From the post I put up at CB earlier today. The video is one my son and I took when we went to DePaul for their protest against Chris Simcox of the Minutemen. They believe in groupthink; anything that is “different” would mean intellectual diversity – and they DON’T WANT THAT.
Ben Stone with ACLU of Iowa released this statement Tuesday:
The ACLU of Iowa strongly condemns the unnecessary use of criminal prosecutions to coerce hundreds of foreign-born workers detained in the recent raid in Postville, Iowa into waiving their rights to individually demonstrate why each of them should be allowed to remain in the U.S.
Of the 390 workers reportedly detained, nearly three hundred are from Guatemala, a country known for its human rights abuses. A civil deportation proceeding is the best way to address immigration cases, and each case needs to be handled on an individual basis. By converting the meatpacking plant raid into a mass criminal prosecution, the government is wasting precious legal resources and giving short shrift to the American right of due process, which belongs to all persons, not just citizens.
From the information the ACLU of Iowa has been able to gather, it appears that detainees are not receiving adequate time to meet with their lawyers, and that defense attorneys are being overwhelmed requests to represent far more clients than is advisable – or perhaps even ethical. We are concerned that the sheer size of this raid is likely to result in numerous violations of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the due process rights all persons in this country. It is our understanding that detainees are being threatened with prosecution if they do not waive their right to an individualized deportation hearing and that they may be forced to do so with only minimal opportunity to speak with defense counsel.
While justice delayed is justice denied — justice in haste lays waste.
The ACLU of Iowa recognizes that the United States, like every nation, has the right to control who enters the country, to enforce the integrity of its borders, and to set immigration policy. However, the ACLU of Iowa also believes that this policy needs to be consistent with our American values of fairness, and the tradition of welcoming immigrants. While our government can determine immigration status and enforce immigration laws, it should act fairly, humanely and in accordance with our constitutional norms of due process and equal protection and adhere to U.S. obligations under international law.
POSTVILLE — Monday’s immigration raid at Agriprocessors was the result of almost eight months of investigation, according to U.S. Attorney Matt Dummermuth.
The probe included interviews with former illegal workers and an undercover source who landed a job at the plant and sometimes wore a recording device, court records show.
Agents with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Agriprocessors had 833 workers with suspicious Social Security numbers pulling a paycheck in the third quarter of 2007.
All 833 employees were found to have either used invalid Social Security numbers or numbers not their own, said an application ICE agents submitted to secure a search warrant of the facility.
They completely let some of the women go because of ‘humanitarian concerns’–they had small children.