Thursday, May 22, 2008

Braley Wants to Know Cost of Immigration Raids

Good for Rep. Bruce Braley for asking how much the immigration raids cost taxpayers. It gives Americans a chance to see the big picture when it comes to immigration instead of just immigrants being hauled away in handcuffs.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has asked officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement to estimate the cost of the recent immigration raid at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville.

“It is essential that there is as much transparency in this process as possible,” Braley wrote in a Tuesday letter to ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers.

Immigration authorities raided Agriprocessors on May 12 and detained 389 people. Of those, 306 have been charged, most with some sort of document fraud or identity theft.

Braley, the representative for the congressional district that covers northeast Iowa, wants to know how much the raid’s planning, execution, processing, detention and deportation will cost taxpayers.


The Galactic Dreamer said...

Does it matter how much a police department spends to catch an arsonist or a child rapist? No, it doesn't because they are trying to stop someone who is breaking laws of a state or of the United States of America. All Braley is trying to do is pander to potential votes or at worst being an obstructionist.

noneed4thneed said...

They should send the bill directly to Agriprocessers and Swifts because they are the ones that have benefitted from cheap labor.

The Galactic Dreamer said...

I think that making a Agriprocessors pay a penalty for "allowing" and possibly encouraging this illegal activity is fair. But, as an employer, I really wish the government had a better way of telling us when something is fishy or false with a prospective employee's documents.

Ben said...

Couple of points...

1) I'd have to check the statute but several code provisions (and the now laughable Federal Sentencing Guidelines) provide for the court to impose the "costs of prosecution" as part of the judgement. It is at least possible that, should Agriprocessers be found guilty of a crime, that they could be forced to pay back the government....likely spelling the end of Agriprocessers.

2) The federal government is virtually unable to detect, let alone prevent, indentity theft. The sad thing is Congress is to blame for this. The IRS, Social Security Administration, and Homeland Security are statutorially unable to link their databases in order to detect duplicate uses of social security numbers or tax filings. The employeer check program formerly known as "basic pilot" is riddled with holes, and provided immunity from prosecution for companies that used it up until just recently.

Arpit Dave said...

Came over after Galactic Dreamer commented on my blog. Just posted a light satire on the raids in Iowa you might enjoy here.

I think your first point is true, Ben, but remember that agriprocessors come with money and votes, unlike illegal immigrants, so it's easier (and more lucrative) to pick on the latter while supporting the former.