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IMMIGRATION AND GEAUGA COUNTY
Posted By: Geauga Constitutional Council 05/30/2010 @ 12:07 PM

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ARE WE BEING FAIR TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

AND COMPANIES WHO HIRE THEM?

 

According to the Dayton Daily News, governor Ted Strickland, is using to the demonization of Arizona immigration reform as a cloak for moving forward on stalled immigration reform in Ohio.  A bill sponsored by state Rep. Courtney Combs, R-Hamilton “would require employers to check a prospective hire’s legal status or risk noncompliance with tax law.” 

 

I have had the recent privilege of interviewing over one hundred GeaugaCounty business owners about immigration reform sentiments.  I did not seek their opinions as part of a local study or poll so there is no compiled data or records to prove a scientific result.

 

However, there is overwhelming sentiment that would seem to support the legislation floated by Rep. Combs.  The one question that had near unanimous agreement was the following:  Should Congress increase fines against business owners who hire illegal immigrants?

 

This is not an attack piece on immigrants.  As many interviewees that were in favor of the increase of fines on cheaters, were supportive of immigration in general.  Immigration is essential for diversity, population support, and a vast wealth knowledge and experience they represent.  And, hey, as I was reminded quite often, we are all from immigrants.

 

Illegal immigration, however, is a national and local problem.  I’ll leave the national issues to the media world but I do admit the spillover of resentment toward illegal immigrants stems from national concerns. 

 

For us to be fair to any Geauga resident or worker would be to not allow ourselves to cast any individual into any stereotype.  Yet, when we notice that there are people who seem to fit the profile of an illegal, either by association with their job or their residency, we must be able to examine the causes. 

 

 

 

There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. It is not unreasonable that people that would seem to fit a specific profile are indeed consistent with that judgment.  Yet, there also are vast sums of “guest workers” in the country from government programs such as H2A and H2B programs.  So it is wise not to judge.

 

Many businesses in our county participate in the above mentioned programs.  They claim that there is a need because of the lack of willing workers in our county and the quality, or lack thereof, of those workers.  As much as this made me wince when I heard it, it was allayed to me enough that I was forced to concede that it might be true.  H2A and H2B programs are expensive.  Business must pay thousands to participate in the program.  It hardly seems that they would be doing it for fun.  There is no guarantee that the workers you get from the guest program are always quality workers.  Here is an example, from the New York Times, of the type of negative issue the program can present:   “Since then, hundreds of the Indian workers have brought a civil rights lawsuit against the company, claiming they were victims of human trafficking and labor abuse. Signal International is fighting the suit and has sued American and Indian recruiters who contracted with the workers in India. The company claims the recruiters misled it — and the workers — about the terms of the work visas that brought them to this country.”  

 

Unless one thinks that there is no unemployment in GeaugaCounty, young adults aren’t all full-time students, work programs aren’t meeting employers needs and so on and so on, than one must ask why it is we need guest or illegal workers.

 

So what can we do in Geauga County to annul illegal hiring practices and thereby minimize the need for guest and illegal workers?  Is it so simple as to punish those business owners that hire illegally?  According to those such as Rep. Combs it would be a positive development.  But I think its more than that.  We must deal with the forces that are creating a demand for those workers.  If it is business profits and market share due to illegal activity those businesses must be exposed and smoked out.  If it is because there isn’t plentiful numbers of workers here in the county and the quality is poor than we need to better equip our citizens through training and education and parental responsibilities to teach work ethic.  If it is an illusion that workers aren’t available then we need businesses to work with the county placement people to express that need.  Perhaps they could take the thousands of dollars they pour into worker programs to advertise for legal workers. 

 

My intent isn’t to come up with solutions in this article.  My intent is to examine why there is a perceived need in Ohio for legislative advancement.  My intent is to examine why close to 70% of people polled in the country agreed with the Arizona reform. 

 

Why?  Because it matters!  We are a decent people in this county.  Our county folk do not want to wonder if people we see working for us or next to us are legal and disposed to the same laws as us.  We have a history of decency and diversity.  If practices of either business or government policies play into enabling us to view our fellow county men and women in any other way than in concert with our history, than we must effect change.

 

Curt Downing

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Thanks for the comments Curt.

 

It looks like you are trying to be unbiased in your letter and just trying to present questions for all to think about, and you DID bring up some very good points.

 

Here are some other thoughts:

 

....Should Congress increase fines against business owners who hire illegal immigrants?....  I don't remember anything in the Constitution giving Congress any authority to do this. That should be handled at the state or county level. The Constitution does charge the federal government to protect our borders, which they have failed miserably at....ON PURPOSE!  As far as I know, anyone who knowingly or unknowingly harbors a criminal will face charges also. How this should apply to business owners who take advantage of illegals is a matter for discussion.

 

....This is not an attack piece on immigrants....  Why not? Why would anyone have to prequalify themselves with that statement? They are here illegally, stealing from our system, over burdening it, killing, robbing and raping American citizens, taking jobs away from Americans. We need to aggressively come after these people and send them home.

 

We all know America is comprised of diverse ethenticity of immigrants from various countries in the world who came here through proper, lawful channels.  I am quite sure no one has any problem with that, but the U.S. and every other country has immigration laws for very specific reasons which I won't get into now as it would be to lengthy. We are all now witnessing ONE of the reasons for these laws. Just look at the mess the illegal invasion has caused.

 

This issue has been purposely convoluted with other meaningless issues to sidetrack us and take us off point....which is....they are criminals, here unlawfully.... NO  illegal immigrant deserves fairness or anything else America has to offer its' lawfull citizens!! Other countries have very harsh penalties for illegal entry. They do not hold the criminals hands like we do.

 

As far as profiling is concerned, the police cannot detain or stop you unless they have probable cause.  This applies to all of us. If they are rounding up people without probable cause because they fit a certain general ethnic description then that may be considered profiling.

 

On the other hand, if a black man robs a bank, and with good information, is thought to be hiding out in a certain neighborhood, the police have a duty to search the area, observe people, stop them and ask questions. The black man would almost certainly NOT be hiding in a white neighborhood as he would stand out like a sore thumb and surley get caught. He would be smarter hiding in a black neighborhood where he would blend in, probably have help, and be less noticable. So the question is, are the police profiling by searching only this black neighborhood, looking for a black man, and asking questions of black people in this area. ABSOLUTELY NOT! 

 

Well this is kind of a similar situation but far worse. This is an illegal invasion grossly straining many areas of our economy. In this situation a dragnet might be appropriate. The small percentage of people who get caught in it that are innocent can easily prove they are lawful citizens and not be bothered again.

 

When you knowingly commit a crime you are also knowingly accepting the risk that goes along with it.

 

Had the feds been doing their constitutionaly mandated job of protecting our borders, we would not have this situation.

 

 

Click on this link and see how past Presidents have handled this successfully:   THE DEPORTATION OF ILLEGAL ALIENS

  



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