Monday, May 12, 2008

The Raid

So what do you make of the worst kept secret in eastern Iowa...what turned out to be the raid of the AgriProcessors, Inc. in Postville. 300 arrests, at least, we're hearing. This seems to be quite the event...dozens, if not hundreds, of federal agents rounding up and then busing out possible illegal immigrants. The feds have a big "staging" area set up in Waterloo.

We had a tip another city would be targeted, as well. So we hit the road this afternoon to that city. Nothing. At least, not yet. We're back in Des Moines for now.

These are among the first few emails we've received after the 5pm news coverage of the raid:

"Watch a replay of the ICE raid today. Tell me why your reporter, who was at the site, is blatantly sympathetic to the people arrested? They are felons if they forged documents.
Your station has never fully reported on burden these illegals have placed on the people of Iowa. I don't feel any sympathy for criminals."

"Sorry, I do not have all the sympathy some seem to have for anyone that is breaking the law. If the people came into this country legally, I would have no problems with them having those jobs. I cannot see why we should let people from other countries come in here and tell us how to treat them. If we went to another country, we would have to abide by their laws, or else."

Here are a few VIP responses...

From Congressman Bruce Braley:

My immediate thoughts are with the families impacted by today’s events. In Postville there are hundreds of children whose lives have been changed because of this raid, and in the wake of the December 2006 Swift Company raid, I want to make sure their well-being is a priority.

If people have broken the law, there should be consequences. There’s a legal system in place to determine those consequences, and justice should be fairly imposed with due process.

I’ll be interested to see if federal authorities will be bringing any charges against the employer. We know that the Swift Company never faced any charges after the raid in Marshalltown, and the enforcement of immigration violations against corporations has plummeted during the Bush administration. Until we enforce our immigration laws equally against both employers and employees who break the law, we will continue to have a problem with immigration.”

From Governor Chet Culver:

"My office was informed last week there would be an impending federal exercise in the Waterloo area. I was briefed via telephone this morning at about 10:15 am by the U.S. Attorney for Northern District, as the exercise was happening.

The state’s role in today’s exercise has been limited. The Department of Public Safety is providing traffic support on the scene, and if additional criminal activity is discovered through the course of the exercise, the DCI is prepared to investigate at the state level.

I believe it is important that we crack down on illegal immigration. Illegal means illegal. Not just those who cross the border, but also those who are responsible for helping make it happen -- traffickers, identity thieves, those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and anyone who has taken advantage of employees or turned a blind eye. At the same time we must take care to protect due process, and consider the impact on a small community and the people involved.

My Administration has made clear to the federal government the importance of ensuring the humanitarian side of this exercise is addressed in the community, and I have received assurances from the federal government that they are doing so.

I have also directed relevant state agencies to convene a working group under the Lt. Governor’s direction to ensure that state agencies are assisting the community in dealing with this event. This group will include representatives from Iowa Workforce Development, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Working group members have met this afternoon with the Lt. Governor to get briefed on this and begin working through their agencies to assist the community.

While this is a federal exercise, my office will continue to keep the public and press informed of any additional state involvement."


Anonymous said...

RE: The impacted chidren. Don't you think it was the parents responsibility to consider this, if they got "busted", and not the U.S. Citizens!
Like my Dad told me when I was growing up, "If you're looking for sympathy, you'll find it in the dictionary between s*** and syphilis!"

Anonymous said...

come on! the children didn't do anything wrong. They are caught in the middle.

Anonymous said...

I agree illegals should follow the rules. But we do have to protect the kids.

Anonymous said...

I do feel for the kids too. But they all need to go home and try to come back the right way. LEGALLY!

Anonymous said...

These children would not have been impacted if their parents were not criminals. I don't hear many bleeding hearts for the american thieves who go to jail and leave behind their children. What is wrong with you people? They are criminals teaching their children that our laws are not important. I think ICE should prepare for the next march they have and round them all up and send them back home. The jobs they are taking up can be given to an american citizen who is about to lose their home because of the economy.

Anonymous said...

How did these kids get into school if they are illegal. Come on ARABS you can do it to. How come the news doesn't read mexico's law on illegals and whats expected of them there. So we let illegals in who said they are not a sleeper sell to destroy us from someone who hates americans.. I rercieved an e-mail called Hoover & Eisenhowzer and what the did with illegals, it took two years but they got rid of them. It also say's check out this on your favorite search engine " Operation Wetback". I haven't checked it out yet, but I will..

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the kids but they all are breaking the law. If I broke the law and got caught I would be punished and so should they. Also the employers and those giving sanction should be punished as they also are breaking the law. They should be sent to Sheriff Joe's jail in the Arizona desert. We can't keep taking in illegals