Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I.C.E. RAID DESERVES NATIONAL 'THANK YOU'

We should throw them a parade.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and investigators who did that nationwide raid at Swift packing plants the other day. We should throw them a parade. We should treat them like the national heroes they are.

We should let them -- and the rest of the country -- know that most of us don't agree with this hand-wringing going on in the media. We don't think the raid was a bad thing, we don't think it was unfair or un-American. We think that it was a federal agency for once doing its job.

Here's the background. For months ICE agents have been investigating the interesting fact that huge numbers of people who work for Swift & Company are illegal aliens. Beyond that, they also learned that a lot of them are also identity thieves, working under another person's name and Social Security number. So ICE decided to do something about it.

Last summer the agents subpoenaed the meat-packing company's employee records. This fall they went through and took pictures of the license plates in the employee parking lots.

And they discovered some interesting things. First, that many employees used one name and identification material to get their jobs, and entirely different names and identification materials to register their cars and get their drivers licenses. Second, that many of the employees used names and Social Security numbers that happened to belong to other people.

Oh, and, also, many of the employees were in the country illegally.

All of which will get you arrested. And so on Tuesday -- the feast day of the Virgin of Guadeloupe -- the ICE agents moved against six Swift meat-packing plants across the country. They came with warrants, they went away with prisoners.

And out came the bleeding-heart media. Since the arrests we have been inundated with various stories about various weeping wives/children/pets who had someone arrested in the raid. From the tone of most of the stories, you would think the raid was against the Geneva Conventions. The ICE agents have been described as everything from racists to Scrooges.

But not as what they truly are.

Heroes.

It wasn't ICE that locked those people up and broke apart those families -- it was the ongoing illegal conduct of the people taken into custody. They came into this country illegally and many of them used stolen names and Social Security numbers to commit workplace fraud.

And neither of those are victimless crimes. Illegal immigration is an attack on the nation's prosperity, integrity, culture and law, and an attack on the wages of all working Americans. Identity theft is an assault on the person whose name and Social Security number were stolen.

Here's how I figure.

Let's say a criminal syndicate somehow comes into possession of your name, birth date and Social Security number and sells it to an illegal alien. When that happens, you have been exposed to a great deal of risk.

For example, with that information, someone can apply for and receive credit in your name. When that credit is run up and no payment is made, the bill collector comes after you. And you can play merry heck trying to convince anybody that the debt -- and the bad credit -- isn't yours.

Worse, and more common, people use your personal identification when they apply for a job. As they fill out their tax withholding paperwork -- in your name and with your Social Security number -- they list some very large number of dependents. Like 12 or so. Enough to have nothing withheld from their paycheck. That way aren't having any income taxes taken out.

Yet an income tax obligation is accruing. At the end of the year, they don't file. Not this year, not next year, not the year after that.

And after a while the IRS computers kick out an alert and the feds come after you for those back taxes.

And when I say "come after you" I do mean "you." It's your Social Security number, it's your name, it's your birth date. And the penalties and interest do pile up. And it is going to be a very long headache before you can convince them that they shouldn't seize your bank account and garnishee your wages.

Identity theft is not a victimless crime. Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime.

But the papers don't seem to get that point. Neither do the teary-eyed talk-show hosts. The fact is people who break the law are taken into custody. People who come into this country illegally are sometimes deported. Any inconvenience or hardship that puts on a family is the direct consequence of the illegal action, not of the law-enforcement officials who are doing their sworn duty.

That raid was a wonderful first step. Hopefully it will be followed by similar raids all across the country, in every industry. I'd love it if I saw an ICE raid where I live.

Because borders mean something and laws mean something.

And the people who enforce both deserve our gratitude and praise.

Not this crap the newspapers and activists have been giving them.

I'd like to give these ICE agents a parade.

by Bob Lonsberry © 2006

8 comments:

Flo said...

Ack! I think I've fallen asleep on the job! I didn't catch the new link at Holly's, I had to hear about this from LD. Welcome, welcome, and congrats! Thanks for the link, I'll try to get over to my place today or tomorrow and add/introduce you. Good luck with the new biz!

Ulises from California said...

Good work ICE! It's about time.

My mother worked in a Mexican Food Factory in Compton, CA. for a decade. She told me about an INS raid at the plant, how many of her co-workers ran lie roaches to hide from the agents. My Mom wondered why everyone was yelling "Migra. migra" since she wasn't up to speed on Mexican slang. Suddenly the agents arrive on the shop floor & EVERYONE has to show her papers. My Mother whips out her Green Card & is politely released. Another whips out her "Pseudo-Green Card", purchased on the street, and is led away in handcuffs.

All told, about 1/2 the work force was arrested & deported. And my Mom was telling me about it that night.

Within two weeks, most of the deportees were back at work, as though nothing had happened.

Except for the fact that the factory was our only livelyhood, I suppose that siezing it & its assets would've been the only way to stop the travesty.

So much for the INS in the 70's.

I wonder if the meat plants nearby are hiring?

Diamond Mair said...

Welcome, Ulises, and thank you to your Mother, for coming to this country legally.
I know there are reports that the Swift plants are hiring Americans/legal aliens, after the "loss" of their cadre of illegals - the one in Colorado is getting the most press I'm seeing, with sob stories galore, and how the "evil ones" are 'taking advantage' of the job openings ................ Again, welcome to my modest blog, and thank you to your Mother for doing the right thing & teaching you the same!
Semper Fi'
DM

Diamond Mair said...

Flo, not to worry - I mean really, how poor was my planning, to 'launch' a blog the week before Christmas? ;)

HollyB said...

Good Story, DM. I blogged about Illegal Immigration back in May. Maybe I;m due for another one.
Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.

quidni said...

Found your blog courtesy of LawDog... mind if I add you to my favorites?

Diamond Mair said...

Quidni, you're more than welcome to link me .................. LawDog's GREAT, isn't he?
How's the weather out there in West Texas? Here in the wilds north of Houston, an ark is looking better & better ................ ;)
Semper Fi'
DM

quidni said...

Weather here lately has been sort of on-again, off-again - some days we think we might actually get a bit of real weather, and then we're disappointed when it doesn't show up. (I'm not complaining - this past summer was waaaayyy too wet. You know it's rained too much when the 'yotes and jackrabbits start wearing water wings.)