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Friday, August 06, 2010

Do I Have a Responsibility?

Dear Orthonomics,

You really do have a responsibility to report on the breaking news about the corruption regarding the Rubashkin sentencing judge. Things are really looking ugly, as I surmised.

Signed,

[Name Omitted]



The above is the text of a letter I received from a reader. I'm not quite certain why I have a responsibility to report on the breaking news, which I believe refers to a Press Release from the defense team stating that the judge unlawfully presided over the trial because she participated in the planning of the raid. The Press Release was posted at VIN and YWN.

Up until this post, the word Rubashkin had been used by me in one single post on this blog. In other words, I basically ignored this case until I felt compelled to make the following comments which can be summed up as the following:

1. I believe it is a big mistake to put alleged, indicted, and/or convicted frum persons on a pedestal. Creating such icons and role models of Yiddishkeit is short-sighted in my opinion.

2. I believe it is a big mistake to conduct loud, broad based campaigns on behalf of alleged, indicted, and/or convicted frum persons. I think it far more appropriate to conduct campaigns in a quieter, more modest fashion. I have no idea if the Defense's charges against the judge will turn out to be fruitful or much ado about nothing. If anything, I see no need to make a big splash at every turn in the trial and appeal process.

3. I believe it is a big mistake of Jewish Organizations and Publications to continually stir emotions and allegations of anti-semitism. The judicial system is far from perfect, but the rule of law protects me and you, our lives, our children, and our property. We live in a glorious country where cases can continuously be appealed and new evidence can be brought forward. We live in a glorious country when charges of corruption can be brought against judges and government officials. The Orthodox community has limited political amunition and I'm not sure the cases I addressed is the best place to use that amunition.

After I posted my single post that mentioned Shalom Rubashkin, I posted the words of Rav Shimon Schwab on what should be the approach to allegations of persons in our communities.

The court will hear out the Rubashkin Defense Team's allegations against the judge, as they well should. And perhaps the courts will find evidence of impropriety, or even corruption. But the "breaking news" doesn't impact my own assertions that loud, public campaigns might not be the tactic the community wants to pursue in the name of justice, that turning alleged and convicted criminals into icons of Yiddishkeit perhaps isn't the direction we want to go in, and that making an enemy of a justice system that protects us might be short-sighted.

I have never once dedicated a post to the proceedings of the trial. I don't plan to dedicate a post to the twists and turns in the future. There is plenty of information and opinions available in Jewish print for interested parties to read. I simply provided a little social commentary on an pattern and approach that I believe to be short-sighted and problematic. And even if the Defense does show that the judge acted improperly and is as corrupt as they come, I still do not believe the approach of late is the proper approach to be repeated next time (and I do hope there will never be a next time).

Readers, do you think a single mention of the Rubashkin Case makes me responsible to report "Breaking News"?

45 comments:

rosie said...

It is your blog and your right to feature what you want. There were vague references on your blog to people who give tzedukah while breaking the law and the feeling in the frum community that the giving of tzedukah exonerates the person, even if the money was earned illegally. There were those frum people on the opposite side of the fence that are deeply embarrassed by frum people who break laws and the highly public court cases that result. They had a hard time finding the slightest bit of pity in their hearts for someone in legal hot water. They appeared to have even a harsher approach then the anti-semites had. This new news bolsters the possibility that anti-semitism was a motive for the judge to go after SMR and put him away for life. (Note disclaimer language as I know that there is no direct "proof" of anti-semitism). For those on any of the related blogs that view what happened to SMR as something that was deserved, there is now some wiggle room for dispute.
We all hate the fact that the materialism that is part and parcel of frum living in America has reduced some frum people to committing fraud. We wonder when it will all come crashing down; the house of cards we have erected. We wish that more people would view Agriproccessors as how not to run a business rather than continue to peer pressure frum people into a lifestyle that they cannot possibly afford. That being said, I hope that we will soon be celebrating the freedom of SMR.

tesyaa said...

They had a hard time finding the slightest bit of pity in their hearts for someone in legal hot water.

Do you pity non-Jews in legal hot water? Do you agitate for their release? Do you favor "tough" judges except when Jews happen to land in their courtrooms?

Dave said...

Apparently you have an obligation to report that the Rubashkin Defense Attorney is being deliberately deceptive in his press releases (since he omits and elides sentences while playing fast and loose with the facts).

