Archive

Posts Tagged ‘undocumented workers’

CEO of CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr.) Calls for Immigration Reform

November 20th, 2013 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

In California’s southern border region, immigration reform is a hotly debated topic. Now that Congress is debating the issue, the crescendo is reaching new heights. Clearly, it’s time to modernize our immigration system so we can effectively compete in a global economy. After all, strengthening America’s competitive advantage should be an overriding concern for those who serve us in office.

As CEO of CKE Restaurants, I have firsthand knowledge of the vital role immigrants play in growing U.S. businesses, spurring innovation and creating jobs. Our broken immigration system hurts individual businesses, like ours, that create jobs and thrive on economic growth. While each side in this debate has legitimate points and sincerely held beliefs, my hope is that inaction, fear mongering and political posturing will give way to rational compromise.

MH900386062

Two widely respected Southern California Congressmen, Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, are key voices on immigration reform proposals. I’m confident they will guide immigration reform to a successful resolution.

Congressman Issa points to several substantive changes needed to improve current immigration laws. He supports stronger border security and the E-Verify program that helps employers verify the immigration status of potential employees. He also supports new programs such as the obviously sensible proposal to increase visas for high-skilled workers. That kind of practical thinking will better enable our nation to meet its workforce needs, stay competitive and create jobs for millions of Americans.

Likewise, Congressman Hunter supports stricter border control and co-sponsored a bill to implement the E-Verify program.

In California, the economic benefits of Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform are immense. A little more than a decade ago, the Golden State was the world’s fifth-largest economy. Today, we’ve declined to eighth-largest.

Just A Thought – If You Really Want To Stop Illegal Immigration, Consider This . . .

October 11th, 2013 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

On this blog I rarely put forth my views on immigration policy. I generally use the blog to notify my readers of new developments in immigration reform, laws and policy. I also like to talk about recent immigration cases and approvals.

On the topic of preventing illegal immigration though, I have strong opinions. First, I think stopping, or at least curbing, illegal immigration and unlawful employment is not as difficult as many politicians make it seem. Second, I don’t think the US government is very serious about stopping the problem. Many people talk about increasing enforcement efforts, building bigger walls, militarizing the border, etc. Those same people, from my experience, also want government spending to be reduced.

In the comprehensive immigration reform senate bill that passed (68-32) S. 744, the Corker-Hoeven amendment creates mandatory border security spending of $30 billion; doubles the amount of deployed Customs and Border Patrol agents from 19,200 to 38,400; and increases the mandatory fencing along the southern border. Additionally, the Corker-Hoeven Amendment militarizes the southern border and mandates fixed towers, camera systems, mobile surveillance systems, hand-held devices, ground sensor systems, fiber-optic tank inspection scopes, contraband detectors, mobile targeting systems, unmanned aircraft drones, radar systems, and other technology infrastructure. All of this costs a lot of money.

MH900386062

Wouldn’t it be something if we could stop illegal immigration and unlawful employment without spending so much? If you want to stop illegal immigration and unlawful employment, you need to devise a system whereby American employers do not see a benefit in hiring undocumented aliens. The pull factor must be eliminated. The lure of cheap labor must be outweighed so that the employer sees more potential cost than benefit in hiring undocumented immigrants. Of course, you can increase enforcement spending and hire more ICE investigators to go after employers, but that costs a lot of money and spending will go up.

Why not turn the undocumented employees against their employers? What if an undocumented worker could receive a green card for turning in his/her employer for unlawful employment?

The framework is already established in other areas of US immigration law. The U visa encourages undocumented immigrants to report crimes to the police. If an undocumented immigrant is the victim of certain serious crimes, s/he can report the crime to the police. If the immigrant cooperates with the prosecution and investigation, s/he can receive lawful status in the United States. This proposal has helped to reduce crime in immigrant communities and build a strong bond between law enforcement and law-abiding members of the community who would otherwise be afraid to communicate with police.

In the US effort to stop sex trafficking, they have set up the T visa system. If a victim of sex trafficking reports the crime to the appropriate law enforcement agency and cooperates in investigating and prosecuting the criminals, the victim can receive a T visa which will allow her to stay in the US.

The S visa process is similar. Often referred to as the “Snitch” visa, the S visa is reserved for those that cooperate with law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting criminals.

