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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

crystal_sugar_80
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

hermancain_80x80
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.

Both sides of immigration debate agree: employers should be held accountable

By Lynda Waddington | 07.28.08 | 12:51 pm

Anyone driving on Lawler Street in downtown Postville Sunday might have found it difficult to find a common thread between the two groups shouting phrases about immigration from opposite sides of the street. Yet, members of the immigration debate who hold opposing viewpoints on many of the difficult nuances of the debate do hold common ground: Employers should not be given a free pass.

Marshalltown resident Mona Kilborn, who came to Postville to applaud government action during the May 12 immigration raid, believes that both illegal immigrants and the companies that employ them should be prosecuted.

Marshalltown resident Mona Kilborn, who came to Postville to applaud government action during the May 12 immigration raid, believes that both illegal immigrants and the companies that employ them should be prosecuted.

“[The companies] are just as guilty,” said Mona Kilborn, a 59-year-old woman from Marshalltown whose mother died in October 2007 when a van the family rode in was struck by another vehicle being driven by an illegal immigrant. “If there wasn’t a magnet to come, [illegal immigrants] wouldn’t be coming. So, the companies are wrong — just wrong — and there should be a price to pay.”

Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the U.S. and the site of the unprecedented May 12 immigration raid that sparked the demonstrations in Postville on Sunday, has remained largely unscathed. While the vast majority of the 389 workers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were quickly and efficiently charged and convicted on criminal charges, primarily identity theft, only two members of plant middle management face charges for aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The plant is owned by a wealthy and politically-connected Orthodox Jewish family, led by patriarch Aaron Rubashkin. The two supervisors facing charges are both Hispanic.

Susan Tully, a national field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, minces few words when discussing illegal immigration. She firmly believes that anyone entering the country should have to go through legal channels. She also believes that the plant and its owners have a responsibility to the Postville community.

“Agriprocessors, if they want to be a good neighbor and do good business, needs to step up,” she said. “They need to offer those jobs at a good living wage to American workers who would then come and do those jobs. But instead — and like many other American employers — they chose to take cheap labor.”

Tully said that employers who choose the route she outlined are showing they care about little more than their own financial reports.

“They are willing to employ cheap labor because it provides them with a bigger profit margin,” she said. “They do it at the expense of you and I and the people of Postville who get to pick up the costs of schooling, health care and all of the social services and everything else that this particular group of people brings with them — because they are poor; because they are uneducated. [The workers] are being used.”

Janelle Mueller, an employee of the Des Moines-based Children and Families Urban Ministries, came to Postville Sunday because she disagrees with the ICE action on May 12. She also believes that Agriprocessors has not been held to the same level of accountability as the workers — people she believes are much less able to understand the complexities of U.S. law.

“This is about money,” Mueller said. “It’s all about money. … The company doesn’t seem to care about the human beings that are working or the conditions they are working in. Unfortunately, I don’t see an end either. It’s like a pyramid effect. There ought to be a big mirror as you come into town and members of Agriprocessors management should be forced to look into it before they come into work. Maybe then they’d realize what they are doing to people.”

According to Tully, companies like Agriprocessors who are caught employing illegal immigrants are “the backbone of the issue.”

“If American employers wouldn’t give illegal aliens jobs, if they would actually do everything they should in their power to make sure the people working for them have a legal presence in this country, we wouldn’t have illegal immigration at the rate we have it. So, I do lay this squarely on the back of America’s business people.”

Vic Rosenthal, executive director of Jewis Community Action, was in Postville to call attention to the plight of immigrants. He also believes that companies, which have a responsibility to workers and community, be held accountable.

Vic Rosenthal, executive director of Jewis Community Action, was in Postville to call attention to the plight of immigrants. He also believes that companies, which have a responsibility to workers and community, be held accountable.

Vic Rosenthal, executive director of Jewish Community Action, admitted it was important for him and his organization to attend the rally Sunday not just from a human rights standpoint, but also to provide a different face and voice from the Jewish community.

“As Jews and Jewish organizations, it is important for us that people from our community are at the top of how other people in the community get treated, regardless of their nationality or where they come from,” he said. “We want all companies to do better, but it bothers us more when workers in a Jewish plant are not getting treated well. Business owners and management have responsibilities and should be held accountable when they don’t take those to heart.”