Chief Judge in District coordinates with the investigating agency the courtroom logistics of a multi-hundred person arrest raid, to make sure that the courts can get everyone arraigned in a timely fashion.

In equally breaking news, water remains wet.

mother in israel said...

That person is just trying to manipulate you to get some publicity for his cause. Guess it backfired.

Lion of Zion said...

"Do you pity non-Jews in legal hot water? Do you agitate for their release? Do you favor "tough" judges except when Jews happen to land in their courtrooms?"

forget non-jews. what about non-frum jews? or non-RW jews? or RW jews of the wrong stipe?

rosie said...

I see it this way regarding pity in ones heart towards fellow Jews:
there is a woman in a nursing home nearby that is frum and the frum women take turns visiting her, bringing her food, feeding her, etc.
So you might ask, why don't the frum women get busy with the goyim and non-frum Jews? (They do visit other Jews but less often). The answer is, is that we have limited resources so we take care of our own and let others take care of their own. Don't the churches send church ladies to visit their sick? And if they don't, shouldn't they?
Why would it be up to a small band of people to take care of the whole world?
Another thing is that a frum Jew in jail is more of a target for the hostility of fellow inmates and guards than one of their own. This has happened to Madoff, Rubashkin, and many other Jews that have been to jail.

Anonymous said...

Rosie: Who you choose to visit in a nursing home is far different than deciding which politicians to back and what causes to take up. You can't not give a hoot about the death penalty (or actively support it) and support RW politicians who favor the death penalty and then excect to be effective or listened to when all of a sudden its a jew on death row. Same goes for law and order judges that are extremely harsh sentencers. At least the Catholic church has been consistent on opposing the death penalty regardless of the religion or lack thereof of the condemned person.

Anonymous said...

Rosie: I think it is important to help your neighbors and those you come into contact with regardless of whether or not they are jewish and likewise, our gentiles neighbors and colleagues should also do the same and be good to those around you regardless of religion or race. I have had elderly and/ill or disabled relatives and aquaintances that non-jews went out of their way to offer assistance and kindness, whether a neighbor checking in on an elderly relative everyday to a the boss of a relative with developmental disabilities who went so far as to take the relative to Yankees games and on other trips. Of course, there are also the righteous gentiles during WWII who risked their own lives and the lives of their families to save jews.
The way this can translate into everyday life is if you go to visit that jewish woman in the nursing home and you see other residents with no friends/families, visitors, take some time to speak with them as well and bring them some goodies too (provided their diet allows the same). When my Dad was in a nursing home and my family visited daily, my mother and sister each "adopted" a few other residents and would always stop in to see them and spend some time chatting. There are many people who don't have "their own kind" to look after them, and you would be surprised how many times its a jew who does not have anyone to do so.

Orthonomics said...

There were vague references on your blog to people who give tzedukah while breaking the law and the feeling in the frum community that the giving of tzedukah exonerates the person, even if the money was earned illegally.

I believe nearly all those who are defended so voiceferously fit such a description. If you read Rav Schwab's words, he states the same and, most of my readership has no recollection of what case may have prompted his writings. Nothing new under the sun. This isn't a "vague reference to people" but a noted pattern from cases I can think of going back over 2 decades. Those who give lots of tzedakah are defended vigorously in the court of public opinion. As a parent, I find this confusing chinuch and I'd rather find different role models of chessed and tzedakah. I think we are on the same page here, rosie.

Anonymous said...

This case has unfortunately sent a very poor message to my children, and I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to do damage control. My older children have come home from school with the impression that "we protect our own," and "poor guy, just because he broke the law (and it was by mistake! he didn't realize!) he shouldn't have to go to jail with bad people, no,no." It took a lot of discussion to clarify the fact that, yes, he commited a crime, yes, perhaps the sentence is too long but this is a country with a strong and fair justice system and he does have options after his sentencing. I also wanted to clarify to them that, no, we should not "rally round" with loud publicity when s/o frum commits any kind of crime for any reason. Quiet help (legal help, help for the family, who is surely not responsible) is definitely appropriate, but to turn this into a cause celebre and the individual into a celebrity shows the next generation a series of cause and effect that, in the long term, can be very damaging.
Please continue to maintain your stance on this particular case.

Orthonomics said...

Thank you anonymous for sharing your personal experience in regards to chinuch. Much hatzlacha to you in the damage control department.

rosie said...

Of course we chat with the other patients in the nursing home; we don't ignore them, but to me, the primary responsibility is to those of our shul or community. I did do favors for non-Jewish neighbors when I had those neighbors but when a hurricane Katrina victim moved in, I found a non-Jewish neighbor who really wanted to take a katrina victim under her wing. I am not saying that we have to ignore the non-Jews who are sick but I am talking about an organized schedule of visits to our shul member. Are the non-Jews going to visit her as religiously as her own friends are?
Should we ignore the Jewish patient and help non-Jews instead?
I don't see a difference in that and in helping a Jew that needs money for legal defense. Are the non-Jews going to pray for him, donate money to him, and help his family? Don't non-Jews have their own friends who help them in times of trouble?
What does that have to do with supporting or not supporting the death penalty? Helping someone in need is a different thing. Helping a Jew who committed a crime is not equal to agreeing with the
criminal.

Anonymous said...

What news? All I see is a self-serving press release.

Anonymous said...

Rosie: No one ever said you should take care of the non-jew and ignore the jew. This was a response to your statement suggesting that everyone should just take care of their own. And, by the way, there are people who volunteer at nursing homes to visit who ever might might be lonely or in need of some extra attention and couldn't give a hoot whether they are jew, christian, buddhist, atheist or branch davidian.

tesyaa said...

There is such a chasm between Jews who were raised with terrible suspicion of non-Jews and those of us who were raised without it. I understand that many people (even a lot of young people I'm acquainted with) were raised thinking that we're still in czarist Russia, and while there's no need to forget the past, I am living in 21st century America and I make my decisions based on my own experiences and observations.

Avi said...

Does it have to do with the economics of being an Orthodox Jew? If so, then you should post about this case. The only way I can see a connection is that every time a Jewish person commits fraud or theft, it makes it harder for honest Jews to make a living. Was the sentencing fair? I have no idea. I DON'T CARE. Don't defraud banks, and you won't be faced with sentencing. End of story.

Lion of Zion said...

ROSIE:

"What does that have to do with supporting or not supporting the death penalty?"

please understand that there are two separate issues in your comments that people are objecting to.
the first has to do with the extent to which jews should help non-jews (or frum jews should help non-frum jews, etc.) in general.
the second has to do with the hypocrisy of many jews with regards to the criminal justice system. there can't be two sets of laws, one for the shvartzes and one for frum yidden. either you're for law & order judges, death penalty, and even restrictions on due process, etc. or you're not. when a goy commits a misdemeanor and his due process is violated and the defense further points to various extenuating circumstances to get a reduced punishment, so many frum jews have no problem ignoring all this and consigning him to the chair. yet suddenly when it's a "frum" yid (because of course who gives a damn about plain jews) who is a convicted cop killer we suddenly become the biggest liberals.

rosie said...

While it is a nice thing to help all people who are lonely and sick regardless of religion, a Jew may feel good to have someone who understands his or her culture and brings kosher food.
Maybe the right thing to do is to get all churches and synagogues involved so that no one is left unvisited but the original topic is going to bat for a condemned Jew who made a mistake and is paying for it with his life.
While we must respect the decision of all those who feel that they don't want to give tzedukah to defend criminals, I also feel that those who want to cry out against the injustice of a lengthy sentence
because he is their fellow Jew are correct in their feeling that they are defending him out of Jewish loyalty. I don't think that Jews must seek out non-Jewish criminals to fund raise for. We are too small to do that.

tesyaa said...

rosie - is there any kind of frum Jewish criminal you would NOT defend? I mean, what crime is beyond the pale?

rosie said...

I don't defend very many criminals Jewish or otherwise but someone obviously took out a contract on SMR and has it in for him. I don't think anyone would have made a stink over a 5 or 6 year sentence but 27years?

Miami Al said...

Tesyaa, LoZ,

There is the disconnect. The pro-criminal side of the Orthodox community takes a simple position: We don't want Jews in prison. They do NOT care if he did the crime, they do NOT care if it is following sentencing guidelines, they want to feel that they are calling for his release. Please note, this is all part of the Yotzei Mitzvah approach to Orthodoxy championed by the right wing.

