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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Efforts to remove illegal workers need support

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back in December, federal officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had reason to believe many workers at the Swift meatpacking plant in Omaha, Neb., were here illegally. To put it bluntly, the fact that the plant employed a number of illegal immigrants was not the best kept secret in the world.

So hundreds of federal agents raided the plant and began their investigation. To no one's surprise, ICE officials arrested 1,297 workers at the plant. Of those arrested, 274 were charged with identity theft or other crimes unrelated to immigration law. And another 649 were deported to Latin American countries. The raid marked one of the most successful attacks on illegal immigration in history.

And now, the union representing the Swift workers are suing the feds, saying their rights were violated. The feds dispute all of the union charges. With almost 1,300 arrests, you would have thought the raid was clearly a successful venture. But not to the union officials.

This great nation will never fully address the exploding problem of illegal immigration if there are those like this union who consistently flaunt the laws and then cry "foul" when the laws are enforced. How can we expect to send a clear signal that illegal immigration is against the law?

Swift says the financial impact of the raid was $50 million. I say they deserve every penny if not more. Do you somehow think the Swift company was unaware that perhaps some of their workers were here illegally?

I hope Swift and other companies continue to suffer financial losses from their illegal practices. I hope the impact is so great that they change their approach to employment, pay higher wages and attract legal employees. If their profits are diminished, then so be it.

Why would this union not applaud the federal government for their efforts to removal illegal workers? Why would they not recognize that this nation is in peril if we ignore the growing issue of illegal immigration?

The complex issue of illegal immigration must involve accountability and responsibility. That goes for Swift and it goes for their union as well. Until we accept this fact, we'll just see the problem grow.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen