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Illegal immigration – illegal business

Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin

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.”

About Michael Tomlin


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  2. I think Ida D has made his point clear: we should look the other way while illegal aliens destroy the economy. In most legal situations, we call that aiding and abetting.

    The answers to E-Verify’s database flaws is easily available to the common citizen — go to the Social Security office and check. Doing so, moreover, may help the citizen find identity theft or lost social security benefits, which are two added benefits of E-Verify. It only needs to be done once, and the problem is fixed.

    As to allowing the government to have access to personnel records, that’s only the verification mechanism that a company is in compliance. These records are accessible for EEOC purposes, for IRS purposes and, if existing laws are being enforced, for ICE purposes. Nothing is being made less private than it is now.

    Ida D’s “too bad no system exists” argument would suggest abandoning the police, the courts, the army, and almost institution of government. After all, the police make mistakes in arrests, the courts make mistakes in judgments, and the national defense forces make mistakes in killing civilians. It’s ridiculous!

  3. #5, what is ethical is to ensure your business is legal.

    Actually I think “ethical” requires more than mere legal compliance – it means you need to do the right thing.

    Too bad no system exists that reliably checks work authorization without negatively impacting tens of thousands of people, and without giving the government blanket authorization to dig through business records.

  4. #5, what is ethical is to ensure your business is legal. If we had been doing that this legislation would be needless.

    Show me the steps you take to guarantee your workers are here legally and I’ll argue to exempt you from E-Verify. The funny thing is that those who point to its margin for error are typically already far more out of compliance with their present practice.

    Doc’s point remains – a legal business legally employees legal workers.

  5. “My main point is that an ethical business would verify their employees absent any laws requiring such. ”

    Is it ethical to verify prospective employees with a system that’s full of errors?

    Is it smart for a business to sign the MOU required to use the system given that the MOU contains consent provisions that allow the feds to randomly audit the business’s personnel records?

    I’m thinking the answers to those questions are probably no and no.

  6. Ida D, insults aside, I have read and published on this issue for some years. However, this is an opinion blog, and one need not be a scholar to have an opinion.

    My main point is that an ethical business would verify their employees absent any laws requiring such. It is only the breakdown of ethical business practice and the failure of the federal government that cause states to step up. Kudos to Idaho and a few legislators who understand the need and have the courage to do what is right.

  7. This was a well-written piece. I invite you and any interested party to attend Senate State Affairs on Monday, March 8 at 8:00AM to hear testimony regarding my bill, which if enacted will make E-Verify mandatory for all Idaho businesses to use after hiring new employees.

    Professor Kris Kobach, a former assistant U.S. Attorney General will be flying in to give testimony in favor of my bill. Kris is perhaps the leading legal mind in America today in the fight against illegal immigration. He has won legal cases all over this country, giving lie to the argument that this is only a federal issue. The federal government allows each state to regulate the laws governing the licensing of businesses within each state. We can enforce immigration law through our businesses.

    Mike Jorgenson

  8. A couple of quick comments.

    E-Verify is loaded with problems. The seemingly low error rate in that database, when applied to the US workforce, means A LOT of people will be wrongly flagged for a mismatch. In the real world that means legit employes would be denied opportunties for employment (that’s a big deal – think about what that actually means on an individual basis).

    Immigration truly is a federal issue, and in most cases attempts by a state to regulate it will ultimately be invalidated. This issue has been addressed a number of times and the Supreme Court has consistenly held that regulation of immigration is a federal power.

    You’re clearly a bright guy, Mr. Tomlin, but it’s painfully obvious you don’t have a very deep understanding of this particular subject. You could easily fix that by spending a few hours doing some reading.

  9. E-Verify is becoming a nationally known removal symbol, that the federal government introduced against unscrupulous employers who hire illegal labor. Most Liberal Democrats and even Republicans have tried to use their influence, to hide it from public attention. In partnership with certain members of our corrupt government, unions, the church and other groups sympathetic to the illegal alien cause or plain money economics, have used deceit, under funding or the off-switch, to dispose of the computer application. Sen. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi was the epitome of deception and nearly managed to table it in the Senate. Like any law that trespasses on business profits, E-Verify has been ascertained as full of errors and was worthless. It might have been to the advantage of pariah companies, but not to the 15 million Americans out-of-work. I’m an Independent, but I have thrown my lot in with the tea-baggers, hoping to rid the political parties of raw CORRUPTION.

    Think on this! We are told we don’t have the money to deport the 20 to 30 million already here? But states like SANCTUARY CALIFORNIA and across our nation, seem to locate the money for education, free health care treatment, prisons and a hundred and one hidden subsidies, that are denied to American’s poor in many instances. Time and again, you will read that the PC run program is derogatory to citizens and green card holders alike, when if a E-Verify job applicant is rejected he can assert his rights at the Social security building in his community. SIMPLY STATING THAT NOBODY WITH INELIGIBLE DOCUMENTATION, WILL STAY AT A DISTANCE FROM THE SSA OFFICES. This is obviously not spelled out in the liberal press, associated websites or even negative bloggers comments. The Fact is they don’t want to divulge the truth, to the general public and specially to all the working population.

    Our immigration enforcement programs are upside down, because Washington and the open border lobbyists have engineered it that way. We legally in this country have never undertaken, to research the truth about the decades of neglect under different administrations. We have been taken to the cleaner’s for years, because we never seriously asked questions because we didn’t have access to lawmakers? But the Internet has changed all that and anybody today can unravel the truth about the millions of illegal immigrants squatting here. YOU THE TAXPAYER ARE FORKING OUT THE BILLIONS? SO YOU SHOULD GOOGLE THE TRUTH AND FIND OUT WHERE YOUR TAXES ARE GOING? While you about it, research SMARTBUSINESSESPRACTICES. dot.com. NUMBERSUSA.dot.com and read about the WASHINGTON AND STATE CORRUPTION AT JUDICIAL WATCH. dot. org

    At the same time call those phonies at the Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask them why are they trying to sell us on another AMNESTY, when the last one was never enforced. At the same time asked them why they have cut-back on ICE raids or why Janet Napolitano isn’t doing her Homeland Security (HSC) job properly and evidently listening to open border lobbyists. HS chief has deliberately cut funding for the State, county and city police training programs, so they can arrest illegal aliens and send them home. In addition E-Verify has been recommended in the future to unmask illegal immigrant fraudulent mortgages and loan restructuring, transportation drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, insurance and health care.irregularities. It could also be used to detect illegal aliens voting in our elections as well. Our country is overrun by not just job seeking illegals, but hardened gangs and a list of habitual criminals who have run rampant.

    Be ready to deflate these tired old wealthy legislators brought and sold, beginning with the mid-term elections. PUBLIC UPROAR IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THINGS DONE? American jobs for American people. One flag–One language. No Copyright. Copy and Paste. Watch for illegal aliens voting in–NEVADA–this 2010.