Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stupid Timing for an Anti-Illegal Raid

Greeley -- Special agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed civil search warrants at six Swift & Co. plants in the midwest and Colorado to break a large identity theft scheme. (Main Story)

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and many of the workers went to Mass before coming to work in massive beef-processing plant.


Draped in a Mexican flag with a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it, Lupe Tapia said, "This is a day we should all be celebrating. Instead we're in mourning.
Day of celebration turns to mourning

What genius of an agent decided that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was a good day for a raid on illegals? On the ground, the date adds needless hostility to an already tense situation. It makes for bad press with sentimental stories such as the one above, complete with a woman, Lupe, who shares her name with the feast. Politically, this day creates a rallying symbol for illegals and their allies.

I'm almost a Buchananite on immigration, but this timing is boneheaded to the core.

Cesar Chavez's marching workers often used the Virgin's image in their activism. I even heard this history invoked today at my mostly-white church's feast day mass. Get a clue, government people. I bet only scheduling this raid for Cinco de Mayo could tick off Mexicans more.

Ignorance of religion causes political troubles not just abroad, but at home too.


Another invocation of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

A statue of the Virgin

Carrying a small statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Magdalena Mesa paced in front of the meat processing plant. She said her cousin worked at Swift for 11 years. She said she feared he might be deported. She would not comment on her legal status or what she does for a living.

"They don't have respect," she said of ICE agents. "They don't even respect holy days. Couldn't they have waited until the holidays were over?"

Mesa was one of hundreds of immigrants who attended the 5 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

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