Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Right idea, wrong target

The Republicans in congress would like more aggressive workplace raids to find undocumented workers. That is one the steps to solve the illegal immigration problem that The Responsible Community supports. (End illegal immigration in five steps) But, those they want targeted in the raids will make a political statement and do little to solve the overall problem. 

Under the Obama administration, work place raids in search of undocumented workers have reached new heights. Republicans, with their new majority in the house, are pressing for even more raids. But, they want the raids to seek out undocumented workers to send them back to their country of origin. They aren’t suggesting that the employers of those raids be punished. But, if the raids would focus on the employers, there would be very few undocumented workers taking jobs away from legal workers.

Raids should be conducted to enforce employment law. This must be done on the national level, not the state or local level. Unless every employer understands the risk they take when they use undocumented workers, they will make mistakes at the very least and ignore laws on the most flagrant level.

If raids are focused just on the workers to send them back, then it will be a political statement that will be a mere inconvenience to employers. Perhaps winning votes for the “get tough” Republicans, but doing little to stop the problem. If undocumented workers can’t get a job, they won’t come to the country seeking work.

Let’s have more raids. But, the focus of the raids should be on the employers.

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