You’d Better Hope They Don’t Vote

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Postville raids, so I won’t go in depth into the background.  Suffice to say there was an enormous raid on a plant there and a bunch of folks were rounded up and arrested and sent to prison, after which, they will be deported. 

I’ve been following along over at The Sanctuary.  (And before I get into the meat of my post, let me just make one comment to you, America.  America, if you have to hide what you’re doing and lie about it to that many people, then what you’re doing is wrong.)

I want to highlight for you a couple of short sections of the whole post.

Postville, Iowa (pop. 2,273), where nearly half the people worked at Agriprocessors, had lost 1/3 of its population by Tuesday morning.

Businesses were empty, amid looming concerns that if the plant closed it would become a ghost town.

and

Some American parents complained that their children were traumatized by the sudden disappearance of so many of their school friends. The principal reported the same reaction in the classrooms, saying that for the children it was as if ten of their classmates had suddenly died.

Counselors were brought in. American children were having nightmares that their parents too were being taken away.

Apparently, under the Bush administration, we protect America by destroying it one town at a time.

Listen, I know that dwelling on the white folks is problematic bullshit at best, but this kind of stuff is happening because the Feds believe that the vast majority of people in America either support it or don’t care that much about it.  They believe that the people affected by these policies are leaving the country anyway, that they don’t matter to anyone outside of their families.

The reason I pulled out for you the passage I did is because I want you to see that our policies hurt Americans, too, that this is not just something that’s happening to those “criminals” who are stealing our jobs.

The federal government went in and removed a third of that town.  Businesses are empty.  The US citizens left behind are terrified that they’re going to lose the major source of income in the town and, hence, the town.  Children are devistated at the loss of their friends.  Some are having nightmares that their parents could be taken away from them.

If it comes at the cost of losing the town, just who is being served by these kinds of actions?

It’s like the feds said “Oh, Postville, you seem to have some minor arthritis in your hand, so we’re just going to hold you down and chop off your arm.  Hope you don’t bleed to death!  Good luck.”

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10 thoughts on “You’d Better Hope They Don’t Vote

  1. Pingback: Go To Aunt B’s « Newscoma

  2. I’ve been following this story too. It’s not just about the deportations, Agriprocessors was committing some of the worst kinds of labor violations, and yet it’s the workers they punish. What really gets me about it is that Agriprocessors happens to be the largest producer of kosher meat in the country. They treat the cows more humanely than they treat the workers!

  3. One of the curious things about that town is that there’s two big immigrant groups in Postville: Russian Lubavitcher Jews (the meatpacking crews that do the kosher processing) and Central American/Mexican Roman Catholics (who do the rest). The Americans have been aggravated by the Russians since Aaron’s Best moved in in 1987 (accusing them of anti-assimilatory, anti-social behavior, etc…) and they would have gladly kicked them out of town if they could…but they can’t.

    You have some very vocal Americans in town who are feeling overwhelmed that the Lutheran majority is now a minority, but it’s not really the Americans in Postville who triggered this one. As you pointed out, the town has doubled in size in the last ten years and the businesses in town (which were about to go under twenty years ago) are again screwed. Unfortunately, what you are seeing is the M.O. of Midwestern meat-packing outfits. They run coyote trucks to supply cheap labor (because, duh, no Mexican looks at a map and says “yeah, let’s haul ass to that booming metropolis, Muscatine”) Then, when the workers start putting down roots and developing community connections and when the companies have to start paying benefits, some supervisor drops a dime to the INS so that the company doesn’t have to pay to send them back. It’s been happening with IBP for years.

  4. Goldni, do you know whether they still have their OU certification of kashrut? Because they lost they KAJ certification even before the raid. (I have to say that they may be the country’s largest kosher meat plant but I’ve never seen a single one of their products anywhere.)

    Bridgett, are the Chabadniks running the plant as well as working there?

  5. Bridgett, never mind, I found some links. Evidently the owners are Lubavitchers, which I’m afraid explains a lot.

  6. No, I’m talking like someone who lived in Iowa between 1991 and 2002 and saw this happen a dozen times over the years. The only new thing about this sort of raid is that someone outside of Johnson County gives a shit.

    nm, their distribution network runs to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. I’ve seen their products in Chicago and Cleveland.

  7. Bridgett, that was also ADM’s business model (as I’ve blogged about before). I suspect it was also Cat’s, John Deere’s and International Harvester’s, but I couldn’t say for sure. And I think you sould like a Woody Guthrie song, or a Bob Dylan song about Woody Guthrie at the least. Don’t even listen to Exador… Arlo Guthrie. Whatevers.

  8. Pingback: Funny How It Works « Tiny Cat Pants

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