Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Immigration Challenges

Once again a comment left on the previous post has stirred a few thoughts which I think are very pertinent to the concerns about legal and illegal immigration. The comment simply put was "do local bosses profit from illegal immigration?"

I'd say yes, definitely. For example. there are many locations thru Hamblen County, and around the country, where landlords charge the highest amounts possible to legal and illegal immigrants - $100 or $200 per person, and anywhere from 6 to 10 people in a two-bedroom apartment.

For years, many East Tennessee farming operations used what was called "migrant/seasonal" work. But I've not heard that term used much anymore.

Some years back, when the current Koch Foods was Burnett Produce, the facility was raided several times and illegals rounded-up, and perhaps one or two Supervisors were arrested on charges related to providing fake documents to the workers. More recently, Koch employees successfully created their own union at the plant. That has prompted some to predict the company will close it's operations there in the near future.

Under President Bush, the only label that applies to efforts at finding and punishing those who profit from illegal immigration is the label of Failure.

Over the course of five-and-a-half years, the administration has quietly (and, I believe, intentionally) failed to enforce our existing immigration laws. An employer who willfully hired illegals was 19 times more likely to be sanctioned under Bill Clinton than George Bush. Illegal border crossings have increased under Bush, and the value of illegal drug trade across our southern border has risen to a whopping $65 billion dollars in 2005, dwarfing that of oil, Mexico’s largest legitimate industry of $28 billion, and more than tripling the $20 billion Mexicans working in the U.S. sent to their families in Mexico last year."

Read more of this assessment at the National Review Online.

The political profits are being sought as well by candidates for the open Tennessee Senate seat. Former congressman Ed Bryant is front and center on this topic, stating that illegal immigration is the Number One issue on voter's minds.

On illegal immigration, Bryant said he worries that President George W. Bush's plan to put National Guard troops at the Mexico border will not be sufficient. Bryant pledged to try to amend a law that prevents the use of active military people to enforce civilian law."

via Blogging for Bryant.

Since we are hardly a border state, wouldn't local resources be best used to discover and hold accountable those employers and agencies that hire illegals?

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