A New Library for the District of Columbia, Legacy or Not

Our nation's capital, seat of our federal government and home to thousands of underrepresented U.S. citizens, most of them African-American, has a library in need of major renovation. Here's a report from the Washington Post, and an editorial on the subject from the same paper. Shouldn't the D.C. Library be an example of how urban libraries are meant to be?

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we can start helping...

by pointing out that the workers rounded up were illegal immigrants. Information is a beautiful thing.

or whatever

Ms. McCook: What do you think the library's "role" is in this? I honestly am having trouble with it. Please elaborate, if you would.

the department of spoke too soon ...

"... the workers rounded up were illegal immigrants. Information is a beautiful thing."

Isn't it, Greg. Just, isn't it? Ahhhh.

From the Salt Lake (UT)Tribute, bastion of effete, latte-drinking, war-hating liberalism that it is ....

If only for a few minutes, Maria felt like an ''illegal alien'' in her homeland - the United States of America.

She thought she was going on break from her job at the Swift & Co. meat processing plant here [in Hyrem, Utah] on Tuesday, but instead she and others were forced to stand in a line by U.S. immigration agents. Non-Latinos and people with lighter skin were plucked out of line and given blue bracelets.

The rest, mostly Latinos with brown skin, waited until they were ''cleared'' or arrested by ''la migra,'' the popular name in Spanish for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), employees said.

''I was in the line because of the color of my skin,'' she said, her voice shaking. ''They're discriminating against me. I'm from the United States, and I didn't even get a blue bracelet.'' . . .

Women were crying as they were handcuffed with plastic ties and put on the buses. Some weren't allowed to get their belongings from their lockers. Maria, who declined to use her last name, argued with an agent because she was getting the coat for her 34-year-old niece, Blanca, who was arrested.

''She [the agent] told me, 'Do you think it's going to be cold in Mexico?' '' Maria said, holding back tears.
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4829962

Identity Theft

According to this story in the USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-12-13-imm igration_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA many of those detained were suspected of identity theft.

I would hope...

I would hope the library would provide resources to the families, and those arrested just as they would for any other patron. These people may have special needs that a local library cannot meet such as federal statutes or the Martindale Hubbel list of lawyers.

Please remember that no-one has been convicted of any crime as yet so technically they are not illegal aliens. However with that particular offense one has to apply an affirmative defense of being here legally. (I don't practice law in this country so cut me some slack if that is not exact.)

Since I don't ask, and never did ask if anyone was here legally, or on vacation, or hopped over a fence when I helped them with their reference questions I don't see how this user population would be served differently than any other user.

I do think that everyone has a right to support themselves and their families. I also think that right supersedes a nation's right to keep people out. I'm not certain how we can resolve the dichotomy. If Mexico and other countries had a robust economy they could support all of their workers then they would not be cutting up cows in factories in mid-America. If we didn't have those people here legally or otherwise we would have fruit rotting in the fields and cows wandering around like it was Bangalore (hyperbole tag). We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't.

As librarians we really need to just keep on keeping on. As Americans we need to come up with a solution to our illegal immigration problem. As Humans we need to make sure that everyone who can work has the opportunity to work to the best of their ability to support their families. You guy's solve that I'm going for tea.

Um, thanks Chuck

I am so glad that you voiced your confusion over this, because I thought I was just exceptionally obtuse today. I don't have any idea what the library's role in this would be either. Except maybe the mention of the word "library" in the post title would get someone who doesn't normally read the political trappings of most people on LISNews to actually clicky the linky. Or maybe I'm just a little paranoid.

I mean, I have no problems with Ms. McCook writing a journal entry about it, but the link between libraries and the actual incident seems... tenuous? Or...Non-existent?

I don't understand!

Re:the department of spoke too soon ...

She wasn't arrested Chuck, she was made to stand in line while the illegals were sorted out. Considering her husband was an illegal I don't have any sympathy.

Nice job cherry picking though.

Re:the department of spoke too soon ...

So we're cool with "stand over here, darkie" as a law enforcement strategy? Just checking.

Re:or whatever

Ms. McCook: What do you think the library's "role" is in this?

I am not Ms. McCook, nor do I play one on TV, but I will reply that this is a human rights issue, and the posting of it to Ms. McCook's site journal is an exercise in free speech reflecting those things which are of concern to her. In this case: human rights.

Chuck, if you object to what Ms. McCook is posting to her journal, then why in the name of fornicating hell are you reading it?

Re:the department of spoke too soon ...

Yes.

:I would hope...

Peace on earth to you as well. And thank you.

