ICE raids: Why not charge the employer?
ICE’s cruelhearted immigration sweep last week in rural Mississippi is a “win for corporate exploitation,” said Adrian Carrasquillo in NewRepublic.com. About 600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided six chicken-processing plants and arrested 680 suspected unauthorized workers—one of the largest operations in ICE history. Agents bound the workers’ hands and took them away on buses, “leaving children sobbing and wives tearfully saying goodbye to husbands through chain-link fences.” Some kids returned from school to find that their dad and mom were both in federal custody. Magdalena Gomez Gregorio, 11, pleaded for her father’s release. “Government, please show some heart,” she said. “He’s not a criminal.” But once again, “the cruelty is the point.” Not charged was her father’s employer, poultry giant Koch Foods, which actively recruits undocumented immigrants and pays them pitiful wages to cut, debone, and package chicken under miserable, sometimes dangerous conditions.
Liberals love to “hyperventilate about ‘the children,’” said Eddie Scarry in WashingtonExaminer.com. But by refusing to reform the asylum system and blocking immigration enforcement, Democrats created this mess. Migrants know they can “waltz” across the border “so long as they claim asylum and come with children.” While they wait in the U.S. as courts process a backlog of about 1 million cases, “Democrats will breathe fire on anyone who tries to deport them.” In Mississippi, ICE already released 271 workers from custody pending hearings, prioritizing “those who had children.” Rather than vilifying agents for enforcing the law, said John Daniel Davidson in TheFederalist.com, why not address the root of the problem? We should “expand the number of work visas” to address massive labor shortages in low-skill fields. If farms and meat producers used only American workers, “we would all pay much more for meat, fruit, and vegetables.”
The raid on the chicken plant underlines President Trump’s “profound hypocrisy” on immigration, said Raul Reyes in CNN.com. His own company “has a history of using illegal labor” at its golf courses and construction sites. Nationwide, just a handful of employers of illegal immigrants were successfully prosecuted in the past year. Arresting migrants is nothing but a distraction, said Paul Waldman in WashingtonPost.com. The number of people coming to or crossing the border is soaring, and the “big, beautiful wall” hasn’t materialized. By any measure, Trump’s immigration policy is “a complete and utter failure.” ■