Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Xanax with a Can of Tecate:
A couple of years ago, President Obama said, "Hey, let's spend more time worrying about arresting the undocumented immigrants who commit crimes instead of the ones who do our shit jobs." Thus a mighty directive of direction went out to Homeland Security and law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Down in New Orleans, "local [ICE] agents are not following those orders." Yep, ignoring the president, they're busting into homes, pulling over brown people, and basically creating teabagger wet dreams.
For instance, Jennifer Rosenbaum of the Center for Racial Justice says, "People have been arrested in parking lots after coming out of the grocery store and then they're driven around Kenner in a van while other people are stopped and arrested for looking Latino until the van fills up. Then they're taken to the detention center." She suspects a quota-driven arrest system. The Rude Pundit suspects utter and complete dickishness.
And because no story is truly a story unless it contains a pregnant woman, here ya go: "In March, ICE agents arrested Denis Avila while he was driving with his pregnant wife from New Orleans to Kenner to look for a new apartment. They apprehended him as he was walking out of the apartment, fingerprinted him in the van, discovered he has a previous deportation order and took him away, leaving his eight-month pregnant wife stranded."
So yesterday afternoon, a few hundred people blocked traffic and protested by blocking one of the busiest downtown intersections in New Orleans. And that led to 22 arrests, including 18 immigrants. And that's what the photo up there shows.
On the New Orleans Times-Picayune website today, Bill Quigley, a lawyer for the detained immigrants, writes why he's defending them. It's very simple, really. It's the usual stuff: compassion, human rights, dignity. The usual bleeding heart liberal things that we bleeding heart liberals say. Except Quigley adds a Crescent City twist to it.
"These workers simply ask for the right to remain in the city they helped rebuild," he says. "Like many readers of The Times-Picayune, I was here during and after Katrina. Thousands of immigrant workers arrived and labored to help us rebuild our communities. They often did the dirty work, the unsafe work, for minimal wages. They stood with us in our time of need. Now it is our time to stand with them."
If there was ever a cut-and-dried case for, oh, hell, compassion, human rights, and dignity, maybe it could be for the very people who dragged the pieces of your Humpty-Dumpty city out of the mud and water and put that fucker back together again.