"As librarians we really need to just keep on keeping on. As Americans we need to come up with a solution to our illegal immigration problem. As Humans we need to make sure that everyone who can work has the opportunity to work to the best of their ability to support their families."

An illegal immigration link to identity theft

The latest roundup of illegal immigrants caught working in the US with fraudulent identifications - the largest single such work-site action ever - raises new questions about a link between illegal immigration and the growing problem of identity theft. Story continued here.

How do librarians connect our idealistic resource development--"Becoming American-- New Immigration Stories" to human rights crises, like this? When people steal other people's identity to stay in a country illegally it is not a human rights crisis. If you went to buy a house and were turned down because your credit was all screwed up because an illegal alien was living life as you, you might have a different outlook on the "human rights crisis". The crisis is that American citizens are having their human rights violated by having thier identity stolen.

Re:the department of spoke too soon ...

A bit simplistic is it not. If a one armed man robbed a bank and ran into a K-Mart would putting all the two armed women in one line and all the one armed men in another be OK?

Please, if they knew the persons they were looking for were not Pennsylvania Dutch genotypes then wouldn't it be OK to sort them out.

One of the local TV stations (and one of the local rag newspapers) stopped listing race in suspect descriptions as they felt it might lead to the impression that more black people commit crimes. Stuff like that is simply stupid you can't avoid reality by not talking about it. How about discussing why crime is higher in the poor areas, and why many black people live in poor areas. These are social problems not personal problems on the levels where trends can be identified. Sure the WASP kid next door might be selling X, but ... ah this is rambling now.

Sort 'em out any way you want just make it easier to find the suspects. If you want to sort them by shoe size live it up, but we all are different and it makes sense to classify people so we can rule some people out quickly.

Re:or whatever

Crap I am agreeing with Fang again. Three times in two weeks.

I better see some type of physician.

Re:or whatever

Perhaps a psychiatrist? ;) Or maybe the end of the world IS near and this is one of the signs??? *G*

Merry Christmas!
/s

ID theft a red herring

Rocky Mountain News-Littwin: ID theft a red herring in Tuesday's raids.December 14, 2006.

As far as I can tell, the bust was a major bust.

As far as I can tell, ICE agents spent 10 months in which they
planned, they plotted, they investigated, they synchronized their
watches. And eventually, on the day itself, many would even don their riot
gear. They did everything but call in the Marines, who, I guess, have
enough on their plate.

And on Tuesday morning, 1,000 ICE agents raided Swift meatpacking
plants in six states.

It wasn't just a raid, of course, on any illegal immigrants who dare cut
our meat. This was a raid to defend Americans against identity theft. ICE
agents arrested 1,282 people. You saw the headlines. You saw the photos,
including the one with the guy in chains. I thought that was a nice
Gitmo-style touch.

And a day after the raid, homeland security chief Michael Chertoff,
whom many of us hadn't seen since Katrina, broke down the numbers at a
Washington news conference. There were 1,282 arrested - of whom 65 were
charged with felonies. That's as in 65. For the math-impaired, that's 5
percent of those arrested. And of those 5 percent, not all of them were
even arrested for identity theft.

The other 95 percent were your standard, garden-variety - and often
garden-tending - illegal immigrants, the kind you can find on any
street corner, without need of riot gear.

I can see the headlines shrinking now. I can see the confused look on
readers' faces.

At the Greeley plant, they arrested 262 people. And 11 were charged
with felonies. Of the 11, some were charged with re-entering the
country illegally, some with identity theft.

The ICE people won't break the numbers down further. I'm guessing
they're embarrassed. You'd be embarrassed, too. They had TV copters
flying overhead. They had families wrenched apart, just in time for
the holidays. And, after the big multistate ID theft raid, they have fewer
than 62 people actually charged with identity theft.

Somebody, please, get me rewrite.

I'll take it another step, Those arrested at the plants did not
actually forge documents. They did not actively steal anyone's ID.
They paid someone for a Social Security number in order to get a job. To
use the drug-trade analogy, they were buyers, not dealers.

That's it. That's the raid. I hope everyone got a crime-stopper's
badge.

Look, I know it's illegal to use someone else's ID. It's illegal to
use any kind of illegal documents. Those who have them will face
charges - and some will even go to jail. That's fine. That's the game as
it's played - lure people across the border with a promise of jobs and no
way to get them legally.

The rest will face an administrative charge - it's only a civil
offense to be in this country illegally - and most will be deported. And
many of those, if we can trust history, will return - whether or not
anyone bothers to build a wall (prediction: no one ever will).

No ID forgery ring was found. No crime spree was thwarted. We hear
the investigation, to find the actual forgers, is continuing. In
other words, keep the riot gear handy.

