Sorted by race

(6:30PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

As many of us have been reveling in the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and the nomination of an African American man to be President of the United States, our country continues to practice some of the most egregious human rights violations we’ve seen in the last 40-50 years.

I expect the people of Postville, Iowa woke up on Tuesday morning with heavy hearts, knowing exactly what so many in Laurel, MS were feeling the day after an ICE raid in which almost 600 people were arrested and jailed. It seems that, as far as ICE, the Justice Department, and Bushco, Postville was such a great succes that it is likely to be repeated all over the country.


Here’s a bit of what we’re hearing about what happened at Howard Industries on Monday from Dee at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

ICE´s approach humiliated all Latino workers in the plant with their Racial Profiling. Witnesses said ICE provided all White and Black workers Blue Armbands. All the Latino workers were put in line and forced to prove their legal status. ICE, in their uniforms and wearing side arms, caused ALL Latino workers to shiver in fear as they went through this ritual. The exits were sealed. Some Latino workers were sprayed with Mace.

And here’s a bit from the ACLU press release yesterday.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that workers at the factory where the raid occurred were segregated by race or ethnicity and interrogated, the factory was locked down for several hours, workers were denied access to counsel, and ICE failed to inform family members and lawyers following the raid where the workers were being jailed,” said Mónica Ramírez, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project who has traveled to Mississippi to meet with family members and lawyers about the government’s actions.

Most of those jailed were taken to a detention facility in Jena, Louisiana (yes, the same town made famous by the prosecution of the Jena Six), which is some 200 miles away from their homes and families. Dee, at the link above, is trying to “follow the money” to gain some understanding of the motivation behind this raid. Apparently the detention facility in Jena is owned by GEO Group, one of those corporations that is raking in huge profits from the privatization of prisons. Dee says that:

After the Jena, La., immigration detention facility reaches full occupancy with 1,160 inmates in 2008, GEO expects $23.5 million annually in revenues. GEO, whose major shareholder is Zoley, donated $100,000 to George Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004.

In a way that perhaps only the residents of Postville can understand, the Sun Herald explains how fear grips immigrants after Miss. plant raid.

A day after the largest single-workplace immigration raid in U.S. history, Elizabeth Alegria was too scared to send her son to school and worried about when she’d see her husband again.

Nearly 600 immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally were detained, creating panic among dozens of families in this small southern Mississippi town…

The superintendent of the county school district said about half of approximately 160 Hispanic students were absent Tuesday.

Roberto Velez, pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Peniel, where an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the 200 parishioners were caught up in the raid, said parents were afraid immigration officials would take them.

“They didn’t send their kids to school today,” he said. “How scared is that?”

Oh and in case you’re wondering about Howard Industries, the plant where the raids occurred, Dee gives us this information.

Howard Industries, a producer of electrical power products, does big business with Government. From 2000 – 2008, Howard received $15 Million in government contracts. Of course it helps that CEO Billy Howard and his family are big time GOP Contributors. Howard Industries is similar to Agriprocessors in that they have a history of OSHA failures. This year they were cited for 54 violations of federal safety rules at the company’s two manufacturing locations in Laurel.

But of course, those are all still “under investigation” and:

Howard Industries was back in business the day after the ICE raid, scurrying to backfill the swept away employees.



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  1. to this kind of outrageous activity. Time for all of us to stand up together and say…”NEVER AGAIN!!!”

  2. …smaller ones have been happening all over.  My mum has gotten phone calls from friends who are immigrants describing raids at smaller places.  I hate to say it but I think that we’re a hairsbreadth from “ICE: Defending America” on prime-time, where right wingers can lean back in their chairs and watch the macing and pushing over in handcuffs and beating parts, and know their tax dollars are going exactly where they want ’em to.

    • Edger on August 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    not all the neanderthals are extinct. Yet.

    • wuli on August 29, 2008 at 2:42 am

    It’s no surprise ICE is run out of this executive branch… the torture branch.

    “Operation Endgame” is scheduled to go through 2012, and if successful, will have tracked down and deported 12 million immigrants.

    The poor people, the children… what horror they endure, at the “Americans” hands… the country they looked up to… till now. Doesn’t “Homeland Security” understand that? Making enemies of 12 million people, and their kids, can’t be good for security.

    I can only hope that a democratic administration will cut the funding for this outrage.

  3. and to take advantage of the world’s poor countries. Capital must be free to move across borders but labor must stay put.

    The following quote is from an excellent article written by Toni Solo and posted a while back on ZNet. Please note in particular the second paragraph.

    …Widespread rejection and condemnation greeted news that the European Parliament had approved the Return Directive, applying harsh Europe-wide rules to illegal immigrants. President Ignacio da Silva of Brazil remarked of the measure, “The cold wind of xenophobia is again bringing false solutions to the challenges of the economy and society.” In the US, steadily more restrictive measures are being applied to illegal immigrants across the country. Immigration policy there is symbolized by well-received proposals for a 2000 mile long anti-immigration barrier along the US border with Mexico.

    So while the rich countries that promote corporate globalization demand poorer countries give big multinational corporations greater market access on extremely advantageous investment terms, people in poorer countries are denied the chance to exploit one of the few valuable resources they have – their labour. Capital must be free to move wherever it likes. But its victims had better stay put. Here, class meets race. Middle-class and working-class people in rich countries resent poor immigrants desperate to improve their families’ lives back in countries out of whose ruthless exploitation the rich countries historically accrued their current advantage in the first place.

    Toni Solo on Znet

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