Freedom Folks

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Pain Meds-Induced Fisking

Yeah, I know, I know...fisking a piece from the Socialist Worker Online is too easy. But, hey -- I'm on prescription pain meds -- it's about all I can handle right now. It's going to take me forever to type this one-handed as it is. Besides, I'm tired of just sitting here counting Spaghetti-O's in my bowl and waiting for my next unlimited-monthly-rentals DVD to come in the mail...

Source: Socialist Worker Online

My comments, as always, are in red.
EMPLOYERS ARE using Social Security data on fraudently used SS numbers to target and dismiss immigrant workers illegal aliens in view of proposed changes to government regulations--and if the rules formally take effect, millions of workers’ illegal aliens' jobs could be at risk available for citizens and legal immigrants.

The regulations would give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight of Social Security Administration (SSA) “no match” letters--notifications sent to employers pointing out discrepancies between the Social Security numbers used by workers and those on file with the SSA (a.k.a. Social Secrity fraud). If workers’ illegal aliens' fraudulent Social Security numbers don’t match SSA files, and the workers illegal aliens can’t file the required documents break the law without penalty yet again in time, employers would be compelled to terminate them.

“The SSA no-match issue is yet another consequence of the framing of the legislative debate around a ‘broken immigration system,’ that needs a ‘national security’ fix and a corporate fix,” observed Ana Avendaño, who heads immigration policy at the AFL-CIO. “That has inspired DHS to offer quick fixes both to save face and to give the Administration an easy victory.” TRANSLATION: How dare you actually start enforcing your laws now, when we've been getting away with breaking them for so long?

What’s more, she said, “the proposed no-match rules just give employers an even more powerful weapon to use against workers: the fact that they broke federal law. With the new rule in hand, during organizing campaigns, for example, employers will no doubt argue that it was the SSA rule that caused them to question workers' immigration status ILLEGAL, not the fact that workers were organizing.”

In the past, employers were explicitly prohibited from using Social Security no-match letters as an indication of workers’ immigration status because, for God's sake, let's not use a worker with a bad SS# as an indicator that he might be breaking more than one law. Labor lawyers and immigrant rights activists often succeeded in forcing employers to back down when they fired workers in relation to no-match letters. The nerve of these employers, not wanting to have someone who has broken federal law in their employ!

But under rules proposed by the DHS in June, employers would be forced to do the opposite--proceed on the assumption that a no-match letter is evidence that an employee is unauthorized to work, unless and until proven otherwise. I hate going out on a limb here, but if you got a no-match letter and you're are working legally, shouldn't a quick trip home to grab some paperwork take care of things?

Moreover, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities would consider a no-match letter to be an indication employers had “constructive knowledge” that “unauthorized” employees were on the job--in other words, that management knowingly hired undocumented workers, which would result in fines and other penalties. Good. There are programs in place to check this stuff out. Employers who aren't using them deserve what they get.

“Employers are potentially going to be liable for violating immigration law,” Tyler Moran of the National Immigration Law Center, said of the proposed rule change. “They are going to be overcautious and likely discriminate against those who look or sound foreign.” Not decent ones, but then decency can't be legislated.

Although it isn’t clear when or even if the proposed rule change will go into effect, some employers are acting as if the rule is already in place. Huh. Not only does enforcement work...the THREAT of enforcement works.

One is Apple Illinois LLC, the operator of 35 Illinois franchises of the Applebee’s restaurant chain. After receiving SSA no-match letters regarding two employees at different restaurants in the Chicago suburbs, the company dismissed the two men. Did they prove they were working legally?

The employees, Juan Oropez and Jorge López, worked with the Chicago Workers Collaborative to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the company of discrimination. Did they prove they were working legally???

According to attorney Chris Williams, who volunteers with the Chicago Workers Collaborative, Apple Illinois LLC routinely restricts Latinos to kitchen jobs--and in the case of Oropez and López, paid them by the hour when, as managers, they should have been paid at a higher salary. DID THEY PROVE THEY WERE WORKING LEGALLY?????

Now comes the use of Social Security no-match letters as justification for terminating the two men--a foretaste, Williams said, of what will take place everywhere should the proposed DHS rules take effect. “What this proposes to do is make employers immigration [agents], plain and simple,” Williams said. Yeah. I didn't think so.

The process has already begun, with top corporate employment firms already advising their clients that they can--and should--regard no-match letters as an indication that an employee is unauthorized to work. Well, it's certainly an indication to check. HINT: the first one comes when someone fills out an I-9 form.

Read the rest of the article if you can stomach it. I've had my fun. Even in my Vicodin haze, that's about all I can take.

Goodnight Ma. Goodnight Pa. Goodnight John Boy.

Technorati Tags
Illegal Immigration * Illegal Aliens * Social Security Fraud * Socialists



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