Deportations Can - And Do - Happen
A "Fugitive Operations Team" formed late last year has removed hundreds of illegal aliens across the state — and could explain why area farmers and their immigrant employees have recently felt more scrutiny from immigration officials.That from the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle. The article is mostly sympathetic to the farmers affected by the crackdown, but is a reasonably thorough report on the problem.
The 'Team' seems to be trying to do its job up there in Rochester, which is a long way from Mexico, but where there are apparently some 8,000 illegal aliens.
The new team, made up of seven agents in the Buffalo office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, tracks down illegal immigrants who have previously been ordered to leave the country, and also may arrest those who have not yet been caught. So far, the team has removed more than 300 illegal immigrants from its territory, which includes all of New York north of Westchester County. All are detained, and most are deported soon thereafter, according to ICE.Three hundred doesn't sound like a lot, but that's with only 7 agents. Still, it's enough to have everyone nervous. "They're scared," said Sandra Rojas, a Brockport-area pastoral minister. "They're worried they can be separated from their families, and second, (that) they cannot come back to this country anymore to get a job."
The article also describes the ineffectiveness of current employer sanctions.
Several farmers said they try to ensure they're hiring legal workers by having them fill out the proper W-4 and I-9 forms, and by studying workers' documents. But they said they don't have the tools to determine whether the papers they're presented are fake, and they face penalties if they guess wrong and deny a job to someone who is here legitimately.Well there's an obvious problem - employers face fines if they deny a job to a legal immigrant without proper ID, but not if they give a job to an illegal immigrant.
Still, the ICE guys sure seem to be doing their jobs. "On at least one occasion, several community members said, officials surprised a group of as many as 16 immigrants in the parking lot of a Brockport-area grocery store. They have reportedly also appeared during traffic violation stops, presumably after being called by police, community members said." ICE officials denied this, but their activities are at least thorough enough to arouse the typical hysterical reactions:
Several people also described officials rounding up workers as they loaded their children onto a school bus. "It has a horrendous impact on children who see their parents taken away by people who have identified themselves as police. It's very traumatic. (They say things like) 'The police took my daddy. I don't know where my daddy is. I'll never see him again.' That kind of thing."Whether this is really true or not is hardly relevant - this same melodrama could just as well play out for a fugitive felon - but it shows how dishonest the whole "guest worker" concept is. Are 'guest workers' going to suddenly avoid families - what about when the guest worker's visa runs out - could we really be so cruel as to tear away his crying chilren clinging to their daddy as men in uniforms brisk him off? Could the integrity and stability of our nation really be that important?