Workplace Crackdown Targets Undocumented Workers
Fast Food Nation is playing in movie theaters right now (here is an interesting review), and the story line revolves around a meat packing plant in Colorado. The fictitious plant runs on cheap labor coming from Mexico, as undocumented immigrants struggle to survive the search for work, and then the work itself once they find it. While the film provides a fictional account of immigration issues, it does draw from a very real struggle.
This just in: The way in which the raids were conducted is making headlines.
Today six states were host to the largest workplace raid in US History, which was aimed at arresting undocumented workers. The raids took place at meatpacking plants in Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, and Utah. Homeland Security continues to blame the immigrants themselves for using false documentation, while choosing to raid, arrest, and prosecute workers, separating families along the way. While some will argue that workers must register in order to work, with no exceptions, the demand fueling illegal immigration based on US economic policy seems not to matter. As well identity theft was brought forth as a reason for the raids. Why would workers be targeted for identity theft when they would have obtained such documents from other sources. And how is this a new finding? It seems like a new spin on how to target workers.
"Violations of our immigration laws and privacy rights often go hand in hand," he said. "Enforcement actions like this one protect the privacy rights of innocent Americans while striking a blow against illegal immigration."
The raids at Swift & Co. plants across the country resulted in 1,282 arrests, including 1,217 on immigration charges and 65 on criminal charges such as identity theft. Chertoff said the investigation is continuing into several groups that may have sold identity documents to illegal immigrants.
The arrested workers were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Laos, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries.