Frank Sharry: “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and workers and communities are paying the price.”
The news that Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) received contradictory information from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about coordination prior to the largest immigration worksite raid in American history raises a series of troubling questions. While DOL insists they had not received any notification prior to the May 12th raid at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, IA, ICE has stated that the raid was a coordinated effort between both agencies.
Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice on this news:
“When it comes to immigration policy, this Administration has an unfortunate pattern of talking one way and acting another. The contradictory information given to Rep. Braley is just the latest example. Although ICE stated that they had coordinated with the DOL during the raid in their letter to Rep. Braley, the DOL’s letter on the same raid does not acknowledge this assertion. We are concerned that the fast-track deportation of immigrant witnesses has made it impossible for the due process of law to be applied by the federal government. Additionally, it has made it practically impossible to bring appropriate charges against Agriprocessors and has disrupted an ongoing child labor investigation. The Administration has their priorities backwards if they think that immigration status should trump labor rights violations.
Rep. Braley’s leadership on this issue has been in sharp contrast to the Administration. He deserves praise for his persistent calls for clarity. We join him in calling for answers and ensuring that egregious employers such as Agriprocessors are held accountable for their actions. The American public and those most affected by the raids deserve no less.”
Hyperlink to Braley Letters: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080717/NEWS/80717032/1130 (letters attached following article)
Hyperlink to Chicago Tribune article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-postville-braley,0,6039870.story