs before this explosion of illegal immigration? Poor people!

If someone works for you with a stolen SSN, and is here illegally, do you think they know the labor laws and the rights that legal workers are entiltled to? They are paid less, and don't speak up about not getting paid overtime, unsafe working conditions, etc. Interestingly enough, there is a group of workers from the plant raided in Texas who are suing the company for wrongful termination because they say they laid off because they filed workers comp claims. Their lawsuit also has racketeering charges because they assert the company was bringing in illegal workers to keep down costs.

YOU may not want to do these jobs, but a stable 40-hr a week job is hard to find if you don't have an education. The influx of illegal immigrants into the low-skill labor sector has an effect on the poor of our nation.

1,282 illegal immigrants arrested, Sixty-five of the suspects have been charged with identity theft and could be sent to prison. The rest were charged with either lacking identification papers or using a fake ID number and will likely be deported, ICE said The meat packing plant tried to stop the raid because they were afraid they would lose 30 - 40 per cent of their staff. [ANOTHER reason not to eat beef....show your anger at the exploitation with your $$$$] A Denver paper drives the point home that there are people to take these jobs....unemployment is running at 4% in that area.

Letting this conversation sink into the Americans vs the brown people is the wrong conversation to have. This is about workers of all skin color getting screwed by big business...the rest of it is smoke screen to distract us all.
posted by gminks at 4:35 AM on December 14, 2006


ANOTHER reason not to eat beef....show your anger at the exploitation with your $$$$

Boycott may have some effect if it is prolonged for quite a time, but that affects primarily the smallest companies, while brand discrimination may target the big ones, assuming they don't sell with other brands (which almost certainly isn't the case in meat business), but as meat is quite a component of diet, few will actually sustain the boycott long enough to have sensible effects.

Passive aggression is only likely to irritate the management that must tackle it, but not the ownership which probably is a group of banks or other investors insensible to a single failure, largely expected too.

Yet there probably are other options that just don't run to mind.
posted by elpapacito at 5:41 AM on December 14, 2006


Why are these processing plants in the US at all if labor is cheaper in Mexico? Why doesn't Swift build plants in Mexico and hire a 100-percent legal Mexican workforce? Meat is not covered by NAFTA? Or is it a matter of transportation logistics?
posted by pracowity at 6:24 AM on December 14, 2006


oaf, do you obey every law?Do you speed? Wear your seatbelt EVERY time?

I do when it's reasonable. Yes, saying that people who enter other countries illegally can be deported is reasonable. I don't speed unless I have to in order to prevent from being rear-ended, and I wear my seatbelt every time. Anyway, the rest of your post doesn't address anything I've said in this thread, subaruwrx, so I don't really have much to say in response.

If that's not clear enough there's also this (under "misconceptions")

Yes, that means in general. Sorry it wasn't clear to you. That just means they can't go around and walk the streets arresting random people for not showing identification.
posted by oaf at 6:54 AM on December 14, 2006


Its not the illegal aliens fault, it the employer's fault!

The US and EU both need to *significantly* increase fines for companies found employing illegal aliens. Illegal immigration will only stop when employer fines exceed wage diffrence plus social security costs.

Fines should be even larger for employing illegal aliens who don't speak the native langauge because employers often exploit the langauge barrier.

No stupid walls, just big ass fines for employing illegal aliens.


I see no issue with using skin colour when serving a warrent. Employer's often get all their illegal aliens via the same channels (and the cops likely know the channel).

But ideally the warrent should say who they plan to question. You just don't want some racist cop harasing all the African-Americans, without harasing the whites, when their evidence only suggests Mexican illegal aliens.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:06 AM on December 14, 2006


So wait I'm confused here. When search for a ring of idenity thieves that happen to be of a certain race, it's not right to say this person doesn't match the description/warrent ("profile" to use the dirty word for it) because they are of a different race?

'm not saying that I'm all for rounding up suspects purely on race for the heck of it. In fact I think that sort of racial thinking: South American drug dealers, smart Asians, redneck whites, etc is most definately wrong and illegal if used by persons in authority. I'm just having a hard time finding proof that this *is* an instance where authorties overstepped the line.

My two bits on the illegal bit is this: Let anyone who wants to come in enter the legal way. Make a path to citizenship. I don't see it as something like Ellis Island where it's a sort of rubber stamp for coming in. I'm thinking like a few weeks of education. Letting people know a bit about what it means to be a citizen and the rights to not work for $5 a day. On the other end of the problem you create penalties that are so punitive that the risk of employing somebody without proper paper work. Ruin some of the exploiters and toss top offenders into jail

The profits that people make off of exploiting others is the worst part. Particularly because they're hurting legal US citizens in multiple ways:
1) These people bring in workers that they do not pay or collect taxes from (i.e. anyone hiring workers and not doing the proper taxes is guilty of tax fraud right off the bat) To me that means higher taxes for the rest of us.
2) Most likely these exploiters are not properly reporting their own income/profits for tax purposes as well (Fraud again)
3) Given the above chances are they're also finding some ways to take advantage of other systems to get money *from* the government either to help shelter/provide for their workforce or collecting contracts for various services because they can underbid legal contractors.

Any one else find any other laws broken in such situations?
posted by Numenorian at 7:10 AM on December 14, 2006


"No one wants to do the work these illegals do,"

Who did these jobs before the illegals came and filled them? The whole "Americans won't do these jobs" thing is a canard. There isn't one sector of the economy where a majority of the jobs are held by illegals. Not one.

"Why are these processing plants in the US at all if labor is cheaper in Mexico?"

Logistics issues or USDA inspection issues perhaps?
posted by MikeMc at 7:45 AM on December 14, 2006


Why are these processing plants in the US at all if labor is cheaper in Mexico? Why doesn't Swift build plants in Mexico and hire a 100-percent legal Mexican workforce? Meat is not covered by NAFTA? Or is it a matter of transportation logistics?

I'm not sure, but I know that the U.S. won't import beef from Canada because of Mad Cow, beef isn't something goes across borders very easily.
posted by delmoi at 7:45 AM on December 14, 2006


This just in:

CEOs of Corporations Jailed For Exploiting Illegal Immigrant Slave Labor!

Or not. In a just universe somewhere maybe. Not in JesusLand.
posted by nofundy at 7:54 AM on December 14, 2006


MikeMc, saying there isn't one sector of the economy where a majority of the jobs are held by illegals is impossible for you or anyone else to know. Part of the issue is that these workers are undocumented as illegals therefore making it impossible to count and know exactly where these people are working or exactly what impact they are having.
posted by hangingbyathread at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2006


Maria, who declined to use her last name, argued with an agent because she was getting the coat for her 34-year-old niece, Blanca, who was arrested.

'She [the agent] told me, 'Do you think it's going to be cold in Mexico?' ' Maria said, holding back tears.
I don't care if they raided the place because there were a hundred immigrants accused of murder working there; If you're not outraged by shit like that then there's something wrong with you.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:05 AM on December 14, 2006


As the son of a filthy immigrant I can assure you all of their degenerate colossally criminal blood; even if they might have evolved from a similar ape ancestor as their my-grandad-got-here-first superiors', sure it was a lesser ape ancestor. To the camps with them all, and failing that, to mexico no matter their origin! But let it be reiterated: your country has its federal agents raid factories, round up all employees while they are working, then to separate, physically mark, and criminalize the chattel from the preferred. A splendid use of resources. Here that? A thousand years from now humanity is golf clapping your utopia and all its brave defenders. Work as crime in a protestant country! What century is it anyway?
posted by sarcasman at 8:15 AM on December 14, 2006


"What century is it anyway?"

Depends on what time zone you're in.
posted by MikeMc at 8:29 AM on December 14, 2006


I find the argument of "if they're here illegally they deserve what they get" to be disingenuous. Few among us would not break a law if it meant the chance to materially better ourselves, especially if it was transparently obvious that the law in question was a racist pander to reactionary political forces. Many of the ancestors of those of us who live in the US came here illegally, including the ancestors of many of the INS workers, I'll wager.

This effort is really about a) creating a culture of fear to show the immigrants who's boss and b) creating an illusion to comfort those same reactionary forces that the government is really doing something it.

What problem does this solve? I can't think of a single benefit. I can think of lots of pain and heartache that it causes though.
posted by norm at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2006


TPM:The raids took place in six far-flung communities -- places like Cactus, Texas, and Marshalltown, Iowa -- where we can't get to easily.

What, they don't have cars?

klangklangston writes "Yeah, those damn identity theives, contributing to my SS account"

And owning taxes/ It's a serious bitch when someone steals your tax number and proceeds to double your reported earning for the year. Especially if you've been earning less than the minimum deduction. You go from no taxes to owing. And even when you get it cleared up (hey I couldn't have been working in Nova Scotia and BC at the same time, not at minimum wage) you get put on the "potential tax cheat aduit every year list".

If the agents in this case sorted people by color, that's a problem, but it doesn't make rounding up people who violate our immigration laws wrong. "

If the warrant included descriptions of the warrantees it would be foolish to detain those who don't match the description.

pracowity writes "Meat is not covered by NAFTA? Or is it a matter of transportation logistics?"

I don't know about NAFTA but you can only haul live cattle and pigs so far without having to feed and water them which is a big hassle.
posted by Mitheral at 9:44 AM on December 14, 2006


Finally. Hope this results in big fines for the employers and lots of deportions for the illegals. Dirtbags.
posted by keswick at 10:22 AM on December 14, 2006


These kind of punitive measures don't even have the decent audacity to go far enough. Why should children of immigrants go free? Do they not contain the genetic remnants of their filthy forebearers? Or the children's children? Immigrants have plowed the tender top soil, despoiled the continent, polluted the rivers, deflowered the women and enslaved the natives and ruined their way of life enough. Out with the descendants of germans, irish, ENGLISH, dutch, swedes, italians, french, spanish, etc. Dirtbags all. Only keep keswick to shovel the bones and baby ashes into the fires until the job is done. (cue star spangled music... now.)
posted by sarcasman at 10:44 AM on December 14, 2006


I'm sorry, I've seen the error of my ways. I'm gonna head down to the crowd of illegals chillin' on the corner in front of the Home Depot and give them my credit card and my social security number.

Heck, I'll give 'em the keys to my apartment so they can squeeze four or more people into its one bedroom.

Identity theft and illegal entry into my country? God bless those noble illegal immigrants.
posted by keswick at 10:51 AM on December 14, 2006


It is self evident who's the real dirtbag.
Poor little set upon brain deficient white males!
posted by nofundy at 11:10 AM on December 14, 2006


"Poor little set upon brain deficient white males!"

Define "white".
posted by MikeMc at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2006


Heck, I'll give 'em the keys to my apartment so they can squeeze four or more people into its one bedroom.

The poor, the destitute and desperate surely do not deserve such patrimony, good sir, when they are more used to, and suited for, air tight tractor trailers and car trunks.

Seriously, do you really hate other human beings this much?
Oh, and your country isn't yours. IT'S MINE!
posted by sarcasman at 11:33 AM on December 14, 2006


Poor little set upon brain deficient white males!

Opposing blatant lawbreaking makes you brain-deficient? I'd say supporting blatant lawbreaking does.
posted by oaf at 11:50 AM on December 14, 2006


"Oh, and your country isn't yours. IT'S MINE!"

Dude, your lease was up years ago. Didn't you ever wonder why all of your stuff was on the lawn and there was a padlock on the door?
posted by MikeMc at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2006


Dude, your lease was up years ago. Didn't you ever wonder why all of your stuff was on the lawn and there was a padlock on the door?

I thought it was standard apartment cleaning... that took a few months to do... and the padlock wasn't a house warming gift?

I saw some spanish speaking janitor walk by on the job and shouted "blatant lawbreaker!" but that didn't procure any response to my inquiries about the stuff on the lawn.
posted by sarcasman at 12:07 PM on December 14, 2006


Yeah, those damn identity theives, contributing to my SS account. Hey illegal immigrants, wanna get jobbed by FICA for me? posted by klangklangston

Yeah...if that's all it was, those of us who had our identities stolen by workers in Cactus probably wouldn't be so upset. But you see, they also use that SS when they go to the emergency room, and when they get credit cards, and buy cars, and on and on and on.

I've spent easily 400 man hours on trying to clear up crap from an illegal using my SS. I've got 85,000 dollars worth of medical bills that weren't mine. I've got a car loan out that isn't mine. I've got credit cards out that aren't mine. I had a warrant out for my arrest that took a thousand dollars of legal fees to clear up.

So, ya know what, any one of those illegals caught with a stolen identity should be barred from *EVER* coming back to the US. Fuck them.

