In the Loop

Immigration raids: What if your town was next?

Posted at 12:09 PM on August 28, 2008 by Sanden Totten (8 Comments)

The largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history happened this week to the town of Laurel, Mississippi. 595 people were detained. Stories are pouring out of families being separated, business going empty and a community torn apart.

ICE officials say they were planning this raid for several years. That means Laurel was a town with a target on it for months before people knew something was up. It's like those scenes in the movies where a guy is walking around with the laser sighting beam aimed right at his forehead, all the while he doesn't suspect a thing, until . . . bang!

After the Swift raids, Postville and now this, you got to wonder how many other towns are checking their foreheads for a little red laser right about now?

Perry, Iowa is the perfect example of a town that could be in trouble. It's got a major meatpacking plant and a large immigrant population. In fact, after the news in Postville happened, the first thing that went through Mayor Viivi Shirley's mind was "Thank God it wasn't Perry."

But now, Perry has got a plan. They've set up an information relay system to keep rumors from getting out of hand if there is a raid. They've gotten all the Latino students to provide the school with back up care takers in case parents are detained. They've even encouraged immigrant families to write up power of attorney documents to help others manage their home, money and even their family in case of deportation.

I've been talking to Mayor Viivi Shirely about what got the town thinking this way. She admitted that a lot of similar communities are likely to keep their head in the sand when it comes to preparing for the possibility of a raid. But she says, Perry's immigrant community has been lodged in the town for over a decade now. A lot of folks see them as part of the town. And the general feeling in Perry is that if you have emergency plans for a tornado or a fire, why not a raid?

For all those towns wondering if ICE has a target on them as well, it's a good way to ease at least some of the anxiety.


Comments (8)

Love the title of the article: If my town were next, which is Chicago, I would jump for joy and hope the raids would extend all across Illinois. Criminal law-breakers are running rampant all over the US and its high time our government enforced our laws, pick up the illegals and deported them back to their own country. As for the Postville and Mississippi raids, that was freakin GREAT. Businesses were employing illegal aliens and I have no doubt that they knew it. Playing stupid should not be a get out of jail free card for business managers anymore. If the town officials knew and did nothing about it, then its their own fault for the problems they now have to deal with. If towns keep pandering, standing up and welcoming illegals and ignoring their crimes then the raids will keep happening. GO ICE - A good majority of Americans are on your side !!

Posted by NO Sympathy for Illegals | August 28, 2008 1:08 PM


To be fair, the managers of the Howard Industry say they used
“every check allowed to ascertain the immigration status of all applicants for jobs.”

In Mississippi there is a law requiring people to use the E-verify system to prove the identity of workers. E-verify is a Department of Homeland security program and apparently in this case, it failed. So maybe they knew who they were hiring, maybe not, but still they played by the rules according to state law.

Posted by Sanden Totten | August 28, 2008 3:00 PM


In Laurel MS Americans were fired to make room for illegals. Why? It is cheaper to employee them. Taxes, health care costs, etc can be lower. Do they pay full taxes on people with the same SS numbers?

I think ICE should raid Perry now! We are tired of illegals raping, stealing, and killing people. it is time we fight back!! Deport them at gun point after sending them to jail. Indict HR managers like at House of Raeford in North Carolina.

The president of Shipley's doughnuts just plead guilty to hiring illegals. Deport the scum or significantly raise Americans to pay for the services the do-gooders give them.

Posted by Joseph | August 28, 2008 4:50 PM


'In Mississippi there is a law requiring people to use the E-verify system to prove the identity of workers.'

The e-Verify system cannot tell an employer whether a Social Security card actually belongs to the person in possession of it.

In fact what the e-Verify system CAN tell an employer is very limited, which in fact makes a lot of sense if ones realizes that a Social Security card is nothing more than nine digits and a name on a bluish piece of paper.

The Social Security card was NEVER designed as an ID card.

In fact the IRCA of 1986 was to include a 'tamper proof ID' such that an employer could never claim to not KNOWINGLY hire an illegal immigrant, and so therefore could not skate out under the hiring law in USC 8 1324.

The only way to actually end illegal immigration is to finally institute the 'tamper proof ID' for ALL individuals who are US citizens or are admitted to work in the US.

Posted by superscalar | August 28, 2008 7:58 PM


Its very sad for a family to be torn apart, or your life. Its not good when a business has to close, for anyone legaly here or not. Immigrants are here for a better life, where is our compassion? They get jobs voluntarily and not by taking them. Its time to question, is ICE and departation really a good thing? What do the consequences of deportation say about its goodness?

Posted by Bill | August 29, 2008 7:47 AM


I work in the Montevideo MN Jennie-O-Turkey Store. HR and management seems to bend over backwards to cater to the Hispanic work force. The workers refuse to use English and need translators. This creates unsafe working conditions with workers turning on machines when told not to. If complaints are made we are called racist and we will be reprimanded. One employee wore a shirt with ICE on the front and I Support ICE on the back. This employee was sent home and told this offended the other workers and it would not be permitted on company property.

Posted by jon s helgeson | August 29, 2008 5:03 PM


How does a weasel like Sanden Totten get into the hen house s of American Journalism?
He has the gall to support law breakers on every side.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, key word 'Illegal'
Obviously he can not understand plain English.
Illegal’s take our American Job away from us.
Illegal’s get free medical care.
Illegal’s that get incarcerated cost us.
Illegal’s drive without licenses and no insurance cost us. Etc.Etc.
I am a licensed contractor and I have lost over 50% of my employees and business over the past five years. I will not hire Illegal’s. My competitors have hired Illegal’s.
I will retire soon, and their is now hope for my family to carry on the business.
Thanks Mr. Sanden ****** Totten for not supporting American worker.
It time for real Americans to force you and your cohorts out of your jobs and livelihoods.
And just maybe you can flee as an illegal to a foreign country and see how they treat you.

Posted by Mike Garfinkle | August 29, 2008 9:17 PM


I can only wish that they came and rounded up all the illegal invaders in my home town!

We need to lock up the illegal employers, ten years hard labor per illegal alien hired, that would end the problem quickly.

The illegal invaders would go home and make their own stinking countries a better place to live rather then coming here and ****** up my city's economy.

Posted by Fed Up | September 2, 2008 9:34 AM


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