The Times has an editorial this morning discussing the essay of Professor Erik Caymard-Freixas, the translator I honored as yesterday's Immigrant of the Day. The Times editorial writers have strong words to describe their outrage:



Anyone who has doubts that this country is abusing and terrorizing undocumented immigrant workers should read an essay by Erik Camayd-Freixas,a professor and Spanish-language court interpreter who witnessed the aftermath of a huge immigration workplace raid at a meatpacking plant in Iowa.



The essay chillingly describes what Dr. Camayd-Freixas saw and heard
as he translated for some of the nearly 400 undocumented workers who
were seized by federal agents at the Agriprocessors kosher plant in
Postville in May.



Under the old way of doing things, the workers,
nearly all Guatemalans, would have been simply and swiftly deported.
But in a twist of Dickensian cruelty, more than 260 were charged as
serious criminals for using false Social Security numbers or residency
papers, and most were sentenced to five months in prison.



What
is worse, Dr. Camayd-Freixas wrote, is that the system was clearly
rigged for the wholesale imposition of mass guilt. He said the
court-appointed lawyers had little time in the raids' hectic aftermath
to meet with the workers, many of whom ended up waiving their rights
and seemed not to understand the complicated charges against them.