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In a previous dKos diary I discussed some of the human rights issues associated with illegal immigration.
Wait, let me back up... I use the term illegal alien to describe people in this country illegally. I use the term undocumented worker to describe the kid down the block who mows lawns and doesn't pay taxes. Illegal alien is an immigration thing, undocumented worker is a black market thing. Of course there are people in this country who fit both descriptions - illegal aliens working in the black market, but I am sticking with illegal alien as a description since I am discussing illegal aliens who are both paying taxes, using stolen identities or just totally off the grid.
As if any of this needed an exclamation point, we got Swift & Company. Last week, raids on the meat processing plants raised havoc on the company and the people that worked there. When you arrest more than 1300 people in a single community, mass disruption ensues. Single parents couldn't take care of their kids, families were torn apart and a general disintegration of community developed.
This week the events in Greely Colorado continue to unfold.
"It’s not fair to have these people come here, pay them, then kick them around politically," said attorney Robert McCormick, representing some of the detainees. "It makes no sense. There’s a reason people come here, that is the demand for labor."
Karina Miranda is 24, married just two weeks. Her husband, Jose Mendoza was scooped up in the raid. Miranda is left with two children, no job, little money and lots of questions.
Like her husband, Miranda is here illegally. She paid a transporter $2,000 to lead her and her daughter, Litzy, now seven, on a three-day march across the Arizona desert last year. She doesn't have the papers to get a job or to get inside a federal detention center to see her husband.
I totally understand why these people come here but what I don't understand is why the Federal Government permits it. We do little to prevent their access to the border, we do little to punish employers who use these people for what amounts to slaves and then we take it out on the illegal aliens when we get off our ass to enforce the weak laws we have on the books.
And our government's idiocy cuts both ways.
Even for those working legally, like 25-year-old hometown Swift worker Evie Alexis Mezney, the raid has had an impact. Suddenly short 261 workers, Mezney said the company posted red fliers on the doors, advising crews they’d be working a weekend shift in addition to the expanded 10-hour shifts they were already on.
Outside the plant, she said there’s resentment. Some who lost family threatened her for not quitting in protest, she said.
‘‘I need the money,’’ she said.
There is one thing guaranteed. In Bush's economy, everyone needs the money.