Saturday, December 16, 2006

Thoughts on the Swift meat packing raids

I've been too swamped with finals to really have the time needed to comment on the recent ICE raids at six Swift meat processing facilities, including the one in nearby Cactus, TX. Not that I haven't noticed, of course. Thankfully, there's already plenty of fine commentary available on our government's latest Gestapo tactics, so I won't have to add too many of my own. I did want to first note something a nearby Dumas resident Fate Bennett said about the raid:
The storey [sic] regarding the raid in Cactus, TX is not completely forth-coming regarding the events that took place in the small texas town this morning. The story does not mention the fact that immigration agents were going door to door in Cactus demanding birth certificates, drivers licenses, social security cards and other identification documentation from people outside the Swift meat packing plant who were peacefully going about their daily routine in their own homes. Texas citizens were also be stopped on the roads in Cactus, and were requested to produce the documents mentioned previously. Immigration services also requested identification documents for all members in the households, children and adults, they shook down. I think that the actions not covered in any news story I have read are quite extreme, and racially motivated. If any person there were hispanic or hispanic looking, then immigration agents and other officers working in the area zeroed in on them!

I mean really, since when do people carry their birth certificates around with them. And since when could a federal agent knock on your door and request these items from you. Last time I checked, people didn't have to provide anything identifying themselves to authorities without either a warrant or probable cause. I don't see any probable cause when going door to door, and no warrants were provided to any of the people I spoke to that were in Cactus this morning.

I feel that the entire events of a something like this should be covered in the news, and not just the main focus of the what it is that authorities are trying to do. I don't know how many people were detained from their homes, and I don't know if it is within the powers that be to go into residents homes, and interrogate them in this manner, but I don't agree with it. Mabye [sic] if the immigration services and the authorities would get their rear-ends down to the borders and start patrolling them properly, then we would not have to waste our tax payer dollars on raids like this.

The state and federal agencies act like this is something that has just come up. I lived in Dumas most of my life, and I'm now in my 30's, and I know that there have been illegal immigrants in this area in large numbers for as long as I can remember. I know that the focus of these operations was to prevent identity theft, but identify theft was just another means for this government to carry out the new witch hunt for illegal immigrants. I know that the area their will take an economical hit if large numbers of illegal immigrants are deported, and it just seems like a bad way to do things. Think of the people that will be seperated [sic] from their families as well. Just doesn't seem like the right thing to do!
My emphasis added. An anonymous reader of the same Amarillo newspaper added this remark:
Now how are the little children that went home today on the bus to not find there parents at home, or better yet how about the children that couldn't get home because there parents weren't there to do so.
The effect on the kids has got to be devastating, as a quote from this Desmoines-are article cited at Man Eegee suggests:
The baby left behind has her own problems.

She has been difficult to feed since her mother was arrested, Feagan said.

“The mother was breastfeeding the baby,” Feagan said. “The baby doesn’t want to eat. Another tried to breastfeed, but she knew it wasn’t her.”

Feagan said she and advocates for local Hispanic families have tried to pinpoint exactly how many children are in family-limbo to try to organize help.

A total of 408 students were absent in the Marshalltown community school district as of Wednesday morning, district officials reported.
Other bloggers of note who have the lowdown include Nezua, XicanoPwr, Latina Lista, Duke1676 of Migra Matters, and David Neiwert.

The decimation of the Writ of Habeas Corpus that the last Congressional session foisted upon us is already having its consequences, just in time for the Holidays. Can't help but wonder if to add to the already fascist behavior exhibited by the raids themselves if those Haliburton concentration camps are now being put in to use.

One a related note: on the right sidebar you'll now notice a list of all the Senators from this last Congressional session who voted to do away with Habeas Corpus. As my friend Manuel notes, they aren't all Republicans - and to drive that point home I've put the Dems who voted to kill Habeas Corpus in boldface type.

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