The recent raid on the Agriprocessors plant in Waterloo, Iowa, led to the detention of 389 probable illegal aliens working there. But instead of a quick plane ride back to Mexico, 270 of the workers who were using fraudulent ID now face a little five-month stopover at the Gray Bar Hotel:
The unusually swift proceedings, in which 297 immigrants pleaded guilty and were sentenced in four days, were criticized by criminal defense lawyers, who warned of violations of due process. Twenty-seven immigrants received probation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association protested that the workers had been denied meetings with immigration lawyers and that their claims under immigration law had been swept aside in unusual and speedy plea agreements.
The illegal immigrants, most from Guatemala, filed into the courtrooms in groups of 10, their hands and feet shackled. One by one, they entered guilty pleas through a Spanish interpreter, admitting they had taken jobs using fraudulent Social Security cards or immigration documents. Moments later, they moved to another courtroom for sentencing.
The article suggests a federal case is being built against Agriprocessors as well for employing (and exploiting shamefully ) so many illegals. The judge sounds tough but fair:
Judge Bennett appeared moved by Mr. Nadler’s remarks. “I don’t doubt for a moment that you are good, hard-working people who have done what you did to help your families,” Judge Bennett told the immigrants. “Unfortunately for you, you committed a violation of federal law.”
Meanwhile out in San Diego, a three-week ICE sting has led to the arrest of 905 more illegal aliens. I wonder whether ICE and federal prosecutors will continue to make an example of the ID thieves among them.
DHS head warns Congress to fund Obama’s plan to legalize millions or border security might suffer (whuh?)
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