Christopher Reed, a Republican who will face U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin on the November ballot, was the only non-local politician who traveled to Postville. He said the government needs to start charging both the employers who hire illegal immigrants as well as those who rent residences to them.

“If these illegal aliens don’t have places to work and don’t have places to live, there not going to be coming here in the droves that we see now,” Reed said. “We need to get programs set up so that we know exactly how many workers we need each year. We need to figure out exactly how many people are coming in, and know who is coming into our nation. Simply, we need to enforce the laws that we have on the books at this time.”

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Comments

  • http://AmericanBorderPatrol Bernie

    Both the employers of illegals and the illegals should be punished. One group is as guilty as the other. American citizen rights need to be respected. We are the ones who are being taken advantage of by both groups. I have no sympathy for these groups. When you break the law, you need to accept the consequences of your actions. Enforce our immigration laws, stop the job magnet, punish both groups and lets return to a law abiding society again. Enough of these abuses and lawbreaking. No one is immune from the law.

  • Bernie

    Both the employers of illegals and the illegals should be punished. One group is as guilty as the other. American citizen rights need to be respected. We are the ones who are being taken advantage of by both groups. I have no sympathy for these groups. When you break the law, you need to accept the consequences of your actions. Enforce our immigration laws, stop the job magnet, punish both groups and lets return to a law abiding society again. Enough of these abuses and lawbreaking. No one is immune from the law.

  • Noelle

    I agree completely.
    Employers should have to pay HUGE fines, and be charged criminally.
    The same goes for those who rent to illegals. It’s ILLEGAL!
    Is it a crime to be poor, or from a different country? NO!
    Is it wrong to steal from hardworking LEGAL United States citizens? YES! And it should be punishable.

    Now that they’ve all been arrested, who pays for it?
    United States citizens.
    Who pays all of the court fees?
    United States citizens.
    Any jail time?
    U.S. citizens.
    Deportation, if any?
    United States citizens.
    How about when they don’t take care of their kids, the ones that U.S.citizens paid for?
    They wind up in child protective services, that we pay for.

    Yes, these are the very same children that we see on the news.
    The ones that we are accused of separating from their illegal parents and tearing apart families in the name of illegal immigration.
    Last I checked, you’re free to take your kids home with you.

    Many get taken away from their illegal parents because they rape them, molest them, physically abuse them, force them to become prostitutes, and sell drugs for them!
    Then WE pay for all of those court fees, jail time, if any (they never show up for court, they disappear. Good luck finding an illegal immigrant named Jose Gonzales…then they commit the same crimes again) foster care, counseling for the child, social services, schooling, healthcare, etc.
    All this, while hard-working United States citizens across the country are losing their jobs and their homes. And THEIR families.

    The companies should be paying for it all.
    Any legal expenses incurred by their illegal employees, and ALL healthcare.
    Then they should be boycotted for being Anti-American, and put out of business.

    But most of all, I blame our useless, greedy, sick government.
    It does not serve the people of the United States, it is enslaving all of us.
    There need to be changes, there is a modern-day revolution brewing. It’s only a matter of time before citizens start taking things into their own hands. Citizens need to become more educated about their government and the atrocities being committed. We are losing our country and we need to fight for it through government legislation, and getting involved. It’s only a matter of time before it escalates into violence, out of sheer frustration of the American people.
    Citizens need to get involved NOW.

  • Noelle

    I agree completely.
    Employers should have to pay HUGE fines, and be charged criminally.
    The same goes for those who rent to illegals. It's ILLEGAL!
    Is it a crime to be poor, or from a different country? NO!
    Is it wrong to steal from hardworking LEGAL United States citizens? YES! And it should be punishable.

    Now that they've all been arrested, who pays for it?
    United States citizens.
    Who pays all of the court fees?
    United States citizens.
    Any jail time?
    U.S. citizens.
    Deportation, if any?
    United States citizens.
    How about when they don't take care of their kids, the ones that U.S.citizens paid for?
    They wind up in child protective services, that we pay for.

