Immigration Raid on Iowa Meatpacking Plant

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-05-12-meatpacker-raids_N.htm

I see similar reports every day.  We need much, much more of this.  With illegal immigrants entering the country at a rate of about 2,000 per day, we’ll never catch them all at this rate.  However, if employers start getting the message that employing cheap, illegal labor will catch up with them, then the biggest driving force for illegal immigration will slowly evaporate. 

We don’t need immigration reform.  We already have all the laws we need.  We just need much more enforcement like this.  Beyond that, what we need is an understanding that even legal immigration is hurting Americans by maintaining labor in a constant state of over-supply. 

The packing plant has attracted workers from Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

This illustrates that illegal immigration isn’t just a southern border problem.  ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is far too lax about enforcing visas.  Those who over-stay should quickly be hunted down and apprehended. 

Nathaniel Popper, a journalist who has written about Agriprocessors for The Jewish Daily Forward, based in New York, said the raid could disrupt the supply of kosher meat.

“This could have a big impact on the supply of kosher meat in America,” Popper said in an interview. “Over the next several days, that’s going to be the big question for people in the Jewish community who keep kosher.”

Leave it to USAToday to come up with some ridiculous counter-point.  As if this meat-packing plant would rather shut down than simply hire American workers.  If they can’t make a pofit while employing Americans, then they deserve to be shut down.  There are plenty of others (meat-packers) ready to take up the slack. 

Those arrested were being held at a fairgrounds in Waterloo, Iowa, and in local jails. A total of 16 local, state and federal agencies, led by ICE, joined the investigation that began last October. They include the U.S. Marshals Service, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

It’s heartening to see this kind of inter-agency cooperation.  We don’t need immigration reform.  We need more of the above.

According to an affidavit, “approximately 76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers in connection with their employment.”

So much for the argument that illegal immigrants are just good, honest, hard-working folk who are no threat to Americans.

Pour it on, ICE!  Keep these raids coming!

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2 Responses to Immigration Raid on Iowa Meatpacking Plant

  1. Robert says:

    I agree, we do need more of these raids although simply requiring employers to verify the social security numbers match the person applying for a job would be much more effective.

  2. Pete Murphy says:

    An excellent point, Robert. It seems that it would be a very simple thing to do. But any such system for checking SS numbers should be robust enough to catch illegals who may be using stolen identities. I’d also like to see your suggestion applied to landlords as well. No valid SSN? Sorry, no apartment. Also, since many foreigners who have immigrated here legally are allowed to obtain employment, prospective employees who don’t have SSNs should have a check of their visa number run to verify that they are here legally and have not over-stayed their visa. (Maybe this is already done. I don’t know.) In fact, this check should be required to be re-run on some frequency, even after their visa number checks out, to assure that they don’t overstay their visas.

    Anything that makes it more difficult for someone here illegally to function in our society is a step in the right direction.

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