Assembly Line Justice
Almost 400 undocumented workers, mostly from Guatemala, were arrested at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant near Waterloo, Iowa on May 12. Instead of following the customary practice of deporting them, the Justice Department decided to charge a large number with fraud for falsifying social security numbers in order to be hired. The result was assembly line justice:
During fast-paced hearings in May, 262 of the illegal immigrants pleaded guilty in one week and were sentenced to prison — most for five months ....
The immigrants were threatened with heavier identity theft charges and more time if they didn't promptly accept the government's deal. An interpreter who was horrified by the proceedings is now speaking out. [more ...]
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