Dec 14 2006
09:31 pm
By: Sven

Oh, man this burns me up. I've had it with public relations gambits masquerading as government.

As Justin Rood points out, yesterday's immigration raids make about as much sense as the upcoming final push in Iraq. And the "identity theft" angle was nothing but red herring, thrown in to gin up even more scary brown people FUD.

I've seen this scam before, up close and personal.

As a cub reporter in the 80s, I covered a big immigration raid in Vail, Colorado. As is the case now, it was breathlessly reported as a major blow for law and decency. But it didn't take much digging to discover that the whole thing was for show. It was done with the full knowledge and consent of Vail Associates, which had been busing undocumented workers up from the border and quite literally dumping them in surrounding communities. After the requisite hue and cry from the usual wingnuts in the state legislature, the practice picked right back up.

But even the wingnuts are in on the con. You may have heard of Marilyn Musgrave, the raving, racist nutjob who represents the district where many of the raids took place. It's also the home of Swift & Co., the employer of most of those arrested.

Congresswoman Musgrave knows illegal immigration is a major issue facing Colorado. Immigration reform is a top priority for her. She is working hard to improve border security and stop the waves of illegal immigrants who pose a danger to our national security, health care systems, and economy.

Oh, really, Marilyn? Surprise, surprise, surprise, that doesn't stop you from taking a big wad of ill-gotten gains from the company who hired most of the illegal immigrants in your district and leeches off the health care system because its too cheap to pay benefits. Tell me, what penalties is Swift & Co. facing?

What's ironic about that the immigrants are, on the whole, are the only people involved making an honest living in this sad saga. I talked to scores of them as a reporter, and found them to be exceptionally graceful, despite being the cynical grist for not only their employers, but the press and politicians. Most were simple farmers from Durango, the kind of God-fearing, hard-working salt-of-the-earth Red-state types the GOP putatively represents.

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