The fallout from a controversial raid on undocumented workers has shown again that immigration issues rile up the right-wing in America like no other.
Late last month, federal agents arrested 119 undocumented workers employed at a poultry plant in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. One hundred and fifteen were from Mexico. About 30 of their children — some as young as 3 months old — were abandoned after all but twelve of the workers were deported from the United States.
The raid drew harsh criticism from the town’s sheriff and mayor, and even conservative Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a Baptist preacher, who objected to the families being unnecessarily divided:
Huckabee said it appears the arrests of 119 workers at the plant were terribly planned and that federal agents gave little thought to the consequences for children of those arrested. … Huckabee has joined Hispanic civil rights leaders to ensure the well-being of the children.
What did Huckabee get for his trouble? Apparently a bunch of angry phone calls. Days after the raid, an Arkansas TV station suggested that the governor was possibly “risking his political future by speaking out against a recent immigration raid,” and that Huckabee said “calls to his office have been ‘about 1,000 to one’ against his position”:
The governor says many of the callers are angry and use profanity. He says immigration is a very emotional issue and people become irrational over it.
Apparently some right-wingers aren’t so concerned with family values when the families are Mexican.