This from Julius Preston at the New York Times:
CINCINNATI, July 30 — Immigration agents had prepared a nasty surprise for the Garcia Labor Company, a temporary worker contractor, when they moved against it on charges of hiring illegal immigrants. They brought a 40-count federal indictment, part of a new nationwide strategy by immigration officials to clamp down on employers of illegal immigrant laborers.
The criminal charges against Mr. Garcia and his company were brought by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security. The campaign has included at least five other federal indictments of business executives in Ohio and Kentucky and has sent payroll managers rushing to re-examine their workers’ papers and rethink plans for their work force.
Your company is breaking the law, and you are surprised? We have had laws against hiring illegals – common sense should say "don’t do this!"
It also created a new environment of fear in Ohio’s immigrant communities.
“It’s a very uneasy feeling,” said Sister Teresa Ann Wolf, a Roman Catholic nun who works with immigrant workers in Canton, Ohio. “People are afraid to leave the house to go to the store. They are afraid to come to church.”
Notice the lack of the word illegal before "immigrant"?
That makes all of the difference in the world. If these were truely immigrants – legal, with official paperwork – thre wouldn’t be an issue, would there? And if I was illegally anywhere, I think I’d be looking over my shoulder too!
For years, workplace raids were a low priority for immigration authorities. Testifying in June before a Senate immigration subcommittee, Richard M. Stana, a director in the Government Accountability Office, reported that civil fine notices issued to employers dropped to 3 in 2003, from 417 in 1999.
And rightfully, President Bush has taken a lot of heat for not enforcing the law. If one does not enforce the law, why bother having them? What does that say to society at large – ignore the laws you don’t like? We are rightly proud of our society following the rule of law – setting things up to becapricious leads to a sense of anarchy.
“We found that the fines were not an effective deterrent,” said Julie L. Myers, the Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary who heads I.C.E. “Employers treated them as part of the cost of doing business.”
And that was the problem – just like taxes, they were treating breaking the law as ho-hum. Criminal cases – sure! Raising the cost to be prohibitive wouldn’t hurt either – try $25K and up PER incident, and the lure of low cost labor vanishes.
“It is causing people to watch their backs,” said Rubén Castilla Herrera, a Mexican-American leader of the Latino Leadership Initiative, an Ohio group. He said Latinos were worried that they could come under law enforcement suspicion.
“All I have to do is take off my tie and I can be confused,” Mr. Herrera said. “What’s to say whether I am legal or illegal?”
This dog don’t bark. If you are legal, you know it. And if you are doing something illegal, ditto. If the latter is true, you should be very nervous. I want ALL those who are committing crimes by breaking the law be very nervous.
“Migration takes us away with no respect,” said Silvestre G., 55, another building resident, who is from Guatemala. “They forget that we have human blood in our veins too.”
Boo-frickin’-hoo. If your self-esteem is that low, stop doing things that cause it to go lower. You deserve no respect when you break our laws.
Mr. Moskowitz, the special agent, said the agency’s priority was not to deport immigrant workers, but to stop employers who built their businesses on cheap immigrant labor.
“These are not crimes of passion,” he said. “Nobody wakes up in the middle of the night and says, ‘I’m going to hire illegal aliens.’ These are people who have made a conscious decision that they can profit from this.”
If you dry up the jobs, you have removed one leg of the tripod that lures illegal immigration here.
Next, if we take away the hand-outs that our welfare system gives to those that do not deserve it, the second leg will be taken away.
The third is to force Mexico to provide a better environment for its own people – removing the root cause.