In the unlawful employment scenario, the US could pass a law saying that any undocumented alien who reports his/her employer to the appropriate federal agency (likely ICE) is eligible to receive an immigrant visa that will allow the individual to work and live in the United States. If I am living in the United States illegally and working at a minimum wage job, I would have no problem reporting my employer if I saw a benefit. Once reported, ICE can investigate the employer and fine it for the violation (say $20,000). An employer that is hit with a $20,000 fine will quickly decide that it is too risky to hire undocumented workers. This approach cuts down on enforcement spending as well. ICE need not hire investigators to go out exploring for violations. ICE can sit back and wait for the reports to come to them. Employers will stop looking for undocumented workers, and the pull factor on illegal immigration will cease over time. If undocumented immigrants cannot find work in the United States, they won’t see the benefit in coming to the United States.

If the US implemented this system, there would likely be a major push at the beginning. The US would give out many immigrant visas to undocumented workers, and fines to employers would abound. After that, employers would not hire undocumented workers because of the risk of fines. Undocumented immigrants would stop entering the country because they no longer would view it as a place to find jobs.

My opinion is that the US government is not serious about stopping illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a huge industry. Private detention centers make billions housing undocumented aliens while they await deportation in immigration court. Their lobbyists wrote the Arizona law SB1070 that was struck down by the US Supreme Court. Additionally, undocumented workers drive the economy and keep the cost of many products down. Militarizing the southern border creates billions in defense spending.

To those of you that want to stop illegal immigration, what are your thoughts . . .

Candidate Rick Perry Has No Clear Ideas on Immigration Reform, But Sides with Sheriff Arpaio of Arizona

November 30th, 2011 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Rick Perry did not offer a clear answer when pressed on how he would handle immigration reform during an interview Tuesday night with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. When asked to pinpoint a solution, the Texas governor could not or would not offer one.

“I know it’s one that people ask a lot and the fact is it’s just an intellectual conversation until we secure the border,” Perry said on Van Susteren’s show. She asked how he would deal with the 11 million-plus illegal immigrants currently residing in the country.

“What would you do? What would you do?” Van Susteren continued to ask.

“I’m not going to sit here and go through and talk about all the different options because there may be some ideas that haven’t been talked about yet, so I’m going to stick with folks like Sheriff Arpaio who is with me today and who is endorsing my candidacy, and work on securing the border, because until you get the border secure, all of these issues about immigration reform are frankly just intellectual engagement,” Perry said.

“You know, governor, with all due respect, I think that’s half an answer,” Van Susteren said.

“I think I’ve laid out a number of concepts and ideas. I don’t know which of those the American people want and that’s the reason we need to have this long and lengthy conversation,” Perry said later in the interview. “I don’t know if I have all of the right answers and one thing I have learned on this very volatile issue of immigration and immigration reform, we need to talk to the American people, we need to get their input, we need to listen to them.”

Ten Important Things About E-Verify That Everyone Should Know

September 15th, 2011 1 comment
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

E-Verify is an immigration enforcement tool. It is the federal government’s Internet-based system that allows employers to check whether prospective employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. Currently, only 4 percent of all American businesses use the system, but House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced the Legal Workforce Act of 2011, H.R. 2164, to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers across the country.

This mandate would cost Americans their jobs and crush small businesses. And an important point that appears to be lost in Rep. Smith’s proposal is that E-Verify does not even work at catching unauthorized workers—precisely what it is designed to do. The real solution is to pair E-Verify with a program that ensures a full legal workforce and to phase it in gradually to allow the government to make it error proof.

Here are ten things everyone should know about E-Verify and the Legal Workforce Act of 2011.

New Film, “A Better Life”, Attempts to Put a Human Aspect on the Immigration Debate

July 13th, 2011 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

A undocumented alien’s plight lodged itself in producer Paul Junger Witt’s heart, pushing him for 25 years to bring the dramatized story to life onscreen.

A Better Life,” the result, is the rare Hollywood film that focuses on a Latino family in the United States and, rarer still, takes an intimate view of the price paid by illegal immigrants making their bid for the American dream.

The movie, opening Friday, is intended to be apolitical regarding the immigration issue, Witt said, but he wants it to spark more than ticket sales.