The goal was NOT freedom (or a commution to life in prison) for Mr. Grossman. The goal was simply Jews calling out for him to be spared, and in their alternative universe, decided an injustice occured.

Simple proof that this is about process and NOT result?

In the case of Grossman, the local Florida Rabbis circulated a letter, and the national Jewish groups did as well. If the goal was to actually influences Governor Crist, they would have put the Florida Rabbis front and center, they would have asked the Governor to meet with representatives of HIS CONSTITUENTS.

Instead, they had 50,000 New Yorkers call Tallahassee and scream and yell, and demand that the Governor of Florida meet with New York Rabbis. If the goal was actually to get his sentence reduced, they would have piggybacked the Florida efforts, not co-opted them.

So either they are completely inept, or the goal was to galvanize 50,000 Jews to do what they saw as a Mitzvah. To the insular Orthodox, this was a good deed, showing that Jews come to the aid of each other regardless... to the integrated Orthodox, the santification of a cop killer was appalling.

It's a COMPLETELY different frame of reference.

So no, there isn't a belief that their should be one set of justice, because they don't care. There isn't a philosophy of justice, it's really as simple as, he's a Jew, we have an obligation to try to free him. Once we've given $20 and signed an online petition, we're done and moved on.

It's those of us integrated in America that we left standing stunned.

Dave said...

What injustice?

He got two years for perjuring himself on the witness stand.

Subtract that, and he got less than a year in prison for every *million* dollars taken from the bank.

One year per million does not sound like an overly harsh sentence from where I sit.

rosie said...

Dave, SMR did not inflate his accounts by 2.5% to get rich. He was trying to save his business and was paying the bank and never intended not to. It was the raid that caused his plant to shut down and then the judge would not allow potential buyers of the plant to hire any member of the Rubashkin family. If they could have sold the plant at a higher price, the bank would not have lost as much money.

rosie said...

Miami Al,

Grossman had been on death row for years and had he spent the rest of his life in jail, he would not be able to kill someone else. Executing him did not even bring solace to the family of the slain officer.
What was gained by executing him? He was indeed a murderer but haven't there been innocent men executed because of the death penalty?

abc said...

check out:
http://200kchump.blogspot.com/2010/08/guest-post-from-concerned-board-member.html

tesyaa said...

rosie - perhaps you are the exception, but the vast majority of right-wing Jews are conservative and pro-death-penalty. So the Grossman affair was seen as hypocritical and self-serving. I'm sure you did not realize this and you sincerely do not want to see any cop killers executed, regardless of their religion. Is that correct?

Dave said...

Rosie:

1. The fraud dated back to the 1990s, and in September of 2007 (the raid was in 2008), the statements submitted to the bank were pure fraud. The only thing the raid did was bring the fraud to light, much as the economic downturn revealed many Ponzi schemes. It was *always* going to collapse.

2. The evidence presented in court showed that he derived great personal benefit from the funds (even if you leave out the benefit of keeping the family business running when it should have closed years before).

3. The Bankruptcy Judge properly did not allow straw purchasers who would turn the company back over to the Rubashkin family. Bankruptcy means that creditors don't get what they are owed -- you do not get to use that mechanism to turn the now debt-free company over to the same people who creatd the problem. Members of the Rubashkin family work at AgriStar, so your hiring claim is demonstrably false.

4. The family of the victim wanted the execution to continue.

5. Innocent people being executed (and Texas almost certainly did a year or so ago) does not mean that the Death Penalty is invalid in the case of someone who is absolutely guilty. Those who are opposed to the Death Penalty in all cases have the moral ground to complain about the execution of the guilty. Those who are generally in favor of it do not.

Anonymous said...

No, SL. You have no obligation to report on every (or any) twist and turn in the Rubashkin case. If someone writes a blog post about a person that turns out to be false, then there may be an obligation to correct it. For example if I wrote a post that said SL is promoting investing in turnip futures and it turns out that what you had really said was don't go near turnip futures, I would be obligated to correct that. You have done no such thing with respect to Mr. Rubashkin. Nor has anything posted been proven false. We have one lawyer's press release and motion and lots of statements by a lawyer representing his client. Are you now going to be obligated to post about the government's opposition when it is filed? The reply brief? The hearing? The appeal, etc. Of course not.

CJ Srullowitz said...

Answer: No. You have no such responsibility.

Lion of Zion said...

ROSIE:

"SMR did not inflate his accounts by 2.5% to get rich. He was trying to save his business"

well pardon me. i guess that justifies fraud.

"He was indeed a murderer but haven't there been innocent men executed because of the death penalty?"

1) no one, not even his most fervent supporters, argued that he was innocent. even you admit that
"indeed he was a murderer." so what does his case have to do with other cases in which innocent men are executed?

2) are you seriously telling us you don't see the irony in frum jews, who generally support the death penalty (regardless of diminished mental capacity or other mitigating circumastances, as was argued in grossman's case) and tough-on-crime policies (even at the expense of civil rights), then turning around and saying it's not fair grossman was executed?

Miami Al said...

Rosie,

1. Do you oppose the death penalty, or only death penalty for Jews? Everyone on Death Row has sat there for decades before execution and is therefore "no longer a threat" if "locked up for life," so do you oppose it for all, or just Jews? It's really hard to argue the merits of Grossman's case, it's one of the MOST OBVIOUS death penalty cases: perpetrator was willfully committing a crime at the time, law enforcement attempts to stop him, he kills law enforcement officer to cover up his crimes, he then goes to hide the murder. If that isn't a capital crime, then I don't see how there can BE a death penalty.

2. Do you disagree with my assessment that the people involved had zero interest in actually getting his execution commuted? Loudly running a clemency operation from greater NYC to lobby Florida and bypassing your allies in Florida seems pointless to me, do you disagree?

3. If you support the death penalty in general, but not in Grossman's case, please lay out a case not hinging on his religion, or facts that apply to EVERY death row inmate.

4. Rubashkin's used their near monopoly status to prevent competitors from entering the market, as well as enforce price controls. The local supermarket discounts meat near the end of its shelf life, and was doing that with Kosher meats as well, we have friends that would pick up the near expiring stuff to cook and freeze. When this stopped, they asked the manager why, and he explained that Rubashkins said that if the meat goes bad, throw it out, but there is ZERO discounting of their product. If the meat is discounted, they will lose their supply of Rubashkin's meat. There was no other supplier of Kosher meat in the area, since Rubashkins was able to undercut anybody, preventing the entry of a new player, control they had in part because of the financial resources from bank fraud.

Lion of Zion said...

ROSIE:

just to clarify so we don't continue in circles. i understand you don't think jews need to be out there advocating on behalf of non-jewish (or non-frum?) criminals as we have limited resources, this is not our responsibilty, etc.
but do you at least think that we should stop being supportive of the death penalty and other tough-on-crime policies?

Lion of Zion said...

ABC:

i don't generally chump's blog, but i thought it was a good post. it's not a new idea, but it was presented very well. the limiting factor though is that the plan assumes the participation of the communal rabbis, but any such plan has to be willing to assume that some families will turn to public school, which is something the rabbis will never support.

the other question is whether such an organization will support all schools or just the cheaper ones. if i choose to send my kid to the 10k school why should i support an tzedakah that is sending kids to the 17k school?

rosie said...

I don't see the death penalty as a one size fit's all solution. Terrorists deserve the death penalty. Grossman was guilty of murder but it was not pre-meditated homicide. There was once a woman on death row years ago for a pick-ax murder and she had since become a born again Christian who put others back on the path of the straight and narrow. I felt really bad when her stay of execution fell through and she was put to death. I would not feel the least bit bad if the terrorists in the Mumbai massacre, or 9-11 were hung.
I know that SMR had an unfair monopoly but he was never tried for that. The bank enjoyed his interest payments for all the years he paid it and never looked into his claims. Why did they take him at face value for $26 million?

Dave said...

Rosie:

So now you are blaming the victim?

Someone conducts a complex and sophisticated fraud, the victim loses tens of millions of dollars, and you think *the victim* is to blame?

Lion of Zion said...

ROSIE:

"Grossman was guilty of murder but it was not pre-meditated homicide."

i can respect that distinction. but frum people weren't saying, "we oppose the death penalty for non-pre-meditated homicide," but rather "don't execute grossman for non-pre-meditated homicide."

you still don't see the difference?

if went to a shul in crown heights, lakewood, monsey, etc. with a petition for clemency for a black man who committed the same crime as grossman under the same circumstances (and let's make the victim a jew), how many signatures do you think i would get from baalhabatim? how many rabbonim would sign on? would aguda? chabad? NCYI?

Dave said...

Further point:

Grossman was convicted of Felony Murder, which *is* considered pre-meditated.

Miami Al said...

Rosie,

This was premeditated, in that he was willfully committing a crime when he shot the officer. He was willfully engaged in criminal behavior, and killed the officer to cover up the initial criminal behavior.

Outside of the movies filled with mafia hitmen, this is premeditated. He planned to commit the crime, of which murdering a law enforcement officer was an event that took place, that's premeditated.

Your distinction seems reasonable: execute war criminals, do NOT execute murders except maybe contract killers and the like.

But, if you rob a bank, and shoot someone in the process, the law considers that premeditated, while you are suggesting that it is not? If a bank robber kills a police officer while trying to escape, is the death penalty appropriate?

Miami Al said...

Rosie,

That's the fraud. The bank didn't give him a liar loan, they checked his documentation. His documentation was fraudulent, that's why he's in prison.

Lion of Zion said...

ROSIE:

and just to be clear, i understand your point that we as a community have limited resources, funds, etc. and we can't carry the world on our shoulders.

but i posed my scenario with the petition above because it invoves zero money, time, other resources, initiative, etc. on the part of those who are approached to sign. and yet i'm sure most would refuse to sign it.

rosie said...

Part of the Grossman murder was his low level of intelligence and his emotional problems. The death penalty
probably has been used for a disproportionate number of people with low IQ. Jews chose him as the poster child for tshuva and therefore tried to save him where I doubt that they would have tried so hard if he hadn't done tshuva. OTOH, Chabad recently offered the Hamas 5 million dollars for Shalit, who hasn't done a crime and for whom it is true pidion shvuim, but who is not Orthodox. They have not limited their concern to their own people and Alef institute helps all Jews in jail (although it does not involve itself with the case itself).
Didn't 6 former attorney generals and retired judges say that the Rubashkin sentence was too long? I think that judge Reade gave long sentences to many other people, none of whom were Jewish. Aren't other Americans concerned with that?
I see Jews who try to save Jewish criminals as brothers who try to save brothers. Most of us would do what we could to bail out our family members, chas v'sholem, unless we were the victims. Don't most criminals have family who tried to help them? Don't most bring character witnesses from their churches and communities?
As far as blaming the victim, since the Rubashkins are now employed at Agristar, if that could have been allowed when the selling price was high, the bank would have been compensated. The ICE raid brought down the whole town and impacted innocent people. It was not just Rubashkin who created victims.
Would Jews sign a petition to help a non-Jew? Maybe they would sign but I don't blame them for not initiating it. We really don't have the manpower and unfortunately have too many of our own criminals.

rosie said...

LOZ, I agree that what goes around comes around. If we demand the death penalty for non-Jewish criminals or advocate draconian sentences for non-Jews, it eventually comes back to haunt us. When we need the leniency, we are reminded that we denied it to others. There is a danger though, of letting violent criminals loose to continue to harm society. I would have never wanted to see Grossman walk the streets. I would have been happy to have seen him spend the rest of his life in prison.

Dave said...

Rosie:

1. Grossman was not retarded. Therefore there was no legal impediment to his execution. Being stupid is not a defense for a brutal murder.

2. As far as I know, there has been no statement by *any* former AG about the sentence that was handed down. The only statements were about the original request from the prosecution, which was for Life (with no parole, since there is no longer parole in the Federal system).

3. Judge Reade gives very long sentences. As a rule, the American people approve of long sentences for criminals, which is why the sentencing laws have been toughened over the past generation.

4. There was no impediment against Rubashkin family members working for the buyer. There was a requirement that the buyer not be a straw purchaser for the Rubashkin family. Do you understand the difference before the two?

5. You are blaming law enforcement for enforcing the law? Do you seriously mean to argue that there should be no arrests or prosecutions because shutting down criminal enterprises might hurt innocent people?

rosie said...

The entire economy of Postville was dependent on it's largest industry which was Agriproccessors. SMR tried to work things out so that his employees would not be in a detention camp but there was no going back. Why was it necessary for a para-military raid?

Dave said...

Short answer?

Because the Bush Administration Justice Department chose large raids as immigration enforcement.

For example, there was a massive multi-state raid on the Swift packing plants in 2006.

Again, you are blaming the government for enforcing the law, not the criminals for breaking it.