By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The truth about the New Bedford raid

Two Globe columnists today come up aces today in the ongoing controversy over last week’s immigration raid in New Bedford.

First, Eileen McNamara fills in the details of something that’s been out there from the beginning: that Gov. Deval Patrick was informed of the upcoming raid even before his inauguration, and that Department of Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence was involved in planning at various stages — right down to a phone call he received the night before “to coordinate law enforcement and child protection aspects of the raid.” (Spence, as I’ve observed previously, is the grand master of avoiding blame.) McNamara writes:

So, enough with the breast-beating pretense that the Patrick administration was blindsided by the stealth tactics of shadowy federal immigration officials. This is political grandstanding of the most transparent kind.

Read it all — otherwise you’ll miss the priceless comment from Patrick’s communications director, Nancy Fernandez Mills.

Next up is Jeff Jacoby, with the first of a two-parter that examines the real problem with illegal immigration:

[I]f hundreds of thousands of immigrants come here illegally each year, is it realistic to conclude that we have a massive crime problem for which a ferocious crackdown is the only solution? Perhaps it is the case instead that America’s immigration quotas are simply too low for the world’s most dynamic economy. And perhaps the persistent influx of industrious workers is not a plague to be cursed, but a blessing to be better managed.

Buttressing both McNamara’s and Jacoby’s arguments is a profile by the Globe’s Irene Sege of Barthila Solano, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador whose tenuous family situation has been thrown into chaos following the arrest of her husband, Valencio Salas, last week.

“I don’t understand what harm we’re doing,” Solano tells Sege. “We work so hard.”

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12 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Interesting analysis, as usual, Dan. One important thing though, the raid was in New Bedford, not Fall River. The two South Coast cities are often mistaken for each other, but each has their own clearly delineated identity.

  2. Rick in Duxbury

    When a true believer like Eileen Mac calls you out, there’s trouble in Progressive Paradise.

  3. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 9:00: Oops! Now fixed. Thanks.

  4. Peter Porcupine

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!I had heard a radio clip on WRKO the day of the raid, with Patrick sayign that he was properly informed and that state agencies were notified, and BMG was – um – sceptical.I was listening last night to Harry Spence on Paul Sullivan saying that ICE was lying about what they did and did not do, and trying to imply that all of them were shuttled to Texas where he had flown, when I KNOW that 30+/- are in the Barnstable County Jail!Ironically, much of the controversy could have been avoided if Patrick had used Camp Edwards, refurbished into secure apartments by Romney for Katrina victims, instead of shipping people off piecemeal. Was ICE made aware of that facility by the Administration?

  5. Ron Newman

    If Patrick and Spence did know about the upcoming raid, the proper response should have been to track down as many of the workers as possible, and warn them not to come to work on the scheduled day of the raid.The state should not in any way enable or cooperate with the thugs of the immigration ‘service’.

  6. Neil

    Sege’s profile of Solano is an emotional appeal and as such doesn’t buttress anybody’s arguments. Solano’s situation is unfortunate but irrelevant. So is how hard they work. Many people work hard and have difficult lives. By that logic any criminal may likewise claim exemption from being arrested, by working hard.If you are here illegally (Sege uses “undocumented”–if I forget to bring my driver’s license on the morning commute, I’m “undocumented”), how can you be surprised that you may be caught by US Immigration. You are here illegally. You are taking your chances, hoping to be lucky. Solano’s final sentence is telling:“I know a lot of people come to this country and nothing happens to them. That’s why I decided to come,” she says. “If I knew all the consequences, I would be better [off] in my country.”Just so. Have five children even though you are already poor, then figure to pay off your bills by putting yourselves into an additional $25,000 of debt to human traffickers to sneak into the US illegally. Then get caught. Maybe you’d have been better off staying home, indeed. For starters you’d have been $25,000 less in the hole.If there are never any consequences to entering illegally, why should people go to the bother of following the legal process? Many of the people seeking legal entry also have difficult lives, and work hard. Do we tell such people to stop being chumps and just sneak in instead?

  7. Anonymous

    Ron, when felons are heroes and federal law enforcement are “thugs”, we really have fallen down the rabbit hole.

  8. Tony

    Wrong Ron: The state shouldn’t be assisting those people who are here illegally. As cruel as this may sound, the state should be doing exactly what they did which is assisting the feds in rounding up illegals and deporting them back to wherever they came from. It is a perfect example of how they are taking the jobs of Americans. I would, however, make exceptions for the parents of kids who are born here – even though their parents are illegals and grant them immunity. Families shouldn’t be split apart like that but we need to really get control of this problem.

  9. Anonymous

    spence lacks credibility but logic tells us that a half-day notice on how to deal with such a massive child-care nightmare is not enough. ICE can’t be excused for not having a proper game plan for the kids, and it’s not unlikely that spence was deferential to the “vague” feds on the plan for the kids, only to catch a mess from ICE.

  10. leftsezfred

    The point that is often overlooked is that this company was working on a lucrative government contract and they chose not to spread their lucre among the taxpayers but to maximize their profits by hiring illegal labor, paying them substandard wages, and running a sweatshop environment. I find this much more disgusting than the fact that people will sneak into the country to find opportunities they cannot get at home. It’s often said that illegal immigrants are doing the jobs that Americans won’t do, but in truth they will often work for pay and under conditions that Americans won’t accept. While not to diminish the fact that they are here illegally, I cannot help but feel there are victims of exploitation by a corrupt employer. The people who get upset when “our money” is spent on the Governor’s Cadillac should be far more upset that “our money” is funding this sort of exploitation.

  11. kilgore forelle

    Another example of how the blogosphere will serve those of us who want more than the msm will provide.For a discussion of how this case demonstrates the laws of unintended consequences, visit my blog, forelle’s filosofy at the article, Unintended Consequences — part 1, http://forellefilosofy.blogspot.com/2007/03/unintended-consequences-part-1.html

  12. scotti

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.The Netherlands and Belgium are more crowded than Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.http://scotti-mantrablog.blogspot.com/

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