Federal immigration squads with shotguns and automatic weapons forcing their way into citizens’ homes without warrants or lawful consent, shoving open doors and climbing through windows in predawn darkness, pulling innocent people from their beds, holding groggy occupants at gunpoint, taking people away without explanation — after invading the wrong house.
Another positive ruling yesterday, from the Associated Press, overturning some of the worst of the worst of the failed Bush-era immigration enforcement policy: “HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) � Federal agents violated the constitutional rights of four illegal immigrants in raids that critics say were retaliation for a New Haven program that provided ID cards to foreigners in the country illegally, a federal judge has ruled. The sweeps in New Haven on June 6, 2007, came two days after the city approved issuing identification cards to all city residents, regardless of immigration status.”
King’s perspective on the Postville raid, and his likening immigrants to cattle, are just two examples of a Congressional leader out of step with mainstream America and in step with the most disturbing arm of the extreme anti-immigrant movement. The Congressman’s record is the focus of our latest report: “Rep. Steve King (R-IA): Carrying the Banner for Anti-Immigrant Extremists.” The report details ways in which Rep. King’s bogus claims about immigrants have served as talking points for the extreme anti-immigrant movement for years. It shows that King is not only beloved by the extremist anti-immigrant groups, but he is also a regular speaker at their events– even FAIR, which was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Nearly four hundred immigrant workers were corralled into the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa as a part of the now-infamous immigration raid that took place in Postville, Iowa, last year. Bloggers covered the story of communities that donned red ribbons and rang church bells in remembrance of the raid yesterday, and we reflect on Postville’s lessons.
Progress Illinois’ Josh Kalven reports on the last stage of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Family Unity Tour in a post called, “We Have More Work To Do.” The timing of the grand Tour finale in Chicago was not without symbolism. Just one week after May Day, a day before Mother’s Day, and the same week as the anniversary of what has been called the most unjust immigration raid in our nation’s history, the Tour draws to a close with a reminder of what we are collectively fighting to change – an immigration system that rips mothers from daughters and husbands from wives.
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ignacio Flores-Figueroa wouldn’t be charged with “aggravated identity theft,” effectively reversing an extreme precedent that had begun under the Bush administration. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that Mr. Flores-Figueroa did not know his fraudulent document numbers belonged to another person.
Our immigration system is broken, and if you think that because you are a citizen this doesn’t affect you, then you should read today’s Associated Press piece. In it, Suzanne Gamboa describes how the rights of citizens and non-citizens alike are being violated: “The American judicial system deems everyone innocent until proven guilty and guarantees a fair hearing with a lawyer – but not when it comes to immigration. Then there are far fewer rights. And as the system comes under pressure from a flood of new cases, the strain is showing.”