What we saw, once again, was ICE taking a fly swatter to try to bring down
an elephant.

The funny thing is, Swift apparently followed the rules on hiring. It used
the Basic Pilot system by which you can check employees' Social Security
numbers. It just doesn't check if more than one person uses the same
number. Some numbers show up dozens of times. Is Colorado a Third World
country?

It's a joke, like our immigration system is a joke. Our immigration
policy - if you want to call it that - doesn't work. That much we
already knew. What we still haven't figured out is how much we care
whether it works.

ICE wants you to care. If you read the headlines, you'd have thought that
illegal immigrants at the Swift plants were stealing IDs out of our
wallets and using our credit cards to buy Xboxes at the mall.

What's happened here is that ICE has tried to conflate two stories.
One is ID theft, a favorite of on-your-side local TV news, and, yes, a
serious problem. The other is illegal immigration, a complex problem, and
an entirely different one.

And yet, listen to Chertoff.

"This is not only a case about illegal immigration, which is bad
enough," he says. "It's a case about identity theft and violation of the
privacy rights and the economic rights of innocent Americans."

Sure, and that raid a while back at Buckley, netting all those
roofers, was about national security.

So, what was the Swift raid about? Was it just about headlines? Fear-
mongering?

It was obviously a major blow for Swift, which may follow the laws
but knows - as everyone knows - that it hires illegal immigrants to
do the invigorating work in its slaughterhouses. Swift sent away 400
workers before the raids. It lost 1,200 more in the raid. That's a lot of
bacon at stake.

So, the blow could be a warning to those who hire illegal immigrants. But
I've heard a better theory: Given a new Congress, it could be a spur to
get companies like Swift to encourage their representatives - who, it
turns out, often listen to multibillion-dollar companies - to produce a
real immigration package, to produce a guest worker program, to allow a
way for workers here to become citizens.

It's a long shot. I can't give you exact odds. But hey, if there's
anything we can learn from this raid, it's that a 5 percent chance is
plenty.

littwinm@rockymountainnews.com

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RMN_86_5212746,00.html . ======================= Librarians and Human
Rights http://www.cas.usf.edu/lis/mccook/librariansandhum anrights.htm
---An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

Re:I would hope...

"I do think that everyone has a right to support themselves and their families. I also think that right supersedes a nation's right to keep people out. I'm not certain how we can resolve the dichotomy. If Mexico and other countries had a robust economy they could support all of their workers then they would not be cutting up cows in factories in mid-America. If we didn't have those people here legally or otherwise we would have fruit rotting in the fields and cows wandering around like it was Bangalore (hyperbole tag).
We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't."

People have a right to support themselves but they also have a responsibility to support the communities they are in. Illegals are a very large group of people that seem transient in nature. Many come just to work and then head back to their home country and those that stay still send a lot of their income back to families. They don't pay taxes to help support the libraries, schools, and hospitals they use here and they don't try and reform the governments in their own countries to help create the libraries, schools, and hospitals they're so fond of.

my questions

Because Ms. McCook's text reads, in part:"How will Librarians Help Workers at Swift?The Immigration Debate Who is the Public the Library Meant to Serve?" (from Versed: The Bulletin of the Office for Diversity American Library Association)How do librarians connect our idealistic resource development--"Becoming American-- New Immigration Stories" to human rights crises, like this?"My question is "How is this a library problem?" She posed it as "How can we help these particular people and I don't understand how we could do that.Or "responsd to human rights crises." I'd like for her to elaborate since I'd like to DISCUSS it. As this is a DISCUSSION BOARD. And since Ms. McCook is well-published in the area I am particularly anxious to discuss it with her.

Human rights

There are many issues relating to this round up that are information-related.
In the affected communities we would hope librarians would provide information as part of their job but also as humans.

I am working to get more info. on how to help and will report back.

Hate It

Jeeze, I HATE it, HATE it, HATE it when I find myself agreeing with the likes of Greg and mdoneil. But *for once* they FINALLY - after *years* of posting - have an issue in which logic is on their side, so I have no choice but to agree with them (AARRGH!!!! - as Charlie Brown said in states of pain and misery).If illegals are, as the reports indicate, robbing identities of valid US citizens, I say: lock 'em up, jail 'em or deport 'em. There is no way to justify or excuse the immigrant's doing this, my liberal friends.

