Thousands of illegal immigrants stayed home this week amid rumors of immigration roundups that federal officials say were unfounded, leaving some industries scrambling for workers.If Mills' members hired only legal workers and/or paid all the costs associated with their workers, then that wouldn't be an issue. Of course, what's actually happening is that Mills' members who are employing illegal labor are getting cheap labor and sticking everyone else with the bill.
Len Mills, executive vice president of Associated General Contractors of South Florida, estimated at least 50 percent of workers on construction jobs in the region had not shown up for work.
"This is costing millions of dollars a day, and I don't know who is going to pay for it," he said.
"Everybody's edgy," said Chris Ruske, owner of a southern New Jersey nursery. "There's an awful lot of rhetoric, and you wonder what's true. You wonder if the immigration Gestapo are coming to get you."Isn't it extraordinarily inflammatory to compare the ICE to the Gestapo? Should the AP print such quotes without providing any sort of commentary or analysis? Should we assume that the AP is trying to poison the debate with comparisons between United States government agencies and the Nazis? (Ruske is also a columnist for a small paper.)
The National Immigration Law Center called on organizations nationwide to sign a petition urging ICE to assure the public it won't make any immigration arrests during the protests.And:
"It is the ugliest of rumors because it has intimidated people who are already afraid. They are living in the shadows of society, wondering who is going to knock on the door," said the Rev. Allan Ramirez, pastor of the Brookville Dutch Reform Church in Long Island, N.Y.When Suffolk County (NY) executive Steven Levy tried to close down houses with dozens of illegal aliens, Ramirez refered to it as "ethnic cleansing." And, as the link in the quote shows, Mexican consul Arturo Sarukhan refers to him as a "friend" and they appear to have at least met on that issue.
Elias Bermudez, an activist and talk show host for a Spanish-language radio station in Phoenix, said many believe they are being punished for participating in recent protests in favor of legalizing the status of many illegal immigrants.Bermudez tried to start a boycott by illegal aliens last year.
Immigration · Sat, 04/29/2006 - 13:22 · Importance: 1