Immigration Enforcement Is Acceptable Every February 29. Maybe ...
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents held a modest return engagement at the now-bankrupt Agriprocessors kosher abattoir in Postville, Iowa this past Tuesday, November 4. You can read the Des Moines Register's account [Postville streets empty as immigration officials return, by Grant Schulte, November 5, 2008] of this mini-raid for all the scintillating details.

To my mind, the most memorable item in the Register's story was their quote from Marissa Graciosa of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement [send them mail]:

It's appalling that the federal agents chose today, Election Day, to spread fear amongst the residents of Postville.
Perhaps the raid distracted Postville's remaining illegal aliens while they were voting?

Ms. Graciosa was, uncannily, echoing a reaction to the ICE raid at the Swift beef packing plant in Greeley, Colorado on December 12, 2006, as reported in the Greeley Tribune:

"This is an insult to us as Mexicans because today is El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe," said Lupe Tapia of Greeley, in reference to Dec. 12, which is celebrated as a religious holiday recognizing the birth of the Virgin Mary. [Latino community outraged at timing of ICE raid, by Vanessa Delgado, December 13, 2006]
It would be an interesting experiment to determine what dates might be OK for immigration raids. How about June 19? Probably not, I'll guess, as that's a mere five days after Flag Day. April 21? Heaven forbid—that would be precisely two weeks before Cinco de Mayo! (And regarding April 21, a friend points out "[This] is the wrong day to enforce immigration law because that's the day after Hitler's birthday, and we all know ICE is a legacy agency of the Gestapo. It sends a very bad message!"

But "uncannily" probably isn't the appropriate word, as the Graciosa and Tapia objections seem to fit a larger pattern documented by the Pew Hispanic Center's 2008 National Survey of Latinos. From the report:

More than four-in-five Hispanics (81%) say that immigration enforcement should be left mainly to the federal authorities rather than the local police; 76% disapprove of workplace raids; 73% disapprove of the criminal prosecution of undocumented immigrants who are working without authorization; and 70% disapprove of the criminal prosecution of employers who hire undocumented immigrants. A narrow majority (53%) disapproves of a requirement that employers check a federal database to verify the legal immigration status of all prospective hires.
So, to summarize, most Hispanics think only the feds should be enforcing America's immigration laws. But, really, the feds shouldn't be doing it either.
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