A Mankato state lawmaker is defending himself from social media attacks and at least one public down-dressing he said came after a recent media report concerning the recent raids in Minnesota by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mankato D.F.L. State Representative Jack Considine.

Representative Jack Considine said commenters on the article accused him of capitalizing on the murders of Mollie Tibbits in Iowa and Enedelia Perez Garcia in Shakopee.

In reality, Considine said the interview took place before suspects in those cases were identified and in it, he stated that such raids were bad for businesses and communities. “What I said was they’re here,” he explained, “They are filling jobs. The plants depend on their labor, and that there are a number of school districts to the west of us where a majority of the children are Hispanic.”

The ICE raid targeted employers, not workers, and the companies were accused of charging fees for the illegal employees to cash their paychecks, then deducting taxes from their pay but not turning it over to the federal government. Considine said, “It’s immoral to cheat them. They come up here, they’re hard-working people, and it’s immoral to cheat them.”

ICE has said that 133 illegal workers were also arrested in the raid and then most of them were released.

He said one of the commenters, a man from the Owatonna area, made a point he hoped to get across and that’s, “If these places had stayed with their union workers and paid a decent wage and paid benefits that local people would be willing to take those jobs. But they aren’t at this point because they pay so poorly and they don’t offer any benefits.”

Considine said continuing to target such workers that have already crossed the border could lead to dropping school enrollment, increased food prices due to the lack of available farm labor, and will impact the economic future of southern Minnesota.