One by one the proposed bills in the Idaho Legislature to help control illegal immigration likely will all fall. They’ll fall because the Legislature is hiding behind the “it’s a federal issue” shield.
Rest assured if the illegal workers had “Idaho potato” tattoos, the enforcement would be swift and sure. But in a case that involves every inch of our economy, is breaking the back of our health care system, and is robbing jobs and tax revenue from Idahoans, it seems to be OK that businesses should be allowed to knowingly break the law.
In a “states’ rights state,” it is strange indeed to whip out the “it is a federal issue” defense. There truly is no argument against asking businesses to take one step to verify the legitimacy of their hiring. It is far easier than ensuring wallboard is not from China, or that toys contain no lead. At some point the business world stands for something or not.
Counterfeiting our currency is a federal concern, so perhaps only federal employees should scrutinize new bills off my color copier. Who cares that their circulation undermines the entire economy? We don’t want to breed any fear into those making cash transactions.
We could back away from affirmative action and EEO, and force the feds to put an enforcement officer in every HR office. What happened to this country being a nation of laws? One where we self-enforce? A country where we have each others’ backs?
We talk about organizational climates and cultures where every worker is the quality guru, where every worker is the anti-harassment officer, where every worker is the civil rights enforcer. This is just talk, I guess, on “federal issues.”
This year, June 12 is Free Fishing Day in Idaho. Why would we have such a day if we were not to enforce fishing regulations on the other days? I have to have documents for the fish, elk or wolf in my truck; why not the workers? Without them (documents), we are just poachers, and poacher enablers.
Such as it is in the business world. Either we enforce our values and beliefs, each of us, in every business, every day, or we do not. Hiding behind the feds is pretty low, especially in an independent-minded state like Idaho, and the verification of workers is pretty simple and cheap. It should be the law, although we ought to do it because it is right. I would certainly favor a business with a window sticker that proudly proclaims, “We E-Verify.”