GREENVILLE, S.C., October 7 — The Gestapo-like immigration police (Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE) has struck terror again, raiding the Columbia Farms poultry plant today and arresting 330 immigrant workers. Some 450 ICE agents started the raid at the 9:00 AM shift-change, breaking up families and leaving children without their parents.
They burst in like Nazi storm troopers, terrorizing workers. Similar to previous mass raids in a Laurel, Miss. electronics plant and an Iowa meat-processing plant, the agents blocked the gates to prevent workers from escaping. They then separated workers, giving blue wristbands to U.S. citizens and immigrants with resident cards, enabling them to leave.
Today we see the biggest anti-immigrant attacks “since the dragnet-style sweeps of the 1950s known as ‘Operation Wetback.’ On any given day, more than 30,000 ‘illegal’ immigrants are crowded into jail cells awaiting deportation. Annual deportations now exceed a quarter million, the highest level in U.S. history… This year there have been nearly 5,000 arrests, 10 times the level of just five years ago.” (Edward Alden, NY Post, 10/12). The claimed aim of the raids is to catch people guilty of I.D. thefts and those working without “proper documents.” But as Alden says, “the raids are conducted in headline-grabbing fashion designed to incite fear among other undocumented workers.”
The real aim is to terrorize immigrant and all workers to work for less and under rotten conditions, in order to produce super-profits for the bosses. So this is basically a terror attack against the entire working class. The same methods ICE is using today will be directed against any workers fighting for their jobs or for decent conditions, particularly in this age of economic meltdown.
The rulers are already preparing for any major fight-back against their economic crisis. The 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is returning from Iraq to be used as “an on-call federal response force for…emergencies.” (Army Times, 9/8)
Workers who support such raids, thinking they “will preserve jobs for Americans,” are not only fooling themselves but betraying their interests and those of the entire working class.