Tough Stance
Originally uploaded by J Spring.

With all of the recent reports on the border between Mexico and the United States, much of the happenings in areas far from the border, such as Cincinnati, have gone relatively unnoticed. Yet laws are changing in areas far removed from the border, and so are methods of enforcing these laws.

To sum up the situation, national arrests, fines and deportations are all up. For example, in 1999 there were 24 uned workers arrested on job sites in the U.S. In 2002 there were 25 arrests. In 2006, there have been over 3,000 such arrests. As for fines, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received a $15 Million payment on a single worksite case in 2005. This one payment was greater than the sum of all fines issued by ICE in the prior eight years. For details, click on this link.

Roundups in the Greater Cincinnati area are also on the rise. In May of 2006 approximately 70 uned aliens were taken into custody. The arrests were the result of a prior investigation that had apparently uncovered evidence that a Northern Kentucky company, Fischer Homes, had been intentionally using uned labor in an effort to increase profit margins.

On November 29 of 2006 ICE agents arrested 32 uned aliens involved in the construction of The Ascent at Roebling Bridge, a new condominium building being touted as the jewel of the Covington skyline. Covington based Corporex Construction is the developer of the project. The general contractor is Dugan and Meyers Construction Company of Cincinnati. Link.

North of the River, in Butler County Ohio, state law enforcement officials are being trained so that they can enforce immigration laws. Normally, issues of deportation and immigration are purely federal issues, and are not handled by state agents. Yet Butler County is taking a tough stance on the issue, becoming the first community in the Midwestern United States to offer such training. The photo above is the Butler County Sheriff standing next to a “subtle” sign recently posted just outside the Butler County Jail.

This has caught the attention of civil rights attorneys. Some say that to expect local law enforcement to understand the intricacies of federal law and the politics behind such laws, is asking a lot. Others believe that it is unrealistic to expect local law enforcement to be able to distinguish between “enforcing immigration laws” and “racial profiling”. Link