Do we live in a rogue state?

Ian had noted off-blog that it sounded like we lived in a rogue nation. Recently, it seemed as if President Obama was saying that he, the elected “Commander in Chief”, was having to negotiate with the military about when to leave Iraq, and how many tens of thousands of soldiers to leave there permanently.

Now, through Janet Napolitano, Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, Obama and Napolitano are claiming that the federal immigration raid in Washington State was done without their knowledge. I believe that if President Obama is telling the truth, it is a frightening time for Americans, when our military and our law enforcement are so powerful and out of control OR equally as disturbing, President Obama is lying and posturing in monstrous proportions.

First, excerpts from an article about Janet Napolitano’s view of the raids. After that, wise reflections from a member of an immigration issues list-serve.

(excerpt from) The Seattle Times
Napolitano demands review of ICE raid at Bellingham plant

by Lornet Turnbull

The Obama administration is demanding answers from local immigration-enforcement agents who raided an engine plant in Bellingham, arrested 28 illegal immigrant workers and began the process to deport them.

The work-site raid at Yamato Engine Specialists by agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Tuesday was the first since President Obama took office. It also is believed to be the first time in this era of heightened immigration enforcement that a presidential administration has publicly demanded a review of the actions of officers in the field.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers during a Wednesday hearing in Washington, D.C., that she did not know about the raid before it happened…

ICE, one of many agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, issued a statement Wednesday saying the work-site investigation at Yamato was triggered by information obtained from two gang members previously arrested by agents…

Obama had said during his campaign that he wanted enforcement priorities to shift to unscrupulous employers and that he also wanted to bring about a reform of the immigration system.

Pramila Jayapal, executive director of the advocacy group OneAmerica, said a network of support organizations contacted policy makers on Capitol Hill in the hours after the raid to express their concerns.

“We’d like to see the administration call for a moratorium on these raids and these harsh enforcement actions that don’t solve anything,” Jayapal said.

Thoughts on Bellingham

The federal war on Latino immigrants continues. And Napolitano’s response is that she was kept in the dark? Is ICE a rogue operation or is Arpaio’s buddy playing games? Although I can care less what Janet thinks. What I’d like to know is Obama’s reaction to the raid and his directions to Napolitano on workplace raids?

Has there been any statements from the president on this matter?

My second thought is that targeting employers may sounds more humane but it may not be for undocumented workers. If ICE gets a tip on a company, won’t its blackboots seek to capture and hold the workers as evidence? And won’t ICE then seek to deport them? I mean, the chance of Napolitano’s ICE arresting the CEOs while allowing workers to scatter doesn’t seem likely.

Really, any type of workplace immigration enforcement creates havoc in the businesses, communities and families affected.

In the longterm, the US and its neighbors–actually, all of the Americas) must forge agreements that result in raising labor standards, while guaranteeing workers the right of migration. The easy movement of capital, combined with walling people in or out, is disastrous in so many ways.

In the short term, issues related to the workplace–including employment eligibility and taxation–should be handled by the US Labor and commerce departments.

One Response

  1. […] ICE raid yesterday, plus analysis of ICE raids Update: February 27, 2009: here. […]

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