MPR's Sasha Aslanian breaks an important story today with details of an immigration "raid" in which 1,200 janitors lost their jobs, in what is being held up as the stark difference between how the Obama administration handles illegal immigration compared to the Bush administration, which raided businesses and arrested illegal workers.
The most important rumor to dispel was that the workers were arrested. Unlike raids at the Swift meatpacking plant in Worthington in 2006, and the Postville, Iowa raid in 2008, the ABM janitors would not be rounded up or arrested.
The union worked with the company and ICE to give employees more time to show proper documents. They had until October. Then, each Monday, another batch of workers who failed to show correct papers was fired.
Under the theory, if businesses are more vigilant about not hiring undocumented workers, illegal immigration will be less of a problem since they won't have the prospect of jobs.
But a retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement official disagrees, according to the story:
"Why give people an opportunity to leave the employment without taking any action against them as individuals?" said (Mark) Cangemi. "Put them into proceedings. Let them argue their case. If they have a case that allows them to remain in the United States under the law, so be it. If they don't, then the law stands to be enforced."
Interesting story. I think the former ICE official's concerns are legitimate & deserve followup. One possible explanation I can think of: the cost of prosecuting people violating immigration law is potentially expensive. From the story:
"The tougher immigration enforcement has prompted three of the janitor's four siblings to return to Mexico, taking their U.S. citizen children with them. But as crushed as he was to lose his janitor's job, he says he still won't return to Mexico."
If these 'quiet raids' can incent illegal workers to leave the US, doesn't that save us a ton of money that is otherwise spent to accomplish the same goal: rounding people up, putting them on busses, processing them & eventually deporting, perhaps after housing & feeding them for an extended period of time?
Isn't the law being enforced both ways?
"Why give people an opportunity to leave the employment without taking any action against them as individuals?" said (Mark) Cangemi.
Because it costs the taxpayer less?
So now ICE is getting companies to comply with the existing law instead of rounding up parents, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. I'd say that's an improvement over the previous policy of indiscriminate detention, but it still begs the question of why ABM and other industries hire so many undocumented workers to begin with. Could it be because when they complain about working conditions it's easy to get rid of them?
This seems like such a silly question. Why do we have illegal immigration? If we hold the question to just illegal immigrants from Mexico (by and far the largest #) I would argue that the quota is far to low to meet the demand of workers. If we gave, not unlimited but much greater, access to work visas we could end illegal immigration, save the absurd enforcement costs (which seem rather ineffective), generate revenue, build better relations with Mexico, and on and on.
We just accept that the number that the government has declared to be the proper number is correct. Thank the protectionist labor unions for this human rights injustice.
Stupidest policy around.
"Thank the protectionist labor unions for this human rights injustice."
According to Sasha Aslanian's story, some or all of the illegal workers at the 'raided' company were members of SEIU.
"but it still begs the question of why ABM and other industries hire so many undocumented workers to begin with."
Maybe it has something to do with this. Here is the Social Security Administration's website for Information and Instructions to verify social security numbers online.
Notice this caveat: "While the service is available to all employers and third-party submitters, it can only be used to verify current or former employees and only for wage reporting (Form W-2) purposes."
So please explain how a potential employer can screen an applicant to verify that they are legal?
There is a site, however, called E-Verify where an employers can verify the citizenship of someone they have ALREADY HIRED.
This site was under legal challenge until late this fall. It is interesting to note that many of the same groups who attack employers for hiring illegals are the ones who filed suit against the only means of an employer knowing they hired an illegal.
Thanks, I meant that the immigration quotas are kept low because of labor union pressure. They certainly will not turn away anyone who wants to pay dues. Unions are funny like that - far more self interest than a corporation who must at least satisfy shareholders who generally have a choice in where to invest and alternative income streams. Unions are monopolies.
United States is like a beautiful palace with billions of people trying to get in illegally and legally. We are fighting an unarmed war with the illegals. We cannot sustain all of 3rd world country's poor.
Be aware in a Texas hospital 83% of babies bornare from illegal parents. That baby is called anchor baby and health child birth is $12,000 We rush to pay their child support each month
. Look at Southern California--for those who had dream of retiring to So. Ca. that dream is long gone due to expense of taxpayer of paying for social services illegals use. State California is nearly bankrupt and houses are $$$$$$$$$$$ Did ICE deport these illegals and their children back to Mexico.