    Yes, these are the very same children that we see on the news.
    The ones that we are accused of separating from their illegal parents and tearing apart families in the name of illegal immigration.
    Last I checked, you're free to take your kids home with you.

    Many get taken away from their illegal parents because they rape them, molest them, physically abuse them, force them to become prostitutes, and sell drugs for them!
    Then WE pay for all of those court fees, jail time, if any (they never show up for court, they disappear. Good luck finding an illegal immigrant named Jose Gonzales…then they commit the same crimes again) foster care, counseling for the child, social services, schooling, healthcare, etc.
    All this, while hard-working United States citizens across the country are losing their jobs and their homes. And THEIR families.

    The companies should be paying for it all.
    Any legal expenses incurred by their illegal employees, and ALL healthcare.
    Then they should be boycotted for being Anti-American, and put out of business.

    But most of all, I blame our useless, greedy, sick government.
    It does not serve the people of the United States, it is enslaving all of us.
    There need to be changes, there is a modern-day revolution brewing. It's only a matter of time before citizens start taking things into their own hands. Citizens need to become more educated about their government and the atrocities being committed. We are losing our country and we need to fight for it through government legislation, and getting involved. It's only a matter of time before it escalates into violence, out of sheer frustration of the American people.
    Citizens need to get involved NOW.

  • franks

    Advocates for illegals and their employers, along with many elected officials and their good friends the Chamber of Commerce will all tell you illegal aliens do the jobs Americans won’t do and they’re good for the economy. Balderdash. They’re good for their employers, elected officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and themselves, which equates in their world as the economy. A harsher reality for American taxpayers is that they get no benefit from these wonderful economy boosters, but instead shoulder the burden of their education, healthcare, social service costs, and the added required law enforcement. None of that gets paid for by the illegals, their employers, ellected officials and the good old Chamber of Commerce. So all’s right with their world.

  • franks

    Advocates for illegals and their employers, along with many elected officials and their good friends the Chamber of Commerce will all tell you illegal aliens do the jobs Americans won't do and they're good for the economy. Balderdash. They're good for their employers, elected officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and themselves, which equates in their world as the economy. A harsher reality for American taxpayers is that they get no benefit from these wonderful economy boosters, but instead shoulder the burden of their education, healthcare, social service costs, and the added required law enforcement. None of that gets paid for by the illegals, their employers, ellected officials and the good old Chamber of Commerce. So all's right with their world.

  • NoteTake

    There are several noteworthy things about this issue.

    First, these aliens (not “illegal immigrants,” the politically-correct term) broke the law by entering the United States in a method inconsistent with proper, well-established and lawful procedures. On that basis alone they are criminals…period.

    Second, their illegal entry is a slap in the face to those who did the right thing, both morally and legally, by following the rules, waiting, in many cases, for years.

    Third, their illegal entry tells others that they have no issue with breaking the law. After all, they simply “want a better life.” Lawlessness begets lawlessness, and all such actions, whether committed by aliens or citizens, reinforce the idea that breaking the law is acceptable when it suits our own purposes; the ends justify the means. It’s “situation ethics” on a grand scale.

    Fourth, their illegal entry speaks volumes about the type of citizen they might be should they ever actually become lawfully naturalized, which in and of itself seems doubtful.

    Fifth, there is a lot of blame to spread around in this regard. Employers, as “good community citizens,” have a duty, both morally and legally, to see past the dollar signs and do the right thing. Aliens also have the same moral and legal responsibility to follow the law. To “want a better life” should not and does not include side-stepping the legality of their entry into the United States. Further, our own government has a moral and legal mandate to enforce the law. Their willingness to “look the other way” and, in fact, work with the national governments of one or more of these aliens’ native countries in aiding their illegal entry is a sad statement of how far both the Democrats and Republicans, especially at the Federal level, have sunk.

    Sixth, I find it instructive that out of all the “Press ‘1’ for English”-type phone messages I’ve heard, not one has offered their callers the option of any language other than Spanish. Why is that? Is that because Spanish-speaking people are incapable of learning English? Are the Chinese, Koreans, Somalians, Italians, Germans, and many others for whom English is not a native tongue the only ones that can and do learn English? I think not. So, why do those who speak Spanish get special treatment?

