I’m saddened when I see the ICE raids in small towns in Mississippi where over 600 illegal immigrants were rounded up last week. All worked at poultry processing plants in six small towns.
The raids apparently apprehended over 600 illegal entry men and women who worked at the plants. Most of the people had been there a considerable amount of time and had little children, now United States citizens born on U.S. soil.
ICE officials report that they had 14 social workers present to make sure one working parent was left at home with any children.
These kinds of raids, even on illegal immigrants who have broken the law, give me chills. We had similar raids on illegal immigrants several years ago at beef packing plants in Greeley.
It would seem that where we have illegal immigrants gainfully employed in challenging work, we should be able to register them for green cards and give them an opportunity to work towards citizenship. We should hold the employers responsible for their employment and track them towards citizenship through a documented work release program rather than deportation. We allow non-violent jail birds the right to go on work release on a daily basis so why not do something similar for these hard-working family members?
A similar situation exists in the Aurora ICE facility built for around 400 detainees now with over 1000 detainees. Those not facing serious crimes could be registered and employed in a work release program.
In driving around Arapahoe County last week during the mid-day heat I spotted dozens of Latino workers mowing lawns and trimming shrubs and hedges. Along road construction almost all the workers were Latino with colorful bandanas draped under their steel helmets to protect against the 95-degree heat.
I thought then, and relate now, that these are hard-working people and while these workers may be legal or illegal, they are the work force that this nation needs so badly.
Those who come illegally to work should be registered, have jobs, and hold the employer responsible for their conduct and path to citizenship. They should be given a worker permit card, tax and social security registration, and allowed to continue their employment. Give the workers a choice of working towards citizenship or a time period to leave the U.S. or reapply for another work application period. Any arrests or criminal activities would mean immediate deportation. There would have to be limits set on how many work release permits that the U.S. would allow annually.
These are just a few suggestions of how we might solve this situation and there will be many other ideas that might surface.
The Congress of the United States could implement new programs to enhance and relieve the suffering of immigrants and allow those who wish to come to work have jobs and be safe from ICE raids.
Rather than attacking the president, Congress should be working to solve the immigration influx and also give a path to citizenship for the DACA kids brought here as youngsters who call America their home.
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