AVWatch: Antonio Villaraigosa complains to Michael Chertoff about ICE raids
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa - a former leader of the racial separatist group MEChA - has sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking him to back off on recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the city. This is simply an attempt to a) grandstand to his base (Hispanics, whether citizens, legal immigrants, or illegal aliens as well as their employers), b) maintain said power base, and c) support said employers in their attempts to profit from illegal activity.
[He warned] that work-site raids on "non-exploitative" businesses could have "severe and lasting effects" on the local economy... "I am concerned that ICE enforcement actions are creating an impression that this region is somehow less hospitable to these critical businesses than other regions," Villaraigosa wrote in a March 27 letter to [Chertoff]... Villaraigosa said ICE has targeted "established, responsible employers" in industries that have a "significant reliance on workforces that include undocumented immigrants." ..."In these industries, including most areas of manufacturing, even the most scrupulous and responsible employers have no choice but to rely on workers whose documentation, while facially valid, may raise questions about their lawful presence," he wrote. He said ICE should spend its limited resources targeting employers who exploit wage and hour laws... "At a time when we are facing an economic downturn and gang violence at epidemic levels, the federal government should focus its resources on deporting criminal gang members rather than targeting legitimate businesses," said Matt Szabo, the mayor's spokesman.
And, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary L. Toebben sent his own letter to Chertoff saying that workplace raids are "devastating" to businesses that are trying to follow the law.
The LAT article quotes Ira Mehlman of FAIR, but also reaches out to Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a group that has allegedly collaborated with the Mexican government. As may be covered here later, that group was contacted by ICE before a raid in Van Nuys in February and then protested against it.