Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup
by The Opportunity Agenda, Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 09:43:21 AM EDT
* "The Shame of Postville, Iowa," an editorial in Sunday's New York Times, calls attention to an essay written by Erik Camayd-Freixas. Mr. Camayd-Freixas is a professor and court interpreter who witnessed the aftermath of last month's ICE raid on the Postville community. He was disgusted when he saw the injustice in the legal system that the workers were subjected to; instead of being deported immediately, over 260 workers were charged with serious identity fraud crimes and sentenced to 6 months in prison:
What is worse, Dr. Camayd-Freixas wrote, is that the system was clearly rigged for the wholesale imposition of mass guilt. He said the court-appointed lawyers had little time in the raids' hectic aftermath to meet with the workers, many of whom ended up waiving their rights and seemed not to understand the complicated charges against them.
The editorial also added:
No one is denying that the workers were on the wrong side of the law. But there is a profound difference between stealing people's identities to rob them of money and property, and using false papers to merely get a job. It is a distinction that the Bush administration, goaded by immigration extremists, has willfully ignored. Deporting unauthorized workers is one thing; sending desperate breadwinners to prison, and their families deeper into poverty, is another.
* Following the allegations of Guantanamo Bay-like treatment at ICE facilities, the Seattle Times has an article detailing numerous stories of abuse at an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington. The stories are part of a 65-page Seattle University Law School report titled "Voices From Detention". Detainees claim that they are routinely subjected to physical and verbal abuse, strip searches and manipulation:
The report's authors said conditions are consistent with those at detention centers across the country. They are calling on Congress to pass laws that protect the rights of detainees...
Detainees in the study say they were pressured to sign documents or asked to sign paperwork they didn't understand, a practice their attorneys say often leads to their unwitting deportation...
The report said one woman, after an attorney's visit, was strip-searched and told to open her legs while a female guard peeped into her private parts.
To learn more about detainee treatment at ICE facilities, see this posting on The State of Opportunity.
* Even after weeks of people discussing the horrific effects of the Postville and Houston raids, ICE has done it again - according to The Providence Journal, ICE agents arrested dozens of maintenance workers in a raid of Rhode Island court houses on Tuesday:
The raid led to a noisy demonstration by at least 100 people outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at 200 Dyer St. last night. Police officers arrived as the crowd grew; at one point the police pushed a line of demonstrators across the parking lot.
For a full summary of the stories on the Rhode Island ICE raid, go to the Citizen Orange Pro-Migrant Sanctuary Sphere posting.
* The New York Times is also reporting that many immigrants in New York City, most of them Latino, face being disenfranchised in the November election because the federal government is taking so long to fully process their citizenship applications:
At stake are the applications of at least 55,000 people in the New York City area who have been waiting at least six months -- and as long as four years -- for their documents to be processed, the lawyers said.