36Fw: the other side of the story re Immigration Arrests
- Jun 14, 2009----- Original Message -----From: Rusty DouglasSent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 11:53 AMSubject: FW: the other side of the story re Immigration ArrestsI didn't originate this but I completely agree with it.Rusty***********************************************************************************
Check out the cost to the USA for the arrest of these people plus what happened to the town in Postville, Iowa..We can't afford it..Posted in The Oregonian Newspaper..There must be a better solution..Immigration has looked the other way and previous administrations have ignored them as well..Many have been here for years and become a part of a community..IMO the cheapest way is to register them and let them stay..But then I may be in the minority..Living in a farm community, as I do, the loss of field workers results in unharvested crops. higher prices..Farmers are running employment ads daily and few are applying..Higher wage earners do not want to take labor intensive jobs and those who will have transportation problems to get here..There is no public transportation from other towns and cities to here..
The Fresh Del Monte raid: Two years later, some lessons we've learned
by Stephen Manning, Sarah Loose and Alice Petty, guest opinionA few hours after dawn, several white unmarked vans departed from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in downtown Portland.Saturday June 13, 2009, 10:30 AM
Workers, most of whom lived in North Portland, had left their homes earlier to arrive at the Fresh Del Monte food processing factory, donning their safety clothes and gear to begin another workday cutting and packaging fruit.
By 10:30 a.m., agents had spilled from the unmarked vans and surrounded the factory. It was June 12, 2007. The most ferocious immigration raid in Oregon and, at that time, in the United States was under way. By late afternoon, 168 individuals had been arrested.
Since then, ICE has arrested 4,345 individuals in large-scale raids. As the Portland community dealt with the raid and communities across the country reacted, we learned many things about ICE, about immigration, about ourselves and, most important, about our communities.
First, we learned that the whole theory behind ICE's large-scale raid tactics was illegal. ICE's mantra was that immigrants are criminals. A few months ago, in a case called Flores-Figueroa v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected that theory in a unanimous decision.
Second, we learned that raids like Fresh Del Monte have negative impacts beyond just the individuals detained.
In Portland, teachers struggled to explain to children why their classmates had suddenly disappeared, even as many children, including American citizen children, expressed fears that they, too, would be taken away.
Massive amounts of energy and money went into dealing with the raid's aftermath. Two years later, the emotional and financial costs to the Portland area are still undetermined.
Children are still separated from their parents. Faith communities struggle to provide support to detained immigrants who are still awaiting resolution of the immigration court cases. It became clear that when the due process rights of our legal system are ignored in the context of a raid, we all suffer.
For example, in Postville, Iowa, the scene of another massive raid a year ago, the entire town is at the point of going bankrupt.
There is an eerie abandoned quality to the town, from the schools to the shuttered businesses. The town shrank by half. "It's like you're in an oven and there's no place to go and there's no timer to get you out," said former Postville Mayor Robert Penrod, who, overwhelmed, resigned earlier this year.
Third, we learned that enforcement only -- deportation -- will solve nothing and is a waste of time and money. In Postville, the initial price tag for the raid was more than $5.2 million in government costs.
In Portland, we're still assessing the financial costs of the Fresh Del Monte raid. But the local economic impact has been substantial.
Nationally, the number of people detained annually is triple what it was just 10 years ago, with an annual cost of $1.7 billion, yet the problems with our immigration system have not been resolved. Ultimately, deporting people does nothing to address the root cause of immigration, and it underscores the need for a reasonable, rationale solution.
Fourth, we learned that there's no "line" for immigrants to stand in. Saying there's a line implies everyone has a chance to get in line. That's not true for most immigrants and was not true for most if not all of the Fresh Del Monte raid victims.
Oregonians are pragmatic people. We overwhelmingly reject the notion that we should (or even that we can) deport 12 million people. Americans know that immigrants contribute to our society, and we want a long-term solution.
We learned that Oregonians also are sensible about reforming the immigration system -- Oregonians on all sides of the political spectrum.
Instead of raids people prefer a comprehensive approach that secures the border, cracks down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and requires all illegal immigrants to register and meet certain requirements to become legal. They join Americans across the country, 86 percent of whom support comprehensive reform, with 58 percent strongly supporting it.
Most important, we learned that our community is strongest when we act together and work across divides to build relationships.
Fresh Del Monte workers affected by the raid and stuck in legal and financial limbo have organized themselves and are partnering with local faith communities and organizations to educate about the need for just and humane immigration reform.
Oregonians across the state have come forward to say that what happened at Fresh Del Monte was a tragedy and a waste and to assert that immigrants in Oregon are part of the fabric of our community.
Stephen Manning is an attorney in Portland. Sarah Loose is an organizer with the Rural Organizing Project and the New Sanctuary Movement. Alice Perry is a coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee of Portland.~*~ Jane