Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mississippi Burning

What should be a couple of wake up calls over the next two days...

The first, a Facebook post that I saw shared via Twitter. Because it's important to recognize when others say it better than I ever could. Emphasis added in the text is mine. With a few closing thoughts at the end.

"If you’re reading this and you’re thinking that the ICE raid in Mississippi was justified because the 680 men and women apprehended are undocumented, and therefore in your eyes they are here “illegally” and we “have the right to enforce our laws,” you should know the following:

The owner of the business in Mississippi who hired all of these undocumented persons uses a social security number verification system and he is the one who supplied his own workers with the fake numbers and fake documentation they needed.

The employer is guilty of perpetrating fraud and identity theft but he is not being charged with these crimes. Further, the owner of the business was facing charges of sexual harassment and assault by several brave immigrant women who came forward to share their stories.

The federal government knows this but they are not bringing charges against the owner of the business for this reason either. Last, the employer was found responsible of wage theft in the amount of 3.8 million dollars.

Again, brave workers came forward to talk about unpaid hours of work and illegally docked paychecks. And they proved their case. But as you might have guessed the federal government is not charging owner of the business with any wrongdoing here either.

The White House is not directing the Department of Homeland Security to make an example of this business owner by fining him and/or charging him because he is a major donor to the Trump presidential campaign. If you thought the swamp was being drained you are sorely mistaken.

But wait it gets worse. The White House flew in the national director of ICE ahead of the raid in Mississippi and imported 600 ICE agents not stationed in that area. All of this constitutes an unprecedented expense of our taxpayer dollars.

And based on all available evidence the reason the White House and Department of Homeland Security justified this expense was they knew that they would receive viral media coverage by choosing to execute a raid of this scale in the wake of the El Paso shooting.

The Trump re-election campaign has already spent $17.2 million on digital ads. 2,200+ of these mention an “invasion of illegal immigrants.” And by rounding up 680 workers in the most public and publicized way possible the White House has, as it did with the 4th of parade, made the conscious decision to buttress and complement its campaign expenditures on our dime as taxpayers.

ICE didn't select this site randomly. This site had been on their radar for a year. They knew with a great deal of anticipation that this raid would happen at this time.

And that’s how they were able to get 600 agents shipped in and that’s why the national director was on the ground. And yet they did not notify any child welfare agencies ahead of time.

They knew they were rounding up workers with kids who punch a time card. They knew they were not getting gang members or people who travel from place to place and are difficult to track. They knew they were going to take moms and dads away from their children...(many if not most of whom are US citizens) right before the first day of school.

They knew they were going to leave children orphaned by conducting this raid but they never did anything at all to try and help those children.

And if all of that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach then consider the fact that there is no immigration court in the state of Mississippi. Immigrants in detention are not entitled to lawyers. They don’t get phone calls.

If they lived in any other state their family members trying to find them would know which courts to call. Anyone rounded up in Mississippi will likely end up in court in Louisiana or Tennessee. But there’s no way of knowing for sure.

So again, you are taken at work. But your boss goes home and nothing happens to him. You can’t speak to or see your kids unless someone along the way possesses enough humanity to help you do so. Otherwise you have no lawyer assigned to help you, and you're not entitled to a phone even to make a collect call. Since you’re not entitled to the same rights in the immigration court system as you are in any other court system, and your family doesn’t know where you are, or when your hearing is, chances are you’ll be deported.

If you don’t have family in the area to fight to keep your kids, they will become wards of the state. They will end up in foster care. And they’ll be scarred for life. All because Donald Trump chose to steal your tax dollars and mine, and use them for his re-election campaign.

And if you still don’t care because you’re so wretched and broken that you think your ignorance of immigration law justifies your belief that people need to “get in line” despite the fact that there are 185 visa types and each one has multiple “lines” and wait times.

If you don’t know or care that a Mexican with a PhD cant win a Green Card in a lottery and will wait 23 yrs to be reunited with his family, while a Belgian high school dropout with a juvenile criminal record can win a Green Card in lottery and reunite with his family in 3 years.

And that these are the broken immigration laws you want to enforce when you chant “build that wall” and “send them back,” then please by all means enjoy that Make America Great Again hat made in China.
Facebook post by Unai Montes-Irueste, Director of Communications at United Ways of California

We often talk about the distinction between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.

At what point does enforcing the letter of the law turn our stomach?


Watch the video of the 11-year old pleading for her father and mother to be returned.

Government, please put your heart — let my parents be free with everybody else, please.

I need my dad…mommy. My dad didn’t do nothing. He’s not a criminal."

Is this who we are???

I guess, more importantly, is this who we want to be?

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