27 August, 2008

More on the ICE raid in Laurel, MS

News reports keep coming in. Yes, just about 600 people were arrested. About 8 have made their first appearance in Federal Court on charges of "identity theft".

In my humble opinion, this raid is just a "band-aid" on the problem --or like we say in Mexico, is trying to cover the sun with just one finger. Now I ask, why is it that Bush's administration waited until 6 months before the elections to begin conducting raids on plants that allegedly hired workers without work permits??? PR.

Until the companies are heavily fined, some employers will continue to hire illegal workers. E-Verify or not. The red tape to obtain work permits from Immigration is unbelievable, expensive and it takes forever to get them processed. Before reforming all the immigration laws, the government should hire more people to process the applications of those who filed in a timely fashion. Once the backlog is cleared, then check, review and, if necessary, modify or reform the procedures.

Some of the reverberation:
* children have been absent from school, some may not return.
* local businesses have just lost about 1,800 customers (600 detained who lived with at least two other people).
* Hispanics still in the area have not shown up to work --whether a restaurant, a store or a chicken plant.
* Some of Laurel's Mexican restaurants have been closed this week, employees fear a "visit" from ICE.

No comments: