ICE raids: May 2008 Archives

scared baby.jpg

Leslie Kaufman and Dan Frosch at the Times have a story today about the effects on young FLDS children of separation from their parents after the Texas state government raided the compound.  

As they await a ruling by the highest court in Texas on whether child-welfare authorities had the right to take 468 children from the ranch early last month, the mothers have started speaking out more forcefully about what they think the separation has already done to their children.

The mothers and their lawyers are undoubtedly trying to make their best pitch for public sympathy as the Supreme Court of Texas deliberates on the fate of their children. Last Thursday, an appeals court in Austin found that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had illegally removed the children without sufficient evidence that they were in immediate danger.

I think the state went too far in this instance, but my purpose here is not to get into the complicated issue of weighing the best interests of the children against the individual rights of members of the community.  (Though it appears that the state of Texas has not fully considered the scarring effects of separation from parents in its calculation of the children's best interests.)

Instead, I want to focus on what the article says about the severe mental and emotional consequences of removal on small children.

A few weeks back, I ran across the story at RaceWire of Armando, a Honduran who had lived all but 9 months of his 26 years in the U.S.  Armando wrote to RaceWire's Raha Jorjani from immigration detention about his thoughts and experiences:

I have been "detained" by the Department of Homeland Security for over ten months now, as I had been fighting my deportation case and hoping for a second chance. I really don't like the word detained because I feel it is a word used by "them" in an attempt to lessen the truth; that I am their prisoner.

It seems all I have been doing in my life is adapting to major changes, one after the other. From the loss of my father at seventeen, to adapting to military life, to getting used to a 6x9 cell. I have had to make some major adjustments and I have come to learn that change is inevitable.

However, I never would have guessed that I would now be getting ready to be deported to a country I know nothing about. I never thought I would be preparing to be banished from the only country I have known, the country I volunteered to fight for, and not to mention the country that my family lives in.


Julia Preston at the New York Times reported yesterday on an alarming development in the Postville debacle:

In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents.

The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported.

XP has an myth-slaying post over at Para Justicia Y Libertad clarifying some of the more outlandish charges that have been made in the Postville raid.  He's put together some of the best information on the supposed "methamphetamine lab" that I've been able to find.  Symsess already linked to this, but it deserves a second mention.  I look forward to part two.
Nightprowlkitty has written a monumental post over at Docudharma about how people can help those affected by the Postville raid.  Please read it and go over to her cross-post at Daily Kos and recommend it so that it gets the most possible attention.

NPK has been a giant at connecting human rights and migrant rights for sometime now.  With the recent revelations about the horrible conditions that migrants are suffering from in detention, I'm starting to feel like people are finally making a connection between human rights and migrant rights.  NPK has been a giant at making this connection since day one.  
Shuya Ohno, Director of Communication for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, flew into Iowa this weekend to help with the aftermath of the largest raid in the U.S. history.  The New Bedford raid wasn't too far behind.   Ohno sent me the following pictures and asked me to put them up on Citizen Orange:

Thumbnail image for Iowa girl May 17 08.JPG
Iowa two kids May 16 08.JPG
An immigrant community in Iowa was shattered yesterday by a huge ICE raid that appears to still be in progress.  Susan Saulny of the New York Times reports:

In the biggest workplace immigration raid this year, federal agents swept into a kosher meat plant on Monday in Postville, Iowa, and arrested more than 300 workers.

The authorities said the workers were suspected of being in the United States illegally or of having participated in identity theft and the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not say how many people had been rounded up beyond the initial 300 or whether the management and owners of the plant, AgriProcessors, would face criminal charges.

The plant has 800 to 900 people and is the country's largest producer of meat that is glatt kosher, widely regarded as the highest standard of cleanliness.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the ICE raids category from May 2008.

ICE raids: June 2008 is the next archive.

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