“I think people on both sides can politicize it and that’s not unhealthy, because it will promote dialogue and discussion. This issue isn’t going away,” he said. “If that’s one of the results of this film coming out, so be it. It needs to be talked about.”

Witt is a veteran Hollywood producer with credits including “The Golden Girls” and films such as “Insomnia” and “Three Kings.”

 

GOP Unveils Plans for Immigration Reform (Not Surprisingly . . . It’s Anti-Immigrant)

June 18th, 2011 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Two of the masterminds behind the GOP’s mass deportation (of immigrants) strategy, Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, are introducing new legislation intended to bring about their extremist fantasy: the expulsion of 11 million undocumented immigrants and their families.  That’s what their whole “enforcement only” approach is all about – tighten the screws on immigrant families while blocking any hope of being able to legalize their status.

The Republicans’ dark vision for immigration “reform” isn’t playing well with Latino voters.  But in addition to alienating Latinos, Smith and Gallegly are on a path that will also hurt U.S. workers and key industries — like agriculture — by forcing all employers to use the flawed E-Verify system when evaluating whether an employee is legal to work.

In a recent op-ed, the duo tries to sell E-Verify as a “successful tool for employers.”  With a fail rate of 50%, E-Verify is anything but successful.  We all want to crack down on unscrupulous employers who take advantage of workers, but that’s not what E-Verify does. Instead, E-Verify will give bad employers even more control over desperate workers who move off the books and into the cash economy, reducing tax revenue and expanding the exploitation of workers.

The consequences of mandatory E-Verify aren’t limited to immigrant workers.  The Smith/Gallegly E-Verify plan would cause almost 800,000 Americans to lose their jobs due to errors in the government databases; force an additional 4 million legal workers into an administrative quagmire; create an undue burden on small businesses; nearly wipe out the agricultural workforce; and result in loss of tax revenue, increasing the deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that mandatory, nationwide E-Verify would cost us $17.3 billion over 10 years because it would increase the number of undocumented workers being paid outside the tax system. Just implementing the program, according to the CBO, would cost $23 billion over ten years.

Mandatory E-Verify would also have a devastating impact on industries that rely on immigrant labor, like agriculture.  By cracking down on immigrant farm workers, Smith and Gallegly’s vision would lead to the exportation of farms and jobs and the increased importation of food from foreign sources.  The loss of on-farm jobs would also have a domino effect: 3.2 million non-agriculture jobs depend on the agriculture industry.

All these problems, and the program only identifies undocumented workers 50% of the time. Despite all this, there is a real possibility that some version of E-Verify will advance, especially in the House of Representatives.

The Smith/Gallegly strategy is to ignore the faults and cost of the system, its impact on the economy, and its burden on U.S. workers—and insist that E-Verify will “free up” jobs and force undocumented immigrants to “deport themselves.” The reality is that most undocumented immigrants will remain here, even more in the shadows of the underground economy, subject to exploitation and reduced labor standards that impact everyone.

What’s frustrating is that there’s a better solution staring Smith and Gallegly right in the face. Comprehensive immigration reform, which would combine border and workplace enforcement with a program to require undocumented immigrants to register for legal status, would raise wages and labor standards for all workers, boost tax revenues, and gut the underground economy.  This is a fiscally responsible solution—and a practical alternative to the Smith-Gallegly mass deportation fantasy.  What’s more, a majority of Americans support it.

The Smith-Gallegly plan will only make a bad situation worse.  Throughout the summer, we will be pointing out that Smith and Gallegly are wrong on the politics and wrong on the facts.  We will also be pointing out their rank hypocrisy.  House Republicans benefit from immigrant labor every time they eat a Georgia peach, go to a restaurant, leave their children with the nanny, or build an addition onto their homes.  Undocumented immigrants are present in every state, in every sector of the economy.  It’s time that Republicans in Congress admit this simple fact, and support a plan that gives immigrants the respect they deserve and enacts a real solution for taxpayers and workers.

