Saturday, September 13, 2008

Caught between Uncle Sam and Ike: Immigrants Continue to Be Forced to Make Sophie's Choice

At the end of August, I pointed out that increased ICE raids, including the largest workplace raid ever just before Gustav hit, were dampening immigrant will to flee in advance of hurricanes even with federal and state assurances. I argued that immigrants are being unnecessarily forced into making Sophie's Choice.

Facing South continues to keep up with this problem, and cites the CSM:
The Christian Science Monitor reports that increased immigration raids this past year are a key reason that many undocumented may choose to stay in the storm zone during Hurricane Ike.

According to the CS Monitor:

As up to a million Texans flee the wind and rain of hurricane Ike, the federal government has imposed a “hurricane amnesty” for the state’s estimated 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants. That means no ID checks at shelters, no border patrol checkpoints, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents scouring the highways, says Dan Martinez, spokesman for the Austin-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)....

But with the intensification of crackdowns and raids in recent years, evacuation may prove a tough sell to some Hispanics in the storm’s path.
CSM also reports that local official along the Texas coast are making no efforts to contact in languages other than English or to assure immigrant communities that they will not be targeted for raids should they flee Ike's path.

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