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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

U.S. Supreme Court slaps Postville prosecutions

By Lynda Waddington | 05.04.09 | 3:49 pm

In a unanimous decision issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that many of the convictions and sentences given to immigrant detainees from the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville were in error.

According to the ruling, federal prosecutors have inappropriately used aggravated identity theft laws to prosecute undocumented workers. The decision directly impacts Iowa since of the 389 workers taken during a May 2008 raid at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, 302 were fast-tracked with criminal charges, most related to identity theft.

The ruling, written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, mandates a prosecutor be able to show immigrant detainees knowingly used identification that actually belonged to another person. In the case of the Postville detainees, their knowledge regarding the origin of fraudulent employment documents was not a factor, the very fact that they were using fake documents led to their quick conviction on identity theft-related charges.

“As a matter of ordinary English grammar, it seems natural to read the statute’s word ‘knowingly’ as applying to all the subsequently listed elements of the crime,” wrote Breyer in the decision.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Ignacio Flores Figueroa, a Mexican citizen who gained employment at an Illinois steel plant while using false documents. Although he originally provided fake documents to his employer that contained completely falsified numbers, later documents he used contained numbers assigned to another individual.

He was eventually arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to immigration-related offenses. He fought the identity theft charges, claiming that he did not ‘knowingly’ commit the crime. The initial conviction on those charges was upheld in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, but struck down today with high court’s ruling.

Many believe the government effectively coerced detainees from Postville into accepting plea deals on lesser charges by pressuring them with the more lengthy and harsh sentences that could be imposed under the aggravated identity theft charges. Although most of those sentenced in the aftermath of the Postville raid signed plea agreements and received five month prison sentences that have already ended, two individuals were sentenced to 12 months behind bars. It is unknown at this time how this ruling will impact those cases.

The court’s decision, however, should have no bearing on the numerous criminal and civil cases faced by employees and management at the Agriprocessors plant.

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Comments

  • Brittanicus

    Support the revised (SAVE) Act as it targets employers with stiff penalties for hiring illegal aliens, secures the northern and southern border by adding 8,000 new border patrol agents and increases interior enforcement by allowing for additional federal district court judges and provides more resources for law enforcement officers. In this package E-Verify would be mandatory, in-perpetuity driving illegal labor from the workplace. Rep. Heath Schuler's e-verification program, would require federal agencies, contractors and employers to verify the eligibility of –ALL EMPLOYEES–within one to four years, depending on the size of the company. Using this procedure, identity fraud fashioned through fake social security numbers and bogus ID's would be reduced significantly.

    This is not about discrimination because E-verify is activated after someone has been hired,” Shuler said. “This helps to ensure that local officials can identify who they arrest. Interior enforcement is crucial.” It's essential that Americans back him and his sponsors when the act is introduced in the next few weeks. This is namely after Sen. Harry Reid(D-NV) and speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) silently neutralized E-Verify, plus 48 other members of the Senate. We cannot trust these pro-illegal immigrant–PARIAH–cheap labor–BUSINESS politicians. With over 12 million Americans out of work and large numbers of new veterans entering the workplace, nor can our own kids get Summer jobs. We just cannot accept any legalization of 13 to 20 million foreign nationals and the huge costs sustaining them. Offer your support to Rep.Shuler (D-NC) on his gov website. Phone: 828-252-1651 Learn more at NUMBERSUSA

    Enforce the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill, the Immigration Reform & Control Act as enacted.

  • jalo

    So the illegal immigrant walks and probably is still in the country working another job with someone elses ID. This is a joke. Well then pass a new law to make it a crime to use an identification that's not your own for any purpose and make it retroactive. Goodbye get the hell out. If an American citizen did the same we wouldn't walk away.

  • GLG

    And I thought the illegal immigrants only took the jobs Americans don't want to do.

  • panola

    The point is that the illegal alien knew the number didn't belong to him, regardless of who it actually belonged to. He also knew that he was buying a fake social security card.

    A social security number, like most anything, always belongs to someone from cradle to grave. Either the government owns it, before it is assigned to a legal citizen, or an individual owns it after it has been assigned. Either way, using a SSN number that does not belong to you is theft.

    Think of the damage it does to you when an illegal alien uses your SSN for his tax withholdings and to file his tax return. The IRS is going to want you to pay his taxes owed or even accuse you of filing multiple returns. BTW – the IRS cannot tell who it actually belongs to. You're toast! Same thing for credit cards, loans, etc. You're ruined.

    We teach our children this. Do not take things that do not belong to you unless you have permission. It's stealing!!

    This is truly insane. Apparently even the Supreme Court is corrupt now.

  • panola

    The point is that the illegal alien knew the number didn't belong to him, regardless of who it actually belonged to. He also knew that he was buying a fake social security card.

    A social security number, like most anything, always belongs to someone from cradle to grave. Either the government owns it, before it is assigned to a legal citizen, or an individual owns it after it has been assigned. Either way, using a SSN number that does not belong to you is theft.

    Think of the damage it does to you when an illegal alien uses your SSN for his tax withholdings and to file his tax return. The IRS is going to want you to pay his taxes owed or even accuse you of filing multiple returns. BTW – the IRS cannot tell who it actually belongs to. You're toast! Same thing for credit cards, loans, etc. You're ruined.

    We teach our children this. Do not take things that do not belong to you unless you have permission. It's stealing!!

    This is truly insane. Apparently even the Supreme Court is corrupt now.

  • panola

    The point is that the illegal alien knew the number didn't belong to him, regardless of who it actually belonged to. He also knew that he was buying a fake social security card.

    A social security number, like most anything, always belongs to someone from cradle to grave. Either the government owns it, before it is assigned to a legal citizen, or an individual owns it after it has been assigned. Either way, using a SSN number that does not belong to you is theft.

    Think of the damage it does to you when an illegal alien uses your SSN for his tax withholdings and to file his tax return. The IRS is going to want you to pay his taxes owed or even accuse you of filing multiple returns. BTW – the IRS cannot tell who it actually belongs to. You're toast! Same thing for credit cards, loans, etc. You're ruined.

    We teach our children this. Do not take things that do not belong to you unless you have permission. It's stealing!!

    This is truly insane. Apparently even the Supreme Court is corrupt now.

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