Thursday, June 10, 2010

ICE targets Gulf oil spill cleanup?

What does illegal immigration have to do with the need to clean up the monumental oil spill affecting several U.S. Gulf states? Plenty according to one Louisiana law enforcement official:
A sheriff in suburban New Orleans has asked federal authorities to investigate reports that illegal immigrants are working on the Gulf oil spill cleanup effort.

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack A. Stephens said Wednesday that he asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement weeks ago to look into the reports…

Stephens says he wants to protect the community from "criminal elements" and not "people who want to earn an honest buck."
Immigration officials have so far denied that any “work site enforcement” has been done in cleanup areas. One blogger claimed, however, that ICE did visit a pair of “oil spill command centers” last week in order to check worker documentation.

Latino immigrants both legal and undocumented have served a key role in helping parts of Louisiana and other southern states rebuild after another disaster: 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

Image- (“Clean up crews use artificial straw to soak up and remove oil from the BP Oil spill in marsh grass off the coast of Grand Isle, La.”)
Online Sources- The Telegraph, CBS News, The Latin Americanist, Democracy Now

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