Evan Provides An Easy Fix to Illegal Immigration

Evan Provides An Easy Fix to Illegal Immigration

IllegalALIEN

I think I have an easy and constitutional fix to the illegal immigration problem.  I have had this idea for years, but it recently came up when discussing Arizona’s New Law.

If you haven’t been following, Arizona just passed a law that requires,

police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally. It also requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally.

If I had to venture a guess, I would guess that this law will eventually be found unconstitutional; a law can be found unconstitutional if it is vague.  I found a great website that explains void for vagueness for those that are not lawyers (or those lawyers who graduated years ago).  Void for Vagueness advances four important principals:

  • the doctrine encourages the government to clearly distinguish conduct that is lawful from that which is unlawful. Under the Due Process Clauses, individuals must be given adequate notice of their legal obligations so they can govern their behavior accordingly. When individuals are left uncertain by the wording of an imprecise statute, the law becomes a standardless trap for the unwary.
  • Second, the void for vagueness doctrine curbs the ARBITRARY and discriminatory enforcement of criminal statutes. Penal laws must be understood not only by those persons who are required to obey them but by those persons who are charged with the duty of enforcing them.
  • Third, the void for vagueness doctrine discourages judges from attempting to apply sloppily worded laws. Like the rest of society, judges often labor without success when interpreting poorly worded legislation. In particular cases, courts may attempt to narrowly construe a vague statute so that it applies only to a finite set of circumstances.
  • A fourth reason for the void for vagueness doctrine is to avoid encroachment on FIRST AMENDMENT freedoms, such as FREEDOM OF SPEECH and religion. Because vague laws cause uncertainty in the minds of average citizens, some citizens will inevitably decline to take risky behavior that might land them in jail.

So this law allows a police officer to stop whomever they suspect as an illegal immigrant to depend ID? What does that mean? How could they possible suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant? Because they are speaking Spanish or look a little darker?

But all this doesn’t matter if we would just follow my plan!

Easy Way to Fix Illegal Immigration

I refuse to believe I am the first one to come up with this option, but I really believe in it, and haven’t heard a politician just say it.  I have a tendency to make things simpler than they really are, so don’t be afraid to call me out on it!  Forget about the illegal immigrant himself, attack the underlying problem and the symptom will go away.

Just start fining the hell out of those that employ illegal aliens.  Once the jobs disappear it will become known that the United States is not the place for easy jobs, and the problem will solve itself.

Around me there is a large lawn maintenance industry that is known to use illegal aliens.  But if that company was to receive a $1,000 or $2,000 fine for every worker that they can’t provide documentation for, I can guarantee there would be a second thought given to whether to offer a day job to a person who is not a US Citizen or legal alien.

Another benefit, the infrastructure is already in place! The City of New York has multiple departments whose sole job is to visit businesses to determine whether they have every license they need – just have them ask for documentation for every employee!  and when they can’t…FINE AWAY.

The only reason I can come up with that this isn’t already in place, is that politicians don’t really want to fix the problem.

What am I missing? Agree? Disagree?

33 Responses to Evan Provides An Easy Fix to Illegal Immigration

  1. Well since you asked what you are missing…What you are missing is that it already has been unlawful to hire illegals for almost a quarter century (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986).

    The sanctions contained in that Act (which on it’s face imposes some serious financial penalties) have had little or no effect,

    There are many reasons for that. I believe there are two primary reasons.

    1. Many employers found that it was worth the risk of taking the fines since they were unable to find legal workers willing to do that kind of work. We are spoiled as hell. You put the average American in a steam filled commercial kitchen to wash pots and pans they tend not to last more than a few days. Ask them to stoop in a field and plant sugar cane for a full day and they tend not to last an hour. As one farmer put it “you want real Immigration reform then be prepared to pay $5 for a cucumber” Many employers view it as.. risk the fines or go out of business.

    2. Also relating to money. Everybody (including me) wants enforcement of our laws, but enforcement is incredibly expensive. Yes the employers can be sanctioned and yes the employees can be deported but be prepared to have your taxes skyrocket.

    I’m not defending illegal aliens (or those that employ them) just addressing the reality of what has occurred over the past 24 years of the existence of the exact type of law that you are proposing. You propose a wonderful idea. It was a wonderful idea in 1986 when it actually occurred. It has also failed miserably.

    • “Also relating to money. Everybody (including me) wants enforcement of our laws, but enforcement is incredibly expensive.”

      I know for a fact there is a department in the city of New York whose sole job is to walk around to all the bars and restaurants and check for a liquor license. When you don’t have one, they have the jurisdictional power to write a summons/ticket.

      Do the same thing at the local enforcement level. Hell give it to the same people instead of walking out after asking about the liquor license…just ask, “Hey where is that guy’s work file?”

