Sunday, July 20, 2008

Postville Raids - Letters to the Editor of the New York Times

Here are a few excerpts from letters to the editor published in today's New York Times in response to last week's story regarding Erik Camayd-Freixas's decision to speak out for immigrants whose rights he believed were denied:

Professor Camayd-Freixas’s powerful document describes ICE’s new strategy of transforming violators of immigration laws into criminal offenders by nabbing hundreds of people at a time and charging them with crimes rather than with civil violations of immigration law. [...] Everyone who cares about due process of law should read Mr. Camayd-Freixas’s vivid chronicle of the event.

--- Virginia E. Carstens, immigration lawyer
Hartford, Conn., July 14, 2008

The preamble to the code of ethics of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators states, “No code of ethics can foresee every conceivable scenario.” It therefore encourages interpreters to develop their “own, well-informed ethical judgment.” Confronted by the very prototype of an inconceivable, unforeseeable circumstance, the interpreters had a duty to apply their own ethical judgment. Erik Camayd-Freixas fulfilled that ethical duty.

--- Madeline Newman RĂ­os, court interpreter
Claremont, Calif., July 11, 2008

There is another misgiving that should be mentioned about the immigration raid that occurred in Postville, Iowa: the enormous cost to the taxpayer. When undocumented immigrant workers are whisked away through immediate deportation, the cost is relatively little. But to charge and convict the people from the Postville raid with truly criminal offenses, the federal government had to spend significant sums to process the litigation, manage the complicated logistics and imprison more than 260 people, most for five months.

---Ari Gerstman
Alexandria, Va., July 14, 2008

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