Wednesday, December 20, 2006

one hand taketh, then the other hand taketh some more

The LA Times reports that some companies that employ immigrants get in trouble no matter what they do:

The raid of six Swift & Co. meat packing plants last week spotlighted the fine line employers face because of increased government scrutiny: Make sure your employees are in the U.S. legally, but don't push too hard to find out.

This time, federal inspectors detained 1,300 Swift workers suspected of providing stolen Social Security numbers to the company. But four years ago, the company's requirement that Latino job applicants provide proof of their legal status led to a $200,000 fine for discrimination.
In my experience, different Assistant US Attorneys in the same office could be involved in actions like these: one trying to deport illegal immigrants and the other suing a company for employment discrimination for tactics used to avoid hiring illegal immigrants.

It is clear that the immigration system is thoroughly broken. It has only lasted this long in its present form because it works relatively well for businesses. That seems to be changing. One would hope that the government would have the decency to incentivize change to the system in a way that did not ruin people's lives, but one would be mistaken in that hope.

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