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Is Mississippi AG Currying Political Favor with Immigration Raid?

22 Juni 2015 No Comment
Juni 22, 2015

Una versión de este articulo fue publicada en el periódico La Noticia. Haz un clic aquí para leerlo (vea a pagina 4A).

It’s election year, and Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood must be worried about votes, because he may have engaged in some serious election-year pandering. In an apparent attempt to curry favor with anti-immigrant voters, the AG office conducted a raid at a Raymond County dairy farm last week, rounding up nine undocumented men on charges of “identity theft.”

Click to watch the WJTV News Report on the Raid

The undocumented workers had acquired social security numbers from an unnamed Mississippi company, in order to pass the e-Verify system and gain the ability to work. Though Hood acknowledged that the fraudulent IDs were manufactured within the state, no investigation is being made into either the company providing fake IDs or into the employer who hired the workers (and the employer may have known about the workers’ status). By charging the workers with “identity theft” (which creates fear and anger among his voter base), and allowing the companies to continue operating as normal, did Hood score political points while letting the cycle of abuse continue?

The workers have been denied bond and are being held until the state resolves the identity theft charges, after which they’ll most likely be sent to ICE and enter deportation proceedings. The court hearing for the workers is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16th in Raymond.

At least 5 of the men have families and are now separated from their wives and children (plus extended family), and face a difficult future. Beispielsweise, this man (photo attached), is married and has two children – one of them just a year old. This family is torn apart, devastated, and the wife and children are now in a precarious situation.

When politicians speak loudly about advocating “family values,” it seems that they forget about the times when they destroy happy, stable families like this one. 

On November 3rd, we’ll be faced with the choice between incumbent Jim Hood or newcomer Mike Hurst. Are both terrible options for migrant workers and immigrants in our state? Punishing immigrants for the “crime” of working, and letting the corporations that perpetuate the cycle remain free, is unfortunately status quo for many Mississippi politicians.

This alleged political maneuvering by the Attorney General illustrates why MIRA works so hard to “Get out the Vote” –as we build a solid voting base in progressive communities, we can bring out candidates with a commitment to human and worker’s rights.

Watch this excellent video report from WJTV. 

Read about the challenges facing immigrants here.

Read AG Jim Hood’s press release hierher.

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