    Seventh, for all the criticism that anti-illegal immigration advocates get that they are “racist,” it’s those chanting “La Raza!” who are the real racists. Some of them go even further by telling some to take a swim back to Europe because America, or at least parts of it, belongs to “La Raza!” And this is a view that has been articulated for years, unbeknownst to many U.S. citizens.

    Eighth, I find it especially disturbing that the Catholic Church there in Postville, along with some Jewish groups and others, supports the breaking of the law under the guise of how we all need to “love your neighbor,” as if to “love your neighbor” and to be lawful are mutually exclusive. I’m not sure what the church there would have to gain other than more money rolling into their coffers. Perhaps that’s not the case, but, following the money does tend to pull all sorts of skeletons out of the closets. For their part, the Jews who participated in supporting those entering, living and working in the United States illegally, the only answer I can find is, there again, that it has to do with money. It makes sense to me as the Agriprocessors plant in question is owned by Jews. And like any business, lower labor costs can only add to the bottom line.

    Shame on all of them, aliens included, I say.

  • NoteTake

    There are several noteworthy things about this issue.

    First, these aliens (not “illegal immigrants,” the politically-correct term) broke the law by entering the United States in a method inconsistent with proper, well-established and lawful procedures. On that basis alone they are criminals…period.

    Second, their illegal entry is a slap in the face to those who did the right thing, both morally and legally, by following the rules, waiting, in many cases, for years.

    Third, their illegal entry tells others that they have no issue with breaking the law. After all, they simply “want a better life.” Lawlessness begets lawlessness, and all such actions, whether committed by aliens or citizens, reinforce the idea that breaking the law is acceptable when it suits our own purposes; the ends justify the means. It’s “situation ethics” on a grand scale.

    Fourth, their illegal entry speaks volumes about the type of citizen they might be should they ever actually become lawfully naturalized, which in and of itself seems doubtful.

    Fifth, there is a lot of blame to spread around in this regard. Employers, as “good community citizens,” have a duty, both morally and legally, to see past the dollar signs and do the right thing. Aliens also have the same moral and legal responsibility to follow the law. To “want a better life” should not and does not include side-stepping the legality of their entry into the United States. Further, our own government has a moral and legal mandate to enforce the law. Their willingness to “look the other way” and, in fact, work with the national governments of one or more of these aliens’ native countries in aiding their illegal entry is a sad statement of how far both the Democrats and Republicans, especially at the Federal level, have sunk.

    Sixth, I find it instructive that out of all the “Press ‘1’ for English”-type phone messages I’ve heard, not one has offered their callers the option of any language other than Spanish. Why is that? Is that because Spanish-speaking people are incapable of learning English? Are the Chinese, Koreans, Somalians, Italians, Germans, and many others for whom English is not a native tongue the only ones that can and do learn English? I think not. So, why do those who speak Spanish get special treatment?

    Seventh, for all the criticism that anti-illegal immigration advocates get that they are “racist,” it’s those chanting “La Raza!” who are the real racists. Some of them go even further by telling some to take a swim back to Europe because America, or at least parts of it, belongs to “La Raza!” And this is a view that has been articulated for years, unbeknownst to many U.S. citizens.

    Eighth, I find it especially disturbing that the Catholic Church there in Postville, along with some Jewish groups and others, supports the breaking of the law under the guise of how we all need to “love your neighbor,” as if to “love your neighbor” and to be lawful are mutually exclusive. I’m not sure what the church there would have to gain other than more money rolling into their coffers. Perhaps that’s not the case, but, following the money does tend to pull all sorts of skeletons out of the closets. For their part, the Jews who participated in supporting those entering, living and working in the United States illegally, the only answer I can find is, there again, that it has to do with money. It makes sense to me as the Agriprocessors plant in question is owned by Jews. And like any business, lower labor costs can only add to the bottom line.

    Shame on all of them, aliens included, I say.

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  • http://www.englishclass.com.tw 英文家教

    Probably one of the hardest things anyone can do is try and learn something new. Congrats to anyone who tries.

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