This is a story about children, but first I have to tell you what happened to the adults who love them.
Earlier this week in northern Ohio, 200 or so federal immigration agents with weapons and trained dogs swarmed two garden centers of a family-owned business.
They rounded up and bound the wrists of more than 100 immigrant workers, most of them Mexican and undocumented, some of them U.S. citizens. They marched them to waiting buses as if they were armed criminals instead of the people who bring all those hanging flower baskets and weedless lawns into the summer lives of Ohioans.
Notably, none of the employers who hired them was arrested or charged. They may have to add their business to the growing pile of community casualties of this new immigration policy. Oh well. Ain’t America great again.
One of the employees, Rodolfo Reyes, told the Norwalk Reflector he knows that the officers “have a job to do,” but they were “very, very rough.”
“A bunch of cops came running into the warehouses, pointing guns at people. Everybody was scared. They tied everybody’s hands up with black zip ties. Even (my daughter and I) were tied up even though we’re U.S. citizens. … Everybody panicked because it scared them.”
Salma Sabala, who works at the nursery with her mother and sister, told WNWO-TV that undercover officers initially misled employees by showing up in their break room with boxes from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Then the Immigration and Customs Enforcement show scripted for the media began.
“They’re armed. They had the dogs. We hear the helicopters on top of us,” Sabala told the station. “They took them on a big bus. All I could think about is my mom, because I didn’t know where she was, and also my sister, because I didn’t know where my sister was, either. And everyone was just crying.”
By Connie Schultz for CHICAGO SUN TIMES
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