People in the Hispanic community in the Quad Cities have been getting phone calls today from relatives and friends who have family members working at the Swift pork processing plant in Marshalltown, Iowa. They are saying that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided the plant and shut it down. They are saying that Hispanics, some of whom were born in this country, some who have green cards and are legally entitled to be in this country and working and some who are illegal immigrants with false papers have all been put into chains and told to phone home and have someone come with papers proving their legality.
If ICE officials came into your workplace and put everyone who did not have papers with them proving that they were either citizens or legal immigrants into chains and said that you would be held until someone came from home with paperwork proving your legality how would you react?
I know what I would say. "This is the United States of America. You cannot hold me without probable cause. I don’t have to prove that I am legal. You have to have some reason, other than the color of my skin, to hold me. If you do not let me go immediately I am going to sue every one of you and your bosses all the way up to the President."
But, of course, I am not Hispanic. Hispanics in this country do not have the same rights of outrage as the rest of us.