Immigration Raid in North Portland

Apparently, there was some sort of raid conducted this morning by ICE officials and other federal immigration types in a North Portland produce plant. About 150 people were arrested, presumably with their next stop being detention and, eventually, their countries of origin.

Tom Potter is none too pleased, having released the following statement:

I am angered by this morning’s arrest by federal officers of approximately 150 Portland residents who were working at a local produce company.

I certainly understand why federal officials executed criminal warrants against three individuals who stole and sold Social Security numbers. But to go after local workers who are here to support their families while filling the demands of local businesses for their labor is bad policy. It also serves as a reminder of the failure of our national leaders to deliver an immigration policy that is both fair and humane to families and acknowledges the economic realities of our country.

Our nation would be better served if this kind of energy was focused on creating a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship; addresses the immigration backlog that keeps families apart; and provides a safe and legal way for workers to enter our country and be productive workers and taxpayers. Immigrants provide more than mere labor in our community. They have long enriched our history, our culture and our city. My heart goes out to families dealing with the aftermath of this morning.

“In this morning’s raid, no Portland police officers participated, and our Crisis Response Team was activated to help families affected.

Of course, reasonable people can differ on this action, in terms of its rightness (or wrongness), its desirability (or undesirability), and so on. They might also differ in terms of Mayor Potter’s reaction.

Since our readers are varied and often quite vocal in their opinions, I’m interested to hear what Portlanders think of this raid. so, sound off!

21 Comments so far

  1. JG (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    I can’t say that I am upset about what happened…though I do think that it is sad that families might get broken up. On the other hand, it is a risk they took when being here illegally. Also, saying that most were here just to work and not causing problems is not entirely accurate – most were using SS#’s that were not their own, which boils down to identity theft…


  2. PLM (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

    Mr. Mayor,

    May I please have your SSN? I know several people who would like use it to get jobs. I understand there are openings in the Police Department and these folks would like to apply.

    Thanks in advance.


  3. NA (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

    Attention all panhandlers and homeless. There are now 150 positions open to earn money and gain selfrespect.

    What’s that?… You say that you’re not interested? Hmm, ok I see.


  4. RAH (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

    Remember the Charlie Brown animated TV specials? Whenever an adult would speak, all you’d hear is that muffled “mwop mwop” sound – no actual words.

    That’s all *I* hear when Tom Potter moves his lips.


  5. atlas (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

    Cheers to that notion NA! Too bad the amount of support and enabling of vagrancy in this town dissuades the reality of that happening…

    On a related note (regarding bums) I am concerned for when the bottle bill passes to include water bottles with a deposit… watch the amount of grocery cart hobos multiply tenfold, it’s possible we may even see a migration from San Francisco and Seattle, Portland already has a favorable reputation among the vagrants, gutter punks, and hobos… consider what will happen when they hear about our new bottle bill.


  6. dieselboi (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

    Did Tom Potter refer to Del Monte as a local company?

    Hmmmm.


  7. george (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 7:47 am

    hurm, building on the thoughts of the other comments here:

    maybe we should dust off those old “welcome to oregon, no negroes allowed” signs and cross off “negroes” and write in “mexicans”?

    or, we could reinstate the Lash Law, and requre that all illegal aliens get two lashes a year till they leave?


  8. Hhhmmmmm (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 8:57 am

    Hey, I have an idea. It’s kind of crazy, but here goes.

    What if…

    No, this is too crazy to even type out. TOO insane an idea.

    Oh, what the heck. I might as well.

    What if our country started enforcing our existing laws?


  9. jen (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    I can’t help but have sympathy for illegal workers. For starters, my own grandparents were migrant workers. They got married here and decided to stay. My grandmother worked days and went to school at night. Both worked hard, bought a house and started a family.

    These people are not evil. Hell, they’re *working* which is more than some people can claim.


  10. Miz J (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 11:34 am

    George, why do you equate enforcement of immigration law with prejudice against Mexicans? I’m fairly certain that *any* group of *illegal* immigrants in a community in large enough numbers would elicit the same response from a large portion of said community.

    By the way, try being an illegal immigrant *to* Mexico – see how you’ll be treated. See how hard they laugh at you when you start screaming about your “rights.”

    I rolled my eyes when I heard the Potter statement on the local infotainm – news last night. What a tool.


  11. george (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 11:54 am

    miz,

    its less of a stretch to connect racism/xenophobia and immigration if you look at US history. its an old game politicians have been playing.

    blame the outsiders, pass some laws to make it seem like you are “doing something” about “the problem”. move on. (wonder why the existing laws are not enforced?)

    repeat every few years when you feel like you need to build support or feed the base.

    playing you guys like a fiddle!


