Video: Are Employers Responsible For The 108 Potential Undocumented Workers Found In This West Phoenix Drop House?Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
I just returned from documenting a drop house raid in West Phoenix at approximately 91st Avenue and Thomas Rd.
As I arrived the street was cordoned off. There were several white vans ready to load the human cargo located inside the 4 bedroom home. I thought perhaps it was the usual 10-20 Immigrants normally found in these Phoenix drop house raids. I was shocked to learn that there were 108 undocumented Immigrants found in a house with not that much square footage. They were packed in like sardines. Most of the Immigrants were Central American and seemed to be disoriented and scared. I am sure that this event was one of the most traumatic incidents of their lives. Imagine the trek just to make it to the United States, and then to be arrested and zip tied for processing and deportation back to their native country. I couldn’t fathom the idea!
I spoke to Vinnie Picard the public affairs officer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Phoenix, Arizona. He described the conditions of the home where the Immigrants were being held as squalid.
I understand that we all make decisions in our lives, and that some require a calculated risk. However, it’s important to understand that there normally exists a lure that prompts us to take risks we might not otherwise take. It’s clear that employers in the U.S. are that lure, and that they have created a culture of deception in donating to campaigns of politicians that create anti-immigrant laws while they themselves are responsible for hiring those same Immigrants that these laws are meant to filter out of our “law abiding” society. I would call it a circular pattern, but the reality is that it’s not circular. If that was the case we would be allowing the influx of low skilled labor with the ability to return to their home country and at some time later return to the United States to work those jobs that desperately need to be filled by Immigrant labor. Instead we have created a hypocritical system of, today I hire Jose and utilize him long hours for low pay, and if he gets caught, even if he is caught at work, well, tomorrow I’ll hire Juan who just exited one of those drop houses and is anxious and dying to fill the job. The dirty little cycle repeats itself over and over with no apparent repercussions for the employer who in many cases even fires and rehires the same employee under a different name once e-verify rejects the previous name as an invalid match.
Meanwhile your average citizen turns a blind eye to the double standard utilized in employing undocumented Immigrants to fill low skilled positions. They don’t want to know who cooks their burger at their favorite fast food joint. They don’t care what the legal status of the construction worker is, as long as the house is completed, or the roads are built. They’ve served their purpose and we can all live in denial.
As long as a deal keeps being cut for the employer here in Arizona, we are going to continue seeing drop houses filled with potential employees, and every time we see it on TV, we’re going to continue to gasp in horror and wonder, are the Mexicans living next to me human traffickers? Well you never know, I guess everyone has the potential to get in the game if the lure is there. It sure looks like the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office bought into it, well let me clarify, certain members of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office.
Oh did I mention that of the 108 Immigrants caught today, 14 were women and five were minors?
Carlos E. Galindo is a radio talk show host & political analyst conducting radio shows in both English and Spanish on four radio stations in Arizona. Mr. Galindo is a weekly contributor to KPFK 98.7 FM Los Angeles and has appeared on CNN, Univision and Telemundo as a political analyst. Mr. Galindo is also an Op-Ed columnist on Prensa Hispana Arizona. www.nospinonair.com/http://www.carlosgalindo.com
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