Introduction to the New House Republican Majority’s Position on Immigration and U.S. Workers

January 25th, 2011 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

After four years of Democratic control, Republicans are now in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives.  House Republican leaders have placed a familiar cast of characters in position to draft the chamber’s strategy on immigration:

* Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is now the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and he has declared that immigration will be a top priority for his Committee.  Smith was the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee in 1996 when Congress passed a series of laws that ramped up enforcement against both legal and undocumented immigrants—bills that collectively made the broken immigration system worse, not better.  Despite following Smith’s enforcement-only strategy for nearly fifteen years, the number of undocumented immigrants in our country has continued to rise.

* Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) is now the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee, and he is preparing to launch a series of hearings on immigration enforcement at the beginning of the 112th Congress.  Gallegly also has a long track record on immigration, and has focused much of his efforts on attacking children.  For example, since the early 1990s Gallegly has sponsored legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on who their parents are.  In 1996, he famously pushed an amendment to deny undocumented children access to an education—the federal version of California’s Proposition 187.

* Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is now vice-chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee.  He may have been passed over for the top spot because of his incendiary comments, such as his comparison of immigrants to livestock and suggestion that we install an electric fence at the border to keep them out.  Still, Smith and Gallegly share King’s policy positions on immigration, and he will continue to play a key role in crafting their approach.

In one of his first acts of the year, Rep. Smith (R-TX) changed the name of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law to the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.  The name change reflects the new priorities of the Committee—an enforcement-only approach with the goal of driving 11 million undocumented immigrants and their family members out of the country.

However, since a mass deportation policy is not popular with Latino voters, House Republicans are attempting to recast their approach in more palatable terms.  Rather than change course and embrace comprehensive immigration reform—the only proposal that would truly level the playing field, turn workers into taxpayers, and restore the rule of law—they are simply recasting their anti-immigration agenda using pro-worker terms.

In this report, America’s Voice Education Fund (AVEF) peels back the pro-worker mask that Smith, Gallegly, and King are attempting to put on, and shows that they are motivated not by concern for workers but their desire to remove 11 million immigrants and their family members from the country.  AVEF reviews their voting records on worker issues, and find that they have a long history of opposing policies to help American workers succeed, such as an increase to the minimum wage.

In reality, Smith, Gallegly, and King are simply carrying out the policies embraced by a shadowy coalition of anti-immigrant organizations—many of whom have been tied to white supremacists or labeled hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  This report exposes that connection and makes it clear that groups like the “Coalition for the Future American Worker” are simply using American unemployment as the latest excuse to rail against immigrants.  In the past, these same organizations have blamed immigrants for such diverse issues such as global warming, the housing crisis, a broken health care system, traffic congestion, and more.

Finally, AVEF examines why a mass deportation agenda is dangerous politics for the Republican Party.  After pushing anti-immigrant policies for years and campaigning on the issue in the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections, Republicans have boxed themselves in with Latino voters.  Following the strategy of Smith, Gallegly, and King, they are the party of Proposition 187, the Sensenbrenner bill, the Arizona “papers, please” immigration law and copycat proposals in other states, the defeat of comprehensive immigration reform, and the defeat of the DREAM Act.  Latino voters feel disrespected and attacked by the GOP, and are increasingly voting Democratic because of it.

As the 2010 Census results drive home, unless the GOP finds a way to reverse course on immigration and win at least 40% of the Latino vote, it will never see the inside of the White House again, and will become a minority party.  With Smith, Gallegly, and King at the helm in the House, the GOP is poised to become a sinking ship with Latino voters unless real leaders in the Party step up.

(As published by America’s Voice)

Ohio is One of 22 States Considering State Immigration Laws Against Illegal Immigration

August 22nd, 2010 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Ohio is one of 22 states that has immigration reform bills pending. Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, an organization focused on fighting against amnesty and illegal immigration, announced that 22 states now have lawmakers pushing versions of Arizona’s illegal immigration bill SB 1070. Activists from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, supported passage of the new Arizona law and have helped pass other immigration enforcement measures in many states.

According to William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, activists have been working hard contacting state lawmakers in every state in the US asking them to stand up with Arizona. Additionally, Gheen stated that there are 22 states now following Arizona’s lead.

Aside from Ohio, the other states considering versions of the bill include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Dave Isaacs, deputy director of communications for the Ohio House of Representatives, said there are three bills currently in committee that deal with immigration reform. One of the bills requires public and private employers to register with a federal electronic system to verify the identities and legal working status of new employees.