  12. Miz J (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

    I agree that the existing laws should be sufficient. The biggest problem with “lawmakers” is that they take their job title too seriously.

    But it’s incorrect to assume that everyone who is against illegal immigration has taken that position because of xenophobia or “racial”/cultural prejudice. (I’m pretty sure the only race that truly exists is the human race, though YMMV).

    Why aren’t those who complain about the condition of the illegal immigrant doing more to pressure their home country into providing for their needs, instead of wanting to hand them everything like Santa Claus?


  13. Daaaaave (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

    Well done Willamette Week for outing these people. Bob Pamplin would be proud.


  14. MG (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

    MAYOR POTTER, WHAT CAUSES YOU TO CALL PERSONS WHO STOLE INTO THIS COUNTRY – THEREFORE ILLEGAL – CALL THEM *PORTLAND RESIDENTS* – WHAT WOULD YOU CALL SOMEONE WHO BROKE INTO YOUR HOUSE AND HID THERE = WOULD THEY BE YOUR PERSONAL FRIENDS TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR?

    I AM AN IMMIGRANT TOO – I KNOW WHAT STEPS WERE NECESSARY TO NOT BE CALLED *ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT*.
    HOW CAN YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO BE FOLLOWING THE COUNTRY’S LAWS IF THE FIRST STEP TO THE COUNTRY IS *BREAKING THE LAW WHEN CROSSING THE BORDER* AND THEN BE PROTECTED BY A POLICEMAN LIKE YOU?
    WAKE UP MR. POTTER – WHY DO YOU DEFEND LAW BREAKERS????????


  15. bullfrog (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

    I’m ashamed of Mayor Potter’s comments. I prefer the comments on the news today from a “legal” resident of Oregon, that got a job today because of this raid. Mr Potter should be more concerned about the ability of legal residents to have a job and take care of their families, than people that broke federal laws to come here and steal jobs from legal residents. Illegal immigrants do jobs for less money and they don’t complain about substandard working conditions. I know a carpenter that made a decent wage and he had to find another job because the contractor can hire illegals that will work for less. That is just BS about immigrants doing jobs americans won’t, it’s that the immigrants have driven the wage base and employment requirements to such a low level than a US Citizen won’t do the job for that pay and under those conditions. I’d rather pay more for my produce, house, gardening, or whatever and have that job done by a legal immigrant or resident. Round them all up and ship them home. Not to mention the danger of terrorism due to our lax enforcement of border security and existing laws. If a poor latino can sneak across the border and get a job in the US, what keeps the terrorists out. In fact, it is a known fact that illegal immigrants (likely terrorists) are making their way from the middle east to Cuba then to So. America and then up across the border.


  16. Daaaaave (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    I’m bookmarking this thread to retrieve everytime some idiot tells me about how “tolerant” Portland is.

    DEY TOOK OUR JERBS!

    Tom Tancredo 4 President!

    Buncha braindead rednecks. No wonder Lon Mabon is making a comeback.


  17. Rusty (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    Mabon’s a joke. Saw him on some cable-access type station the other day, acting all shifty and obviously thinking he was brilliant. His very existence makes me cringe.


  18. Daaaaave (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:16 am

    Mabon was a joke in 92 and 94 too, but that didn’t stop Measures 9 and 13 (son of 9) from being dangerously close to passing.

    “All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon’s youth which recognizes that these behaviors are abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided.”

    Bigotry is bigotry.

    “Now why don’t you look down to where your feet is planted
    That U.S. soil that makes you take shit for granted
    If not for Santa Ana, just to let you know
    That where your feet are planted would be Mexico
    Correcto!”


  19. A (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. How many of those who get all wacked about illegal immigrants speed on our freeways or city streets? Speeders — even the folks who “only” go 5 or 10 miles an hour over the limit — not only break the law but also endanger lives. Whose life does someone making minimum money doing an unpleasant job threaten? If we’re going to have law enforcement, let’s have traffic law enforcement.


  20. Cherner (unregistered) on June 16th, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    I’m glad the illegals were arrested. They need to arrest more. Just goes to show that they know where these illegals are.


  21. wtd (unregistered) on June 19th, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    RE: “Let he who is without sin…” To equate illegal immigration with speeding is absurd. I live in Texas and illegal immigrant populations are, among other things, flooding the school system (demanding to be taught in Spanish), overloading the health care system,and over-burdening the courts and law enforcement.My life has not been threatened (yet)by some (illegal)person doing a minimum wage job, but the quality of life in my town is being gradually degraded as a direct result of illegal immigration. I am not anti-Mexican or a racist, and am all for LEGAL immigration, but the first thing (some) illegals conclude when they come to this country with no negative consequences is that our laws are flexible and, if I got away with that, I wonder what else I can get away with?



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