In February, immigration officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency raided the Bellingham-based Yamato Engine Specialists, arresting 28 illegal immigrants and processing them for deportation.
The auto manufacturing plant was charged with encouraging undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States between 2006 and 2009 by allowing workers to file false employment forms with the government.
For many, the first ICE raid under the Obama administration is seen as a return to the failed enforcement policies of the Bush era.
Many believe the charges against Yamato failed to address the core issues that contribute to the 12 million undocumented workers in the United States.
OneAmerica, along with partners in the Reform Immigration For America campaign, supports a comprehensive approach to reform that includes the following principles: enhancing the nation’s security and safety with a sensible enforcement policy, protecting fundamental rights for all, and allocating sufficient visas to close unlawful migration channels.
“The real issue is the immigration system doesn’t work for our economy. Going after employers before we fix the entire broken visa system is like cutting off the tree branch instead of the diseased root,” says OneAmerica Organizing Director David Ayala. ♦