Ken Buck: Deport Them For Paying Taxes!

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I came across the most extraordinary article in the New York Times this morning.  I've long known that unauthorized migrants pay billions in taxes, but I never thought I'd see law enforcement officials effectively punishing them for it.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office in Colorado has raided the offices of a local business, Amalia's Translation and Tax Services, in an attempt to crack-down on "identity theft" by unauthorized migrants.  The Postville raid taught us what pursuing unauthorized migrants for "identity theft" really means. 
This just goes to show that the battle for migrant rights is going to continue to be waged on the local level, especially with continuing federal inaction.  It's just too easy for local officials to scapegoat migrants to feign like their actually doing something.  Here's what District Attorney Ken Buck has to say:

"I don't care whether they are meth addicts or petty thieves or illegal immigrants," Mr. Buck said. "What matters most to me is that they are committing felonies through identify theft."
Dan Frosch - New York Times (1 February 2009)
I'm sure the people of Weld County feel a lot safer now that Ken Buck is pursuing hardworking unauthorized migrants for the crime of trying to pay taxes.  I mean seriously, isn't one nativist talking point that migrants don't pay taxes?  Ken Buck can pretend that he's being a man of the law, but part of being a District Attorney is prioritizing what to prosecute for the welfare of your community.

Let the Weld County Sheriff and the Weld County District Attorney know that they are on the wrong side of history with their latest anti-migrant actions. 



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4 Comments

Peter Coyotl said:

According to the law suit filed by the ACLU, District Attorney Ken Buck seized almost 5,000 individual files from Amalia's with the "knowledge" that some of them had committed identity theft. Imagine the uproar if some small White suburban community of almost 5,000 had all their homes searched because the law "knew" that there were a few meth labs in the town.

Buck also seized records that were not tax related but were records of translated documents from Amalia's translation services. Thus, personal and private correspondences were abducted as well from Amalia's clients, who are mostly Spanish-speaking legal and undocumented immigrants.

So much for "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures..."

What troubles me the most about this is the lack of outrage by the American people. Immigrants are so marginalized that when their constitutional rights are violated no one cares. They are so demonized that when things of this nature happen, many Americans shrug it off with the attitude that they had it coming or that they do not have rights. Not all of Amalia's clients are undocumented. Buck cannot tell just from a Spanish surname that a tax return is fraudulent. This is outrageous racial profiling committed by a person elected to uphold and defend the law and protect the people of Colorado.

What part of violating the Fourth Amendment is upholding the law? What part of illegal does Buck not understand?

This raid of records happened in October. I first read about it a few months ago from a bulletin sent on-line from an immigration activist group. The local mainstream media here in Utah where I live ignores stories like this. Kudos to the NY Times for running the story.

here is an brief synopsis from the ACLU of Colorado about the case.


kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Dear Peter,

I could have said it better myself. Thanks for the comment.

Much Love,
K

maria D said:

I know Amalia y she has lived in this community all her life and so have i i have seen personly how we are discriminated against in this town people call it the cow town because of its meat packing plants. Its an all white American town. and they see us as nothing if ken buck ever came to power it would be like the time of our brothers the jew's in s time shame on all the people who put up with this stuff we are all brothers and shame on our friends and our church communities for at the end we wont remember the shouts of anger of our enemies but the silence of our friends and our brothers in christ.

@Peter. You share a great point. Ken Buck seems like he may be going on a power-trip here. The commotion that would occur if 5000 American Houses were looked seized on "knowledge" of some meth labs would be absurd. I feel like Ken and others like him will be able to get away with this feat though because everyone he targeted was an illegal immigrant.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on February 3, 2009 6:32 AM.

Citizen Orange Has Come Alive Again was the previous entry in this blog.

ICE Raids - Detention Centers Not About Immigration, All About Money! is the next entry in this blog.

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