After years of ‘silent raids’ and federal workplace audits, unions and community allies are going on the offensive.
By David Bacon, In These Times
August 23, 2011
When the current wave of mass firings of immigrant workers started three years ago, they were called “silent raids” in the press. The phrase makes firings seem more humane than the workplace raids of the Bush administration. During Bush’s eight-year tenure, posses of black-uniformed immigration agents, waving submachine guns, invaded factories across the country and rounded up workers for deportations.
“Silent raids,” by contrast, have relied on cooperation between employers and immigration officials. The Department of Homeland Security identifies workers it says have no legal immigration status. Employers then fire them. The silence, then, is the absence of the armed men in black. To paraphrase Woody Guthrie, they used to rob workers of their jobs with a gun. Now they do it with a fountain pen. [...]
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