WSJ and SEIU complain about immigration audits, show no concern for American workers (Miriam Jordan, Harvard Maintenance, Minnesota)
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As an alternative to the showy immigration raids conducted during the George W Bush administration, the Barack Obama administration has been conducting "paper raids" (see this for an example with the downsides noted; the guidelines were discussed here).
Needless to say, any form of immigration enforcement doesn't sit well with those who seek to profit or enable others to profit from cheap illegal labor. Thus, Miriam Jordan of the Wall Street Journal offers "Immigration Audit Takes Toll/Janitorial Firm Harvard Maintenance to Lose Over Half of Minnesota Work Force" (link). It features the WSJ highlighting complaints about that audit from the Service Employees International Union, without mentioning the fact that the raid might have opened up hundreds of jobs for American citizens and legal workers. The SEIU gets untold millions in dues from illegally-earned paychecks, and illegal aliens also give them poliltical power. Supporting American workers over illegal aliens isn't in their best interests. For the WSJ, supporting American workers over cheaper, more pliable illegal aliens isn't in the interests of those they serve.
Excerpts follow; see if you can find anything supportive of American workers either below or in the whole article:
Harvard Maintenance Inc., a national janitorial company, will lose over half its Minnesota work force after an immigration audit, making it the second major business in that state to be hit by an Obama administration crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants.
The audit by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will result in about 240 workers losing their jobs, the Service Employees International Union said on Monday...
...Harvard Maintenance began issuing dismissal letters to employees in early March and is in the process of terminating workers, according to the SEIU, which represents the workers...
..."Our community is traumatized," said Javier Morillo, president of SEIU Local 26 in the Twin Cities. He estimated Harvard Maintenance has 350 workers in the state. Mr. Morillo said following the audit the union worked with Harvard Maintenance to keep the workers employed as long as possible...
...DeAnne Hilgers, an attorney who advises Minnesota companies, said the business community there was shocked by "what appears to be a surge in audits." She said 10 of her clients in the construction and restaurant industries were being investigated by ICE, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. "These audits are of great consequence to their businesses" because they result in lost workers and thousands of dollars in fines, she said...
...About 11 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S., according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group. Without illegal immigrants, business executives in industries like construction, agriculture and restaurants say they would be forced to radically change how they operate.
3/19/11 UPDATE: Morillo of the SEIU has issued a statement (excerpt from here). He's partially correct, albeit for the wrong reasons:
Under the leadership of Secretary Napolitano the federal government has become an employment agency for the country’s worst employers. With each I-9 audit, the government is systematically pushing hardworking people into the underground economy where they face exploitation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports targeting egregious employers that exploit workers – but it’s become increasingly obvious that this policy is nothing short of lip service. Let’s be clear: I-9 audits, by definition, do not go after egregious employers who break immigration laws because many of them do not use I-9 forms. Human traffickers do not ask their victims for their social security cards.
Secretary Napolitano, Director Morton and the agencies they represent are at the forefront of a damaging policy shift in this country – one in which good, hardworking people are hand-delivered to the underground economy. SEIU fights for economic justice across this country, and we can no longer sit silently while communities are devastated by reckless policies.
As this site has been saying since they started, the "paper raids" simply put illegal aliens back in the labor pool, and many of them will simply find work at other, less-reputable employers. So, Morillo is correct about that, at least partially. What he, the SEIU, and the DHS aren't correct about is the solution to the problem. Those groups want to legalize illegal aliens. The solution that supports U.S. workers is to deport illegal aliens and take them out of the labor pool so that U.S. workers can take those jobs. Due to unemployment and other factors, that would be a net financial gain. The SEIU's idea of "economic justice" is perverse, involving obtaining dues money and political power from those here illegally who are depressing wages and taking jobs from American workers. The SEIU's loyalty is to themselves and to illegal aliens and not so much to American workers.
3/24/11 UPDATE: More from Morillo (link):
"The janitors of the Twin Cities that are in the union, they're not depressing wages for janitors. They're the highest paid janitors," said Morillo. "There are janitorial companies that pay much, much less that actually depress wages that are not being targeted for ICE audits."
Morillo claims ICE targets companies that already check the paperwork of their employees. Employers who pay under the table wouldn't get caught in this net. That underground economy is where he says most of the former janitors will go.
SEIU has tracked the ABM janitors who lost their jobs in 2009. Morillo says hardly any of them have returned to their home countries.
Obviously, Minneapolis only needs so many janitors so the illegal aliens that the SEIU is protecting are taking good-paying jobs away from Americans who might be forced out of work or who might be forced to take lower-paying jobs. And, the last paragraph underlines how Napolitano's "paper raids" simply add illegal aliens back into the labor pool.