Tuesday, May 13, 2008

ICE and Homeland Security nail Agriprocessors, Inc., of Postville

Read the story here.

My thoughts:
  • One of Barry's EMT classmates is down there, a schoolteacher in the Postville school district. She was called out of class to help drive some people who had been injured in the raid to the hospital for care. She told Barry that the injuries were mostly as the result of panic as the raid began, not by ICE agents getting too rough or anything like that. Just scared people. Anyway, when she got back to her class, she found a bunch of very scared, tearful students who were wondering if they would ever see their parents again. That's where the humanitarian releases come in: They will see them.
  • Look who is in trouble here. Not the rabbis, but the workers. Too bad Agriprocessors doesn't just automatically apply for work permits for all its employees who don't have them. They can surely afford a few attorneys to guide their people through the system. It's work that they have a hard time finding people to do. So when they find willing workers, they need to take care of them, and that includes not encouraging them to break the law, or even going so far as to break the law with them.
I figured Agriprocessors would be shut down, but Barry's friend said no, they opened this morning as usual.

UPDATE: This has gone far beyond just an immigration and labor issue. We now have identity fraud and methamphetamine production in the mix. But I'm sure a majority of them are just people, trying to make a living that they cannot make at home.

I am quoting from Barry's schoolteacher/EMT friend here:

"The news reports are so wrong when they say that at least one member of the family has access to their children. They have high school students in which both parents were taken and the federal government said that they were old enough to take care of themselves and their siblings. We don't know what to do. We have called the Governor of Iowa, various members of the House and Senate and no one cares and no one is helping except the Red Cross. The kids are scared to death. Even the white children are terrified. They want to know if the black helicopters are going to come and take them away. They think they took their Hispanic friends away and that they were killed...."

To me it appears that there is a lot of confusion, and that perhaps the elaborately planned raid did not count on entire families living in Postville with their wage-earners working illegally for Agriprocessors. Maybe this is an unusual situation. You would think that if they had all this time to plan, they could have considered what to do with the families. Barry feels the raid was deliberately planned for a time when the children would be in school, separated from their parents.

We are trying to find out what we as a family can do to help the children. Miss B is really up in arms.


Mrs. Mac said...

I'll be sure to have Mr. Mac read this post and article link ... you may hear him hooting and a hollering all the way to Iowa ;) ...

btw ... your clothespin bag is beeutiful ... the colors are from the late 80's no?

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

Thanks. Probably most of them are. They were dribs and drabs of fabric that I had around. I know at least some of it was meant to be flour sack fabric type print.

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

The plot thickens. Now there's a methamphetamine connection.