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September 18, 2006

Immigration Raid Makes a Ghost Town

The AP's Russ Bynum had an article a few days ago that made my skin crawl.  He interviewed the people left in Stillmore, Georgia, a small town 190 miles north of Atlanta, after Georgia state lawmakers passed tough measures targeting illegal immigrants and the state's governor vowed a statewide crackdown on document fraud. 

Evidently Stillmore was first.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement folks arrested 120 illegal immigrants and took them to court in Atlanta.  Business has dried up in the town of 1000 and the primary business, the Crider poultry plant, is scrambling to replace more than half the workforce of 900.  A 2-year old boy has been sent to neighbors to live when his mother fled the town and his father was deported. 

The sweep has had the unintended effect of underscoring just how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.

The Mexican workers originally came to pick Vidalia onions and then took year-round jobs at the poultry plant. 

The immigration sweep has made the town a ghost town.  Illegal immigrants were handcuffed and taken away and few have returned.  The mayor, Marilyn Slater, said, "This reminds me of what I read about Nazi Germany, the Gestapo coming in and yanking people up."  Her son and grandson's convenience store has lost about 80% of its business. 

"These people come over here to make a better way of life, not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I'm a die-hard Republican, but I think we missed the boat with this one."

Hm.  Turns out we are all connected to each other.  What happens to some of us impacts the others.  Seems like some people just have to keep learning some of the basic lessons of life the hard way. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 18, 2006 at 11:09 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink

Comments

Fear and obsession are going to destroy us unless we start to turn things around this November. "Gestapo tactics" are quickly becoming Bush's hallmark. I don't even recognize my country anymore.

Posted by: shoephone | Sep 19, 2006 12:21:40 AM

It's unfortunate that you don't recognize propaganda when you read it. Try reading the article again, but this time think about who profits from such articles. Then, note at the end where they have the news that the chicken plant had to raise wages in order to get legal workers. Are you perhaps on the wrong side?

Posted by: IllegalImmigrationIntroduction | Sep 19, 2006 9:59:38 AM

I don't know what is the problem with people that think that our government is like the gestapo. I firmly believe that if you are illegal in the USA you should be prosecuted. Look at the other nations they don't have as much problems as we do with immigration. PLEASE WAKE UP AND HELP OUR NATION TO KEEP ILLEGAL ALIENS OUT.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 21, 2006 1:00:07 AM

Seriously, maybe when the left screams that the middle class is being decimated, we can look at illegal immigration putting pressure on wages.

But that would require thinking instead of reacting. So it is not in the lefts agenda.

Posted by: Tom | Sep 28, 2006 3:56:20 PM

Interesting. People freak because supposedly un-docmented workers are taking all the jobs. I got news for you- Its the corporations that are out sourcing all the jobs to other countries. First they out-sourced to Mexico for cheap wages. But those wages where to much. Now they out-source to India and Asian countries. but You the people have lost your voice. So you pick on the poor to make yourselves feel like you have control. Like you have the power to change. What constitution- The one Bush adheres too- Nazi doctrine

Posted by: aj | Oct 1, 2006 6:49:50 PM

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