The immigration raid last week at seven poultry plants in rural Mississippi was a perfect symbol of the Trump administration’s racism, lies, hypocrisy, and contempt for the poor. It was also a case study in how an industry with a long history of defying the law has managed to shift the blame and punishment onto workers.

Planned for more than a year, the raid involved at least 600 agents from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), helicopters, and a staging area at a local National Guard base. The agents carried handguns, wore black body armor, and led the 680 immigrant workers —almost all Latino, many of them women—to waiting buses with their hands zip-tied behind their backs. One worker, an American citizen, was shot with a taser for resisting arrest. Children gathered outside the poultry plants, crying, as their parents were taken away and sent to private prisons; other kids sat in classrooms and at daycare centers, unaware that their families were being torn apart. It was the first week of school.

“The timing was unfortunate,” Kevin McAleenan, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, later acknowledged. Twenty-two people had been killed a few days earlier in El Paso, where a gunman targeted “Mexican” customers at Wal-Mart out of a desire to halt “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” President Trump expressed no regret and applauded the Mississippi raid, arguing that it would deter undocumented immigrants from taking American jobs. “I just hope to keep it up,” he said.

Despite the fact that the poultry workers were merely arrested, not yet found guilty, Mike Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, dismissed concerns about an eleven-year-old girl photographed sobbing outside one of the plants. “I understand the girl’s upset, and …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Best of

      

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