Friday, August 10, 2007

SEIU Statement on New DHS Enforcement Regs

As Kevin Johnson reported earlier, the Bush Administration has announced new employer sanction enforcement measures today. Here is a statement by Eliseo Medino on the new regs:

Bush Administration Slaps Immigrant Workers for Cheap Political Gain

New Regulations Abandon Principles and  Promise More Hardship for Immigrant Community

Statement of Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

WASHINGTON, DC—“The Bush Administration revealed its true face with its new punitive, unrealistic immigration enforcement regulations today.  Despite universal agreement that our current immigration system is broken, the administration is seeking cheap political points by bolstering tactics that are already flawed and failing.

We must ask why this president, who supports immigrants and workers when it’s politically expedient, would consider using precious federal resources to tear up families, militarize worksites, and hurt local communities.  This is not America’s best face; it is a shameful rebuke of the values and principles this country was founded upon.

The proposed new regulations target people who babysit our children, who care for our grandparents, who pick and prepare our food.  These proposals will intensify a wave of enforcement strategies that have already failed, leaving family tragedies and human misery in their wake.

President Bush has consistently said that enforcement alone does not work; yet his administration is suggesting strategies that foster discrimination, terrorize communities and promote an increasingly anti-immigrant climate that is fundamentally un-American.  Putting millions of taxpayer dollars into a failed system will do nothing to solve our immigration problems.  Instead we must work toward fair and practical ways to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows and create legal channels for much needed immigrant workers to come here in the future.”

bh

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Comments

OK, Eliseo, what forms or level of immigration law enforcement do you support? Are those crickets I hear?

'we must work toward fair and practical ways to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows and create legal channels for much needed immigrant workers to come here in the future.”

Eliseo, your membership DOESN'T WANT guest workers because they correctly recognize that illegal workers and second class guest workers undercut the current membership. They are with you on everything else, though. Good luck with that platform of zero border patrol and zero workplace enforcement.

Posted by: Jack | Aug 10, 2007 4:42:06 PM

The SEIU statement nails the issue. This is a cheap political trick, except it won't be cheap in humuan costs for either illegals or folks who just want to buy some veggies.

One industry source says 70 percent of farm workers are illegal, another says 50 percent, but any thinking person (current administration obviously excluded) looking at disrupting the nation's major harvest season would think again.

And that doesn't even touch construction, landscaping and hospitality, also at their peak seasons.

Instead of demonizing both employees and employers to make cheap political points with the neo-Con nut cases whose only personal interaction with their lawn is to walk on it, we should be treating the "illegal" immigration problem for what it is:

This is a foreign policy and economics problem, folks. Americans need the labor and Mexicans need the jobs. Roughly half of the illegal immigrants are employed by homeowners and renters, so spare us the shouts that "it all benefits big business!"

Instead of kissing domestic political butt, the Bush administration should start kicking Mexican foreign policy butt. Fifteen-plus percent of Mexico's labor force is in the U.S. and Mexico reaps the benefits, both in social stability and plain old cash, about $20-$25 billion a year. We get the cheap labor, but also the bills for health care, education and law enforcement. Not to mention the serious issues of taxes and Social Security. Or the concerns, some legitimate, some downright racist, about assimilation.

We need leadership, negotiation and a plan.

I wrote a book, "Opening the Borders, Level 4 Press 2007) suggesting one plan that brings relief without opening a path to citizenship. There are certainly others. But what we need to do is think and plan at the exective level -- including foreign policy -- and not waste time, energy and confidence on cheap political stunts aimed only to please those who think there's a real chance it will be 1854 again.

Posted by: Larry Blasko, Summit NJ | Aug 10, 2007 6:43:01 PM

"President Bush has consistently said that enforcement alone does not work;....."

The president contradicts himself. By his announcement that he intends to vigorously enforce the law, he has admitted that his administration hasn't used all of the resources available to it. Even an idiot would come to that conclusion, but it seems that the president hasn't a clue that the people are smarter than he gives them credit for. It's rather disingenuous to state that enforcement hasn't worked when it hasn't been tried. Is it any wonder that many have lost confidence in this man. If enforcement is considered so ineffective, why is it being vigorously opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, cattlemen, the dairymen, meat packers, illegal alien advocates, illegal aliens themselves and immigration lawyers, all who have a stake at maintaining the status quo or in hindering our law enforcement agencies into doing nothing at all? The answer is that enforcement has great promise of intimidating employers into being more scrupulous in their hiring practices, and that great strides will be made in slowing down illegal immigration as word travels throughout Latin America. Coming illegally will likely put you in jail or at the very least cause you to be deported after spending your life's savings to a coyote.

Posted by: Horace | Aug 11, 2007 4:04:12 PM

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