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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

COMMISSION REPORT CRITICIZES WORK SITE RAIDS

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The United Food and Commercial Workers Union International, one of the country's major unions, was upset about how raids were conducted in 2006 at Swift meatpacking plants around the country. So they did something about it. They created a commission of experts to hold hearings about work site raids and this week they released their findings in a report entitled Raids on Workers: Destroying our Rights. According to the UCFW:


"This commission was formed to examine allegations of abuse and misconduct by ICE agents during the course of immigration raids," said Joseph T. Hansen, founding chairman of the commission and president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). "What we have uncovered is that during the Bush Administration ICE agents repeatedly trampled on innocent workers' constitutional rights. These were not isolated incidents, but systemic problems that occurred in almost every region of the country. No government agency is above the law, and no worker should have to face the mistreatment and misconduct that these hardworking men and women were subjected to under the Bush Administration." 


The report found several disturbing patterns:

The testimony the Commission received revealed several disturbing patterns:

    * U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents detained for hours unable to leave even after establishing their status
    * A lack of coordination by ICE with state and local labor and child welfare agencies
    * Violations of the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures
    * The use of massive amounts of taxpayer resources and personnel to administer civil warrants
    * Repeated incidents of racial profiling and harassment
    * The human toll of immigration enforcement, including family separation and children left without proper care
    * Lasting economic and psychological devastation of communities and families in the aftermath of workplace and community raids


UCFW is not only hoping the report highlights problems with the raids, but sparks a discussion of the broader question of moving toward comprehensive immigration reform.

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  1. Jack's Avatar
    'effective immigration enforcement policy that is consistent with the following objectives'

    Implied by omission from the list of objectives--no 'worker' (or at least member of their union) who is unlawfully present should ever be deported. What I would ask these advocates for employer-only enforcement (if they are really even for that) is 'What should ICE and/or DOL do with the unlawfully present people they come across?' Just let them go? Should our policy be for law enforcers to enforce law against some but not others, even when the others are right in their lap?

    It reminds me of the anti-enforcement advocates who demand that any non-criminal alien unlawfully present who is apprehended in the course of targeting 'criminal aliens' just be let go as if by virtue of not being a wanted violent criminal they are somehow above immigration law. Again, should our policy be for law enforcers to enforce law against some but not others, even when the others are right in their lap?
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