"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, April 28, 2006

Immigrants Living in Constant Fear

Cross posted from bRight & Early

If there is one small effect from the recent ICE actions and reaction from Americans who oppose illegal immigration, it may be this:

From the LakelandLedger (Fl):

HAINES CITY -- On a normal day, the small dining room at
Mi Ranchito, a bodega, is busy at lunchtime with a crowd of regular
customers enjoying spicy chiles rellenos or enchiladas.

Things were different Thursday.

"Not a single person came to have lunch today," said Maria Rodriguez,
a store clerk. "This is usually packed, but it is probably the

The rumors Rodriguez referred to are of immigration officials showing
up unexpectedly at bodegas, supermarkets and bakeries, asking
employees and customers for documentation and arresting those who
don't have proper papers. These rumors are spreading like wildfire
across Polk County and Central Florida.

Rodriguez said her store has been inundated with callers asking
whether it's true that la Migra (Immigration) has raided her store.

"I tell them no, it is not true," Rodriguez said. "It's sad to hear
people with so much fear."
Unspoken is the fact that legal immigrants have no need to be afraid, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said.
"We have enforcement operations every day in this country," Gonzalez
said. "If you are in this country legally, you have nothing to worry
Part of the IFCO arrests published recently took place in the same area.
On April 19, federal agents arrested 38 illegal workers at
IFCO Systems pallet recycling plant south of Bartow. It was part of a
26-state sweep that resulted in the arrests of 1,187 illegal IFCO
workers and a handful of company managers.
The rumors may dampen the planned let-us-break-the-law rallies.
The frenzy created by the rumors has hit the Hispanic
community just days before a national strike planned for Monday.

Juan Mojica, an organizer and coordinator for Inmigrantes Latinos
Unidos de la Florida (United Latino Immigrants of Florida) in Lake
Wales, a national immigrants rights organization, said the rumors are
confusing the public and are deterring people from joining a local
rally planned for Monday in Orlando.

"I heard someone calling a radio station, saying Immigration was
holding a checkpoint in Haines City," Mojica said. "Later, we found
out it was the police conducting a routine traffic enforcement

Mojica said his group is not backing away from Monday's national strike.

"We are telling laborers to go to work instead if they think they may
lose their job if they participate. We are encouraging them to send
their kids to school," Mojica said. But he said people are being asked
not to spend their money that day. "We are asking them to prepare
themselves with enough gasoline, food or any goods before Monday."

Some Hispanic small business owners are worried the sweep rumors will
continue after Monday and will hammer their livelihood for good.

Nonetheless, most are planning to shut down their businesses Monday anyway.

Juan Alfaro, owner of La Tapatia Grocery in Haines City, said he
supports the strike and is considering closing his business that day.

The sweep rumors have affected his store as well, he said.

"Wednesdays are usually not the busiest day of the week," Alfaro said.
"But this past Wednesday was the slowest of the year so
Let me make it clear one more time. Those who are voicing their vocal opposition are against illegal immigration -- not against immigration, not against Mexicans or any other race.
But we will continue to speak out against those who flout our laws and ignore our rich heritage of real, legal immigration.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.



© blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks