They Got Walter - A new, younger face of fear

Thanks to Elana at DMI for pointing me to this great post at Firedoglake. The author really captures the heart of so many struggles in communities across the country:

My daughter told me when I dropped her off at work at Market Basket last week: “They got Walter.” The police, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had come to the supermarket and picked up “Walter.” He was a young Latino who had worked his way up to full-time. Nobody on the job knew where he was taken, and nobody knew why he was taken. In the following days it was said he had a false Social Security number. The large-scale raids were supposed to be aimed at the MS-13 gang, but others, including a union organizer, were caught up, and terror spread through the “New Immigrant” communities like a thunderstorm across the Kansas plains.

White neighborhoods didn’t even know about the raids. But the Latino neighborhoods were deserted. Around the corner from my union hall in Lynn, Mass., Union Street has been transformed in the past 20 years from an abandoned district inhabited largely by drug dealers into a bustling commercial center of Latino businesses. When news of the raids was spread by the Spanish radio stations, an eerie silence spread over Union Street and other Spanish neighborhoods down into East Boston. The little store selling religious icons of Jesus and Mary was empty. White employers complained their workers disappeared. Parents kept their children home from school, behind locked doors.

Legal residents were affected, as well as those who had crossed the border illegally or overstayed their legal welcome. People knew from the workplace raids in New Bedford earlier this year that you could be arguing your case from a jail cell in Texas with little access to legal help and far from your children and even prescription medicines. Better to miss pay and risk discipline on the job and stay home with your children. Read the rest>>