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The effect of ICE raids on the community

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    Southern Poverty Law Center, February 21, 2019: SPLC lawsuit: ICE raid at Tennessee slaughterhouse violated workers’ constitutional rights

    This SPLC article covers the trauma of ICE raids on the people and community when the ICE agents conducted a raid on a Tennessee meat packing plant arresting some 100 Latino workers on the spot and transporting them to a processing center. Many had legal status but the raid was conducted without any regard to the constitutional rights of the employees. You can read the article to understand the first hand accounts of the raid on not only those present but also afterward in the community.

    I would like to say that "America id better than this", but as long as Trump's ICE agents are running rampant without regard to human rights, then I cannot. This is what we have become under Trumpism.

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    Raids on business establishments are nothing new. When Jimmy Carter was pres., I was working as a truck mechanic at a place named Industrial Garment Co. at 4223 West Lake Street in Chicago, Industrial Garment employed a handful (15 or so) illegal immigrants. The immigrants were grunts, they operated the huge commercial washers and dryers and also unloaded soiled laundry from the trucks that came in. While I was under a truck on a creeper, I saw many men enter through the dock area running through the overhead doors. The next thing I saw was people running out of the building. The location on Lake Street was a huge brick building that was about a city block long. I also saw Chicago PD squad cars rolling up into the alley where the docks were. I got out from under the truck and walked up to a cop and asked what was going on? The cop told me federal government officials were performing a raid and rounding up illegal immigrants. This was in the year 1976 or 1977.

    I don't know what the feds were called at that time because ICE wasn't formed until 2001 or thereafter.

    I agree that rounding up people in the manners that they have for years is immoral and demeaning. IMO, it's akin to the old KGB.

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    It's so depressing because businesses knowingly take advantage of undocumented immigrants and know full well that they will just replace the workers they lose with another batch of undocumented workers as soon as ICE moves on.

    Why is it that these businesses face little to zero consequences while the people making less than minimum wage while working in abhorrent conditions are the ones who feel the full weight of American law enforcement? These are jobs that Americans simply refuse to do, so it makes it easy for all of us to turn a blind eye when raids like this happen.

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    After that raid on my workplace, the manager of this commercial laundry paid a visit to the alley and I could see he was visibly shaken, and angry. I witnessed him speaking with other department heads, and he was telling them they would need to operate the machinery until they'd found replacements, which they did the next week, more illegal immigrants, I suspected, almost none of them spoke any English at all. The management did hire several African Americans too, I also suspect they paid those workers less than minimum wages too.

    I had a very good relationship with the head of maintenance (Joe Nardi), his official title was something to the effect of a stationary engineer, his responsibilities were to ensure proper operation of the big machines, among other things, he was the last person responsible for making sure the waste water coming from the washers met EPA regulations when discharged back into the drains back to the water treatment facility of the city. Back then they used caustics to wash laundry. I chatted with him while we were repairing one of his personal vehicles in my shop, and he told me that if (Mike Sher-manager) thought he was going to grease and lubricate the machines, he was f*cking nuts. One of Joe's workers (grease-monkey), who was arrested was an illegal. Joe always confided in me because I didn't talk about what we talked about. He would tell me the EPA was always crawling up his ass about waste water not meeting the federal standards.

    Down in Alabama a few years ago, lawmakers made it against the law for farmers to hire illegals, and as a result, a lot of their produce rotted in their fields. They couldn't find American workers to harvest for them. It's a dirty thankless job.