News & Politics

The War On Immigrants

Why are we wasting time chasing after people whose main "crimes" are working hard and behaving peacefully?
When I hear the word “raid” these days, the first thing I think of us the war in Iraq. Something like, “US Forces Raid Shi’ite Stronghold of Sadr City.” I have images of American forces going home by home, banging down the doors, threatening anyone they find and taking away the supposed evil-doers.

But then sometimes I hear the word “raid” mentioned in my own backyard and the frightening thing is, the scenario isn’t all that different.

On Wednesday, federal agents backed by our precious tax dollars, banged down the doors of poultry plants in New York, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia, threatening anyone they could find, dragging away parents without notifying their families and, all told, arresting more than 300 undocumented immigrants.

Their crime? Leaving their homes and everything they’ve ever known in search of opportunity for their families and crossing the treacherous desert boarder between the US and Mexico or overstaying their visas in order to work long hours for low pay at a poultry processing plant where, according to an expose from the Charlotte Observer worker protections are lax and severe injuries are common. The Charlotte Observer series is littered with stories and images of workers crippled by their duties, and stories of management cutting corners not only on safety but on appropriate medical treatments when problems do arise.

Remind me who the evil-doers are?
Sally Kohn is the Director of the Movement Vision Lab at the Center for Community Change.
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