Look, the key word here is "ILLEGAL". These are not legal immigrants, trying to build a better life. These are illegal aliens, and they should be rounded up and sent back to wherever they came from. We have a process by which workers can enter the country, get documentation and go to work.

By the same token, every company found to have a workforce of illegals, should be significantly fined, the plant doors should be locked and the executives should be cattle penned and their salaries given to the people who have been most affected by their decisions to look the other way when citizen's identities are stolen.

Seriously, I'm all for putting the executives in prison until ever single citizen who has had their identity stolen can iron out the problems. But in the meantime, I'll settle for getting the illegals who are using our IDs out of the country.

Now, I've got a long history here of being one of the leftist intelligencia, but when it comes to illegals...I'll fully admit that I come down hard on the right. Corporations can get away with not paying fair wages to Americans by allowing illegals to man the factories. Safety regulations are ignored because illegals won't file for workman's comp...if they get injured, it's the person who's identity they've stolen that gets stuck with the bill, not the company.

I've been inside a meat packing plant...and that shit will put you off your feed, I tell you what...but I can guaran-goddam-tee you that if executives were imprisoned for having illegal workers, you'd see Americans manning the lines again, and perhaps...just perhaps, our food chain would be a little safer, and a little less horrible.

I don't eat meat often, and when I do, I generally buy from local ranchers who field graze their cattle. It's processed locally, and I've been to the processing site, which was staffed by American citizens. With the exception of some super urban areas, I believe most people, if they really wanted to make a difference, could buy meat the same way. Cows and chickens are raised almost everywhere.

I'm not suggesting that we should stop immigration. Immigration is the lifeblood our our culture. But I am suggesting that *ILLEGAL* immigration must be stopped, by any reasonable means necessary. If that means rounding them up and deporting them...fine. If it means stopping "birthright" citizenship granted to the children of illegals...sucky...but fine, I can be brought around to seeing the wisdom. If it means imprisoning everyone who hires illegals...I'm ok with that too.

Illegal. Again. Keyword here. Illegal.
posted by dejah420 at 12:44 PM on December 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


I've spent easily 400 man hours on trying to clear up crap from an illegal using my SS. I've got 85,000 dollars worth of medical bills that weren't mine. I've got a car loan out that isn't mine. I've got credit cards out that aren't mine. I had a warrant out for my arrest that took a thousand dollars of legal fees to clear up.

Every other thing you say can be chalked up to your personal outrage at this unconscionable thing done to you. However, identity theft is perpetrated by lots of people that aren't illegal, and using it as the raison d'etre for a coordinated attack by jackbooted government thugs to disrupt a mostly legitimate series of communities is the proverbial sledgehammer hitting the fly. Out of the thousands of arrests, the amount caught with stolen papers were a tiny fraction. And moreover, the market for stolen identities is driven by the "crackdown" on illegal aliens.

The more you tighten enforcement, the more it becomes necessary to have stolen papers for illegal workers. Your supposed solution to the problem is feeding it.
posted by norm at 2:23 PM on December 14, 2006


I was curious about the incentives that Mexicans have for coming here, so I ran some numbers based off of relative GPD and minimum wage:

Imagine for a moment that Canada's economy seriously took off. After exchange rates, the average Canadian job paid four times what the average US job paid, and Canada had a GPD per capita of $168k. Even for unskilled jobs, the federally mandated minimum wage was $41.20/hour (about $80k/year), and in some provinces even higher.

If you slipped across the border, you could get a job washing dishes, cutting lawns, or cleaning for $60k/year from people who didn't look at your paperwork very closely.

That is the analogue to the situation Mexicans currently find themselves in. It does not excuse law-breaking, but certainly makes it more understandable to me why they are willing to take the risk that they do.
posted by fings at 2:41 PM on December 14, 2006


"These are not legal immigrants, trying to build a better life."

These are illegal immigrants, trying to build a better life. (With support for limited amnesty and increased legal immigration quotas, sometimes I feel like the last moderate on earth regarding immigration. But then, it's easier to feel objective when you're not clearing out ID because of some scammers jacking it. Though there are plenty of American meth heads that scam IDs too...)
posted by klangklangston at 2:41 PM on December 14, 2006


This is Rupture Farms - they say it's the biggest meat proccesing plant on Oddworld. I used to work here, well, i was really a slave like all the others.