The other two bills have gone nowhere in the House since clearing the Senate in March. Both would give local law enforcement agencies authority to enforce violations of federal immigration law, which is similar to the Arizona immigration law SB 1070.

Immigrant Families Leave Arizona Due To New Anti-Immigrant Law

July 7th, 2010 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

A family is in a hurry to get out of Arizona, to get away from the state’s harsh new immigration law. They still have a long way to their final destination: Pennsylvania. However, the hardest part of the nearly 2,700-mile journey will be the end. Their final destination is where starting their lives over begins.

Luis and Marlen, both 33, lived in Arizona for more than 15 years. They are from the same small town in southern Mexico, but they met while living in the US. Both came looking for work.

Their three children are U.S. citizens were born in Arizona. The oldest is a quiet 13-year-old, a 10-year-old girl that loves to talk., and a 2-year-old baby.

Luis has washed for the past four years, and has worked as a landscaper for a company that maintains office buildings in the West Valley. He earned $9.80 an hour. Marlen is a stay-at-home mom.

The couple started thinking about leaving Arizona when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio began conducting his crime sweeps two years ago, saturating largely Latino neighborhoods with deputies, stopping vehicles for minor traffic violations and arresting illegal immigrants. The couple said the sweeps made them feel like prisoners. They used to enjoy spending Sundays at the park. But to avoid the police, they started staying home as much as possible.

The day after Gov. Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s new immigration law on April 23, Luis and Marlen decided to leave. And, they are not alone.

ACLU and Coalition of Civil Rights Groups File Class Action Against Arizona for Anti-Immigrant Law

May 22nd, 2010 No comments
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona challenging Arizona’s new law which authorizes police to demand “papers” from people who they suspect are not legally in the U.S.

The coalition filing the lawsuit includes the ACLU, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), ACLU of Arizona, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) – a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.

The lawsuit charges that the Arizona law unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; invites racial profiling against people of color by law enforcement in violation of the equal protection guarantee and prohibition on unreasonable seizures under the 14th and Fourth Amendments; and infringes on the free speech rights of day laborers and others in Arizona.

One of the individuals the coalition is representing in the case, Jim Shee, who is a U.S.-born 70-year-old American citizen of Spanish and Chinese descent. Shee asserts that he will be vulnerable to racial profiling under the law, and that, although the law has not yet gone into effect, he has already been stopped twice by local law enforcement officers in Arizona and asked to produce his “papers” to proof his legal presence in the U.S.

Another plaintiff, Jesus Cuauhtémoc Villa, is a resident of the state of New Mexico who is currently attending Arizona State University. The state of New Mexico does not require proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status to obtain a driver’s license. Villa does not have a U.S. passport and does not want to risk losing his birth certificate by carrying it with him. He worries about traveling in Arizona without a valid form of identification that would prove his citizenship to police if he is pulled over. If he cannot supply proof upon demand, Arizona law enforcement is required to arrest and detain him.

Several prominent law enforcement groups, including the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, oppose the law because the law sends a clear message to communities of color that the authorities are not to be trusted, making them less likely to come forward as victims of or witnesses to crime.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of labor, domestic violence, day laborer, human services and social justice organizations, including Friendly House, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SEIU Local 5, United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), Arizona South Asians for Safe Families (ASAFSF), Southside Presbyterian Church, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, Border Action Network, Tonatierra Community Development Institute, Muslim American Society, Japanese American Citizens League, Valle del Sol, Inc., Coalicíon De Derechos Humanos, and individual named plaintiffs who will be subject to harassment or arrest under the law and a class of similarly situated persons.

According to Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON day laborers have repeatedly defended their First Amendment rights in federal courts and successfully established their undeniable right to seek work in public areas. Moreover, Alvarado believes that Arizona’s effort to criminalize day laborers and migrants is an affront to the Constitution and threatens to disrupt national unity, and they are confident that federal courts will intervene to ensure the protection of their bedrock civil rights.”

Even prior to the passage of the statute, local enforcement of federal immigration law has already caused an increase on racial profiling of Latinos in Arizona. The ACLU, MALDEF and other members of the coalition have several pending lawsuits against government officials in Arizona because of civil rights abuses of U.S. citizens and immigrants.

site by hikanoo