Re:ID theft a red herring

Put in some line breaks. If you are going to answer with a thousand word diatribe at least do some formatting of your answer.
The ID theft is not a red herring. The company claims it checked the workers and they were coming back OK. If the company is not in the wrong because they checked then all these workers are using someone else'e social. If the workers were not using someone else's social then the company should be held responsible for hiring illegals. Either way someone is to blame and if it is not the company then it is the illegals because they are using other people's social.
Why don't you post you social to the web and invite illegals to use it. I don't want mine be used but you must think it is OK for someone's to be used so why not yours. You won't of course but it is just tough cookis for the real victims and that is the people with valid socials that have their credit screwed up thanks to illegals.

Re:I would hope...

I usually don't disagree with you Greg, but they do pay taxes. They stole someone's social security number to get a job so all the taxes that are associated with employment are deducted. Heck the guy from whom they stole the SSN gets credit for their work.

They live in houses or apartments which are assessed property taxes, though they may not own their place, someone pays the property tax which comes from their rent.

I think they actually contribute more to the economy than they use in social services such as libraries, schools and hospitals. They pay taxes and can't get a refund of any overpayment because then somebody would catch on that there were two people (or 22 people) using that SSN.

I don't think people hop a fence to get into our libraries, schools or hospitals (they do have those in Mexico) but to get a job that does not pay two bucks a day. I don't know about you but I'm not willing to hack up dead cows for eight bucks an hour. There are plenty of unemployed people who could be filling those jobs but we (well not you and I) have made it too easy for them to sit on their asses and live off the dole. Vincente Fox was right when he said Mexicans are taking jobs even the blacks don't want.

I've got no problem with people coming here to work and sending money home. I do have a problem with people stealing ID, and people coming in to live in the US and sucking up our social welfare without contributing. Got a job good for you, want welfare go the feck home.

Re:ID theft a red herring

Librarians may post their SSNs, the ID thieves cutting up the cows probably make more money :)

Re:I would hope...

If there are 'jobs blacks won't do' or anybody else its because the wages are low, if the wages are low its because illegals are willing to work for a lot less (and under the table if possible which isn't taxable), mainly because they're illegal and will take what they can get and still be making a lot more then in their own country. There are small business here in Massachusetts with Americans doing jobs that supposedly Americans won't do and are having a hard time because they have to compete with other businesses relying on illegals undercutting prices.

I wouldn't worry about us disagreeing, I disagree with Jack on race-based initiatives, I disagree with Walter on certain issues of filtering, c'est la vie.

Re:I would hope...

MD: Thanks for pointing this out; I was about to. Of course illegals pay taxes, the most regressive taxes around (Social Security and sales taxes), but also state and federal withholding--which, as you point out, they'll never get back.

I don't have links, but seems to me there've been some pretty good studies supporting your third paragraph: That illegals contribute more to taxes than they use in services.

I hate to say this, but in California I'm really not sure how we'd manage to feed the rest of the country without undocumented workers. And I'm pretty sure the rest of the country doesn't want to pay the price of finding out what it would take to replace them--or, worse, people with their usual understanding of energy and ecology costs would just buy Peruvian and Chilean produce instead, since it's OK for workers there to earn next to nothing...

Re:Hate It

. . . they FINALLY - after *years* of posting - have an issue in which logic is on their side . . .

The thing is, a person's logic is not always right. There are many ways to go wrong with logic. See this page about Logical Fallacies at my web site for a number of samples. The question is not how logical does a conclusion appear in cases such as this discussion, so much as it is: how consistent is the logic; does it avoid being fallacious? The logic behind the enslavement and then the repression of blacks in the U.S. appeared plausible on the face of it, but it was all eventually refuted by cold, hard facts.

As to the allegation of identity theft, perhaps someone would be kind enough to surf on over the FBI crime stats section and get figures on how many illegal immigrants there are and how many of them engage in indentity theft. One also might try to find out how much they pay for stolen IDs and how how that might compare proportionally to what a caucasian could be expected to pay. You might also compare how American Blacks fare before the U.S. inJustice system against how caucasians fare. There is strong evidence indicating that Blacks are more likely to be screwed over with a guilty verdict and a heavier sentence, while Whites are more likely to walk or cop parole or a light sentence. Such a system is inherently unfair and unjust.

Re:I would hope...

People have a right to support themselves but they also have a responsibility to support the communities they are in.

Not necessarly; transients are, by definition, not a part of the community they are moving through.

And you are conflating migrant workers with illegal immigrants. I rebutted your lies about migrant workers not supporting the libraries the last time we had this go-around. They do not make use of the libraries. Your statement about illegal immigrants is equally nonsensical. If they live in a community, they must, perforce, spend money in the community. They ride buses, buy food, clothing, . . . and probably sometimes help their neighbours like good folks should.

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