25 August, 2008

Mixed Feelings

I'm in New Orleans teaching this week. Today was the first day of the training. Before 11 AM I received a text message from a friend.

There is an ICE raid at Howard Industries in Laurel

Laurel is 30 miles from where I live. The text messages keep coming, I called the office during breaks to get updates. While waiting for more detailed information, I remember what happened in Pottsville, IA., an ICE raid with express trails and deportations.

I get back to the hotel and get on the Internet to get more information. Not too many reports about it outside the local TV station and two local newspapers. I began reading the mini articles. There is not a lot of information. ICE came, closed off the premises of the plant and the corporate offices complex, checked records and proceeded to detain/arrest those who did not have authorizations to work in the U.S.

There is not a lot of information available so the news reports are very short and brief. What disturbed me were the comments of the public to the news. Some show a lot of hatred towards the Hispanics in the area, and foreigners in general. It made me feel bad. I live in this town! It had never dawn on me that people in the area had such thoughts and feelings. It made me feel not welcomed.

I feel bad for those people who got arrested, but I feel worse for their families. My friend's sister works for the local school system and said children were pulled out of school in the middle of the day by their parents or relatives. Some said they were leaving the area. Those children, whose parents were arrested and have no relatives, are now in the care of the DHS or other such organizations. Many children will be left behind in the U.S. while their parents are sent back to their countries.

Tonight I found that the news had made the major news agencies and newspapers. Here is one.

Nota bene:

I agree that you need to obtain the proper authorization and documentation to go to another country, especially if you plan to live and work there. However, the U. S. does not make this process easy nor expeditious...


(Tues Aug 26)

Yesterday's reports said that they had detained about 350 people. ICE released information on Tuesday saying that they detained closer to 600 people. Some women were outfitted with an electronic monitoring device to go take care of their young children.

The local school district reported that about half of their Hispanic students did not show up for school on Tuesday.

Source A.P.

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