Saturday, August 10, 2019

Families Divided by ICE Raids

Families Devastated By ICE Raids

‘They’re going to lose everything’: Families are devastated after Mississippi ICE raids. USA Today: “As Thursday morning dawned hot and bright, Desiree Hughes soldiered through the 24th hour of her wait in a parking lot of a chicken processing plant here. Two of her friends had been seized by immigration officials during a raid the day before, in an operation that resulted in about 680 arrests from seven different food processing plants across Mississippi. It was the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. ‘(I’m) hurt. Heartbroken,’ Hughes said before taking a deep breath. ‘I just want our families to come home. Because without their mamas and papas, how are they going to take care of their babies? How are they going to get to school? How are they going to pay their bills? They’re going to lose everything.’ Hughes, who is a legal resident, was told to leave. She wasn’t given a chance to speak with her friends before they were carted away in a bus. Hughes’ first concern: Her friends’ young daughter and little brother. She made sure they had food, water, clothes and that they were in a safe location. The brother, a naturally anxious kid, was panicking, she said. The little girl was too young to understand what was going on. Then, she went back to Koch Foods. She and others whose loved ones were swept up in the raids gathered in nearby parking lots on Wednesday, hoping that buses would bring them back. The crowd swelled to hundreds of people overnight, she said. They stayed for hours, anxiously and tearfully waiting to be reunited with family and friends.”

ICE Raids Expose Appetite For Cheap Labor

Mississippi ICE raids expose the biggest problem with US immigration laws. Vox: “A Mississippi community is reeling from the aftermath of one of the largest worksite immigration raids in history. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers swept through seven chicken processing plants in the rural region of Morton Wednesday, arresting 680 suspected unauthorized workers. Dozens of children arrived home from school to find their parents gone.

 ICE says the operation was about enforcing US immigration laws that make it illegal for immigrants to work in the US without authorization. While it’s true that ICE officers with a warrant have the authority to raid workplaces, Wednesday’s operation sheds new light on the cruelty of the US immigration system. But even more so, it also reveals a fundamental flaw in US immigration policy. American immigration laws do practically nothing to address the main cause of illegal immigration: super high demand for low-skill work, and not enough workers available to fill those jobs. There’s practically no way for a low-skilled worker from Guatemala to ‘wait in line’ for a visa to take a job at a chicken processing plant in Mississippi. Only one such visa exists — the EB-3 visa — but it’s limited to a tiny number of people (5,000 max). Yet the US economy needs hundreds of thousands of workers to fill these jobs right now. The US is experiencing a serious labor shortage, and it’s harder for businesses to find low-skilled workers these days than high-skilled workers.”

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