  2. Your method is good in principle, but my guess is the illegals are paid in cash, which is hard to track. It would probably take a full blown audit of each company to find missing cash. Audits are expensive.

    I don’t really have a better idea though, I don’t know enough about the problem.

    • I am not talking about Audits of company records I am talking about some guy or gal with a clipboard pointing to a bunch of workers at a worksite and asking, “Where is the paper work you used when you hired him?”

      • You’re arguing against the AZ law, but for the right of a government official to call for a business owner to open up his records on demand?

        • I believe AZ’s law will be found unconstitutional, and Yes, I am against it. I don’t believe officers could possibly suspect someone to be illegal without it based solely on their skin color or language.

          If a business is required to keep those records, much like they are required to keep a liquor license on premises, OR elevator inspection, why is the gov’t allowed to ask or that info but not the legal status of an employee?

  3. I agree with you. I think that it’s not just the politicians who don’t want to ‘fix’ illegal immigration though. Probably a lot of business owners do not wan to ‘fix’ it because they would have to do without cheap labor (and also labor that can be bullied and harassed without much recourse to legal assistance).

    I think that a lot of consumers don’t really want to ‘fix’ the problem because they like having cheap produce and cheap construction available to them. . . Illegal aliens come to the US because they find work–take that away and they won’t come.

    I guess another way to ‘fix’ the problem would be to create some kind of legal temporary worker legislation (as they have in Canada, I believe) or to just let our economy take such a nosedive as to create fewer jobs. . .

    By the way, I’m not so sure illegal immigration is a ‘problem’ in terms of business and economy–possibly for security reasons . . .but then again, I’m not sure keeping clandestine workers out of the country would help keep out dangerous criminals.

    That said, here in France, we’re expected to be able to produce ID at any time–but they’re kind of equal opportunity about stopping you at checkpoints or occasionally in bars.

    • Over on this side of the pond a gov’t official can’t just ask you for ID unless it is at a check point, or you are doing something wrong (i.e. speeding or being wasted in public).

      When the “something wrong” is basically how you look or the language you are speaking in pulbic it kind of scares me.

      I am a libertarian…I just want the gov’t out of my life (both in taxes = consv values and in liberties = liberal values)

      • Evan-

        I’m having a very difficult time reconciling your answer here with your answer to me (above).

        It seems to me that you are proposing that a shop keeper who is doing nothing wrong should be required to turn over evidence that may be against his own interest and completely unrelated to the (liquor)license he holds.

        Why can’t the government(without any proof of wrongdoing) force me to turn over all weapons and registrations in my home (making sure that I’m not hiding any illegal weapons) because I got a fishing license 5 years ago, or demand all my financial documents (making sure that I’m not defrauding anybody) just because I have a driver’s license?

        • “It seems to me that you are proposing that a shop keeper who is doing nothing wrong should be required to turn over evidence that may be against his own interest and completely unrelated to the (liquor)license he holds.”
          - A bar in NYC is required to produe the liquor license when requested at a spot check, regardless, of whether the bartender is/was suspected of serving to an underage person. Why can’t that same standard be used for anyone who uses the State’s creditor protection when applying for an LLC, LLP, PC, INC, etc.

          • Because it is not the same standard.

            In your liquor license hypothetical the government agent is demanding documents that are directly related to the license being held.

        • It seems like you agree with me that you don’t particularly care for the Arizona Law, but at the same time you think my answer to the problem is not feasible.

          Am I correct?

          • Correct.

            Except I would go one step further. In my opinion your solution is not only infeasible, but would also lead to the sort of wholesale government intrusion that appears to so concern you in your response to Simple in France.

            Essentially “If you hold any kind of government issued license we can demand that you turn over anything we want”

            You don’t have to be a libertarian (and I’m not) to find that whole concept chilling.

  4. Evan–yes, I wasn’t trying to argue that because things are done a certain way in France they should be done the same way in the US–or even that they are right, just that your government doesn’t necessarily become an overnight gestapo because it occurs.

    But Weston has a point as well–is it more justified to stop individuals on the street than it is to ask business owners to open their books? Or would law enforcement have to get warrants to do such checking?

    Still, in theory, I’m much more with the idea of fining the business owners than the ‘aliens’ themselves (and individual employers–man, the number of people in my native California who employ illegal immigrants AND rail against illegal immigration!).

  5. Weston,

    We ran out of thread room so I moved it down here…but what if the standard to run a creditor protected entity (Inc. LLP, LLC, etc.) is based on the fact that you only hire those legally allowed to work in the US? (Granted there are a ton of sole properiterships today, but lets ignore that for a second.)

    Would that make you feel better about this proposal?

  6. Would that hypothetical law require that same entity to provide documents to prove that they are not committing other types of crimes as well?

    You’re an LLