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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

UNION SUES ICE OVER ROUGH RAID TACTICS

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Last week I reported on unions suing to stop the no match letter rule. Now another union is taking on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to force them to tone down the rough handling in their work site raids. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Union president Joseph Hansen said workers
were handcuffed and held for hours and denied access to phones,
bathrooms, legal counsel and their families.

"What happened to the Swift workers ... is absolutely an outrage," Hansen said Tuesday.

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Comments

  1. Middle Ground's Avatar
    What bothers me the most is that the corporations who benefit the most from this aren't the focus. I wish ICE would target the root cause - illegal employers - as opposed to illegal aliens.
  2. marmoren's Avatar
    Greg,
    This is a good one to comment about. We will be in a game...
    I guess this is the humorous side to all this convoluted mess.

    http://www.breakthrough.tv/event_details.asp?eventid=181&id=4

  3. Another voice's Avatar
    "I wish ICE would target the root cause - illegal employers - as opposed to illegal aliens." While they are a contributing factor they are also trying to run a business and are employing people that want to work and need a job from what is available in the job market. They are as much a victim of the broken system as undocumented workers.
  4. Middle Ground's Avatar
    " While they are a contributing factor they are also trying to run a business and are employing people that want to work and need a job from what is available in the job market. "

    If they are KNOWINGLY breaking the law I have no sympathy for them. The law is not a suggestion. I don't agree with all laws, but I still obey them. And if I get caught breaking one, I have it coming.

    Some companies may be victims. But, it is very easy to verify if a SSN is legit or not and ask the employee if they made a mistake or not.
  5. Another voice's Avatar
    Is not their job to enforce the Law they fololow the guideline marked by the federal government as to the I-9 beyond that is what they are in business for plus I am sure nobody would want to racially profile employees.
  6. Another voice's Avatar
    Correction it should be "Follow"
  7. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "I am sure nobody would want to racially profile employees."

    We aren't talking about that. Companies that do that are in the wrong.

    We are talking about checking every SSN - no matter the color of their skin or nationality - and making sure it is legit. If it doesn't match up, give the employee the opportunity to explain - perhaps they accidently provided the wrong number.

    SSN isn't the optimal way to do this, considering that they are easily forged and the database is allegedly full of mistakes. But right now it appears the only way. It would be very easy to get around this, so it really doesn't accomplish much - but right now it is the only thing we have.

    If an employee admits to you that they don't have legal documentation, you are breaking the law if you hire them. That's the bottom line. And these companies that hire thousands of illegal workers - well they aren't being fooled that many times. They know what is going on.
  8. SSS's Avatar
    "If they are KNOWINGLY breaking the law I have no sympathy for them. The law is not a suggestion. I don't agree with all laws, but I still obey them."

    Do you always stop behind the white line on stop light? Do you always stop while taking right on a red light? Have you ever crossed double yellow lines, or taken a U turn on a no-u-turn crossing? Have you ever driven above the posted speed limit?

    I guess everybody follows laws based on convenience and chance of getting caught.
  9. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "I guess everybody follows laws based on convenience and chance of getting caught."

    Perhaps. If I run a stop sign, I must accept whatever consequences there are. If I'm lucky, it's just a citation. If unlucky, a traffic accident with injuries.

    Laws exist for a reason. You may not agree with them, but if there were not consequences for breaking the law we would have anarchy. In the case of the stop sign, there are natural consequences (I might die) as well as manmade consequences (I might be fined).
  10. chris's Avatar
    So, when Rosa Parks broke the law that was a bad thing?
    Laws are sometimes wrong. Some examples are when women and african-americans were denied the right to vote, or worse our history of slavery.
    Laws are not written in stone for all eternity, sometimes they need to be corrected.
  11. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "So, when Rosa Parks broke the law that was a bad thing?"

    Good question. She broke the law. She paid the price. She was willing to face the consequences for breaking the law. And the results were positive. Wrong

    Are laws sometimes wrong? Absolutely. But I think most people would not agree with you on if it is OK to hire an undocumented worker.

    If you want to hire an undocumented worker, don't complain when the consequences are handed down. And don't try to compare yourself to Rosa Parks, please.
  12. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Speaking of upholding the laws, here's one that might be a tougher one to answer. Suppose you were a farmer in Ohio in the 1850s. You believe slavery is morally reprehensible so you decide to aid runaway slaves by participating in the "Underground Railroad" and offering shelter and aid to the runaway slaves who are, in reality, the first illegal immigrants in the country since they were in the northern states with no legal right to be there and by law were to be forcibly deported back to the South.

    The law is crystal clear - you are obligated under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 to turn the runaway slave over to law enforcement. Law enforcement is required to arrest the runaway on the basis of nothing more than a claim by the owner.

    If you think the "law is the law", do you turn the slave over? Or do you help him or her escape to Canada?

    Now I know this will throw some people in to a tizzy trying to say this is in no way the same thing. But the point is that not every law is just and not every lawbreaker deserves to be punished. Sometimes it's better to change the law than punish the lawbreaker.
  13. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "Sometimes it's better to change the law than punish the lawbreaker. "

    In the case of immigration - as far as the immigrants are concerned - I agree. I don't think it is wise to deport them all, unless we are talking felons or gang members. We do need to stop further illegal immigration. The only way to do that - or at least the most effective way - is workplace enforcement.

    I draw the line at employers. I think that they should be prosecuted. Their objective isn't some moral high ground. When they knowingly choose to hire an illegal worker, they choose to be a key part of the problem. If they were trying to be honarable, farmers would be building apartment complexes to house their workers and provide them with enough money and benefits to live above the level of poverty. Illegal immigrants are used as labor arbitrage - so the token few "Mother Teresas" aside - it would be absurd to say otherwise.

    I'm ok with amnesty, but no amnesty for illegal employers. They need to finally face justice for their crimes.
  14. grouchy's Avatar
    Middle ground - i strongly agree with you!
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