Reminded me of that
posted by -harlequin- at 3:06 PM on December 14, 2006


The hate in this thread is really astounding. Welcome to America.
posted by maxwelton at 3:07 PM on December 14, 2006


norm .... to disrupt a mostly legitimate series of communities is the proverbial sledgehammer hitting the fly.


How is 1300 illegal aliens a "legitimate" anything?

klangklangston: These are illegal immigrants, trying to build a better life.

No. I refute your semantics. As long as we keep using the term "immigrant" for aliens we will continue to find ourselves in a memetic mess.

Immigrants are people who have followed the laws and restrictions for gaining entry and documentation into this country. Illegal aliens are people who have chosen to break the law, enter the country illegally, then proceed to break the law every single day, while they depress the wage for working class Americans.

Illegal aliens are not "undocumented workers", they are not "illegal immigrants", they are Illegal Aliens with an entire community of people who exist to keep them uneducated, underpaid and exploited.

Again, I support legal immigration. I'm willing to suggest that barriers to Central and South American countries should be lower.

But I am unwilling to accept that creating an entire underclass of illegal aliens does anything beneficial for the US, or the taxpayers who support it...and them.
posted by dejah420 at 3:08 PM on December 14, 2006


Illegal. Again. Keyword here. Illegal

I understand what you're saying dejah but we should be careful not to confuse legality and ethics. Capital punishment is LEGAL but I'll continue to do everything in my power to make it stop.

Likewise, someone upthread conceded that illegal immigrants need to be deported but also questioned whether that means we have to stop treating them like human beings.
posted by vacapinta at 3:14 PM on December 14, 2006


"undocumented workers"

Yeah, anything that seriously uses this term is pretty much unreliable.
posted by oaf at 3:54 PM on December 14, 2006


No. I refute your semantics. As long as we keep using the term "immigrant" for aliens we will continue to find ourselves in a memetic mess.

Immigrants are people who have followed the laws and restrictions for gaining entry and documentation into this country. Illegal aliens are people who have chosen to break the law, enter the country illegally, then proceed to break the law every single day, while they depress the wage for working class Americans.


The only "memetic" mess is in your own mind. The words used by people posting on the web doesn't change reality.

How could it possibly matter what they're called?

Also "refute" means to come up with a counter argument, not simply say you don't like them.
posted by delmoi at 4:16 PM on December 14, 2006


Delmoi, that's an absurd argument, and you know it. To name something is to empower it. Hence the reason there is an entire field of people who create names and semantic value adds. It's "Coke" vs "Slurm". Absolutely the name of something is dramatically different.

There is a huge difference in semantic weight between "undocumented worker", "illegal immigrant" and "illegal alien".

As for your "refute means to come up with a counter argument", you might check a dictionary. The second definition of refute is: To deny the accuracy or truth of...
Subsequently, I respectfully suggest that you reread my comment, where I explained how I refuted the semantic use of "illegal immigrant".
posted by dejah420 at 5:20 PM on December 14, 2006


8 U.S.C. 1101 Sec. 101 (a):

*****

(3) The term "alien" means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

*****

(15) The term "immigrant" means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens:

*****


"Undocumented workers" could be U. S. Citizens that don't have the proper documents. "Illegal" refers to an action committed by a person, not to the person themselves, therefore "illegal alien" does not make sense. An alien that has committed an unlawful (aka illegal) entry into the United States is an "undocumented immigrant".
posted by Pollomacho at 5:54 PM on December 14, 2006


An alien that has committed an unlawful (aka illegal) entry into the United States is an "undocumented immigrant".

No, they're an illegal immigrant, because they immigrated illegally.
posted by oaf at 6:13 PM on December 14, 2006


If you're wondering, the actual number of people arrested for identity theft was 65 and the number of people arrested in total was 1,282

Delmoi, that's an absurd argument, and you know it. To name something is to empower it. Hence the reason there is an entire field of people who create names and semantic value adds.

They're not something they're someone. And it seems like the last thing you want to do is empower them.

Look, all of those terms have the same colloquial meaning. If I call them "undocumented workers" or "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrants" all apply to the people in this situation. If you use the terms, people understand what you're talking about. People know what you mean if you say "coke" or "coca cola" They're called synonyms. The terms have different connotations and you'd prefer if people used the one that shows them in the worst light. I suppose that would be convenient for you, but it's hardly some moral comparative.

