There is nothing obscure about this document -- I downloaded it from a link [pdf] within a New York Times editorial. I offer excerpts here so that a few more of us cannot claim we do not know this is happening.
The author of this account, Erik Camayd-Freixas, has served for 23 years as a certified Spanish interpreter for federal courts. He teaches interpretation at Florida International University. In May he was called upon to translate in proceedings subsequent to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on Agriprocessors Inc, the nation's largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant located in the town of Postville, Iowa. The raid rocked the town of some 2300.
Because what he participated in seemed such a mockery of justice clothed in the appearance of legality, he chose to make public a 14 page account of what happened in Postville.
The workers picked up in the raid were indeed undocumented. Many had bought false Social Security cards from unscrupulous fixers in the U.S. If they were lucky, the numbers were just made up. But nearly 300 were unlucky enough to be using numbers that belonged to someone else. They were charged with felony identity theft and got the full treatment.
The identity theft charges were a hammer that forced the arrested workers to plea down to 5 month jail sentences. The charges would not have held up if they had fought them as no actual theft was intended or performed. But fighting the charges would have meant waiting around in jail for 2 years while their families starved.
Even the judges were trapped into confirming injustice.
All the arrested worker knew was that they had been caught up in a cruel web of punishment. Neither they nor their lawyers had any wiggle room. Effectively, ICE legal tactics made undocumented work itself a crime, though no statute does this.
Why this determination from ICE to make undocumented labor a crime? Can you say the survival instinct of a burgeoning bureaucratic police force?
Erik Camayd-Freixas believes he saw an early battle in a "New War" -- the merger of the "war on terror" with a "war on migrants," all lawless, all profoundly anti-democratic.
Those of us who are citizens need to decide if we'll tolerate such a republic of fear.