Law Enforcement Finds a way Around Immigration Law

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EDITORIAL

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Many of us who work with large groups of people become friends with them. They share a large part of their daily lives with you, as well as stories about their kids, spouses, and even what they did over the weekend.  Well, what if after the weekend 16 of them didn’t come back?  What if they became the story others talked about at work on Monday?

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That story is of 16 families, torn apart in Marshalltown, Iowa.  Kids are now separated from mom or dad; they are probably crying because someone is going to take their parents away from them for a very long time. That is 16 people who didn’t show up to work today because they are in jail for using fraudulent documents to work hard jobs at a low pay many would never even think about doing.  But they did take those jobs few people wanted. Some did use false IDs, and now they will most likely get deported for doing whatever it took to provide a better life for their families.  They knew the risk, but ultimately the need was greater.

 

Now you might ask why this is different from the other workplace raids we hear about in the news.  The difference this time is that the raid was called arrests and was conducted by police officers, not federal Immigration Enforcement Agents (ICE). 

 

The difference is the wounds have not yet healed from the raids ICE conducted in that community this past December.  These police officers are the same people who will pull you over for a traffic violation. They are the ones you call when you have an emergency. They are the ones who are supposed to “serve and protect,” but instead want to enforce laws out of their jurisdiction. 

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Only federal agents can enforce immigration law and that is how it should be. Yet Marshalltown Police found a way to go around immigration law, without justification.

 

Why did Marshalltown Police do this? After many phone calls they would not talk. The police chief took some days off and the captain didn’t return calls.  But with the large influx of Hispanics in Marshalltown, it’s hard to imagine that the person who conceived of the raid cared about the migrant population, cared about having a diverse community, or cared about protecting people working hard for their families.

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But the police do know this: Even thought they did arrest people for forgery and identity theft, these 16 people were not your typical computer hackers who runs up people’s credit cards or thieves who steal checkbooks. They are people who just want to work. 

 

The officers know that they helped ruin the lives of many families in their community.  So what’s next? Will they arrest you if you didn’t pay your taxes? Owe money to a credit agency? Accumulated late fees at the library?

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These actions aren’t in police jurisdiction and should remain that way. If they continue with this anti-immigrant sentiment and actions the community these officers live in will suffer immensely in the long run.

 

  In Colorado alone, the state’s farm bureau predicts that restricting services to the undocumented will result in farmers loosing $60 million in the next two years, because now LEGAL immigrants are not moving to that state.

 

But ICE also doesn’t want the rest of the nation to know what happened.  ICE wants to keep such actions hidden in the shadows because local police is doing its dirty work while they don’t get the bad publicity of raiding workplaces. 

 

The funny thing is that by working in the shadows and finding loopholes to catch the undocumented, ICE and the Marshalltown police officers are no better than any of the 16 who were arrested. The story of police officers who found a way around the law is one we should be telling to our friends at work, because you probably don’t want this story to be that of your workplace. 

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