I didn't mean to say that you could call them by any word like "slurm"

As for your "refute means to come up with a counter argument", you might check a dictionary. The second definition of refute is: To deny the accuracy or truth of...

dictionaries seem to disagree with each other on that point
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on December 14, 2006


at least one documented incorrect arrest.
posted by delmoi at 7:46 PM on December 14, 2006


delmoi, "illegal immigrant" is the most correct term. "Undocumented worker" is about as intellectually honest as "homicide bomber."
posted by oaf at 8:38 PM on December 14, 2006


"No. I refute your semantics. As long as we keep using the term "immigrant" for aliens we will continue to find ourselves in a memetic mess."

Bullshit, xenophobe. Y'know why? They migrated. They moved across borders. Just because you wanna have your Lou Dobbs moment doesn't mean that you get to make up your own language, unless you wanna join some sorta Minute Men circlejerk in the middle of the desert. Out here, amongst the English, illegal immigrant works just fine.

And no, you can't just declare a refutation. It's a qualitative term. For someone so bound to semantics, you might want to avoid overreaching your vocabulary.
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 PM on December 14, 2006


delmoi, "illegal immigrant" is the most correct term. "Undocumented worker" is about as intellectually honest as "homicide bomber."

I disagree, but I'm not going to get drawn into an epistemological debate because I also disagree about how important it is (I think it's not at all)

Also, (and hilariously) The post that started this semantic monstrosity criticized the word "immigrant", calming that it was dishonest to call them "immigrants" rather then "aliens"

Go back and read my posts and you'll see I didn't use any of these terms. I called them "people."

Right now children are wondering around looking for places to stay because their parents have been hauled away. To complain that the terminology used to describe those parents isn't appropriately dehumanizing is disgusting.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on December 14, 2006


delmoi: Right now children are wondering around looking for places to stay because their parents have been hauled away. To complain that the terminology used to describe those parents isn't appropriately dehumanizing is disgusting.

What are we supposed to do, just let them stay in the country because they selfishly had children to use as anchors? I think it's utterly reprehensible that they'd bring children into such a situation at all.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:29 AM on December 15, 2006


Mitrovarr: To say that it is utterly rephrensible for somebody to have a child, and then turn around and advocate taking its parents away, is beyond reprehensible. It doesn't matter what brought the situation to its current state; you can't justify blatantly immoral actions on the grounds that they are being commited against immoral people.
posted by tehloki at 12:55 AM on December 15, 2006


tehloki: To say that it is utterly rephrensible for somebody to have a child, and then turn around and advocate taking its parents away, is beyond reprehensible. It doesn't matter what brought the situation to its current state; you can't justify blatantly immoral actions on the grounds that they are being commited against immoral people.

I thought about this more afterwards, and I decided that the only true solution to such an awful situation was to avoid it in the first place; to reform the immigration system and to put defenses in place to avoid such abuses entirely.

That doesn't mean I think we should simply throw the border open. Having an open border will always result in a overwhelming flood of incoming poor so long as wealth disparity in the world exists (in the past, difficulties in travel kept it manageable; this is no longer the case.) I believe a system of physical defenses (walls), more prosecutions against employers, better immigration laws and work visa programs, and simply having the will to enforce the existing policies should prevent most cases like this before they ever come to that point.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:33 AM on December 15, 2006


How is 1300 illegal aliens a "legitimate" anything?

My point was specifically about the identity theft. As pointed out later, only 65 were accused of being involved in any identity theft. Moreover, there are many, many more immigrants in the communities disrupted by the raids than the 1300 arrested as undocumented. Most of them come there because they already have friends or family there-- those communities have been heavily disrupted.

What problem did these raids solve? A little cost benefit analysis tells me that benefit= nothing and detriment= huge. But I guess the detriment is ok if we're talking about a class of people that it's ok to dislike.
posted by norm at 7:39 AM on December 15, 2006


Pollomacho writes "First of all I was being a bit sarcastic, but really, you are comparing these raids to the rounding up of various ethnic groups for extermination? "

No, and the person who said that we must be allowed to use Nazism as an example when discussing totalitarianism made it very clear that there is a spectrum of totalitarianism, and the Nazis were at the far end. Of course, selectively reading seems to be your strong suit in this thread, so I'm not surprised that you 'misunderstood' what they were saying.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:44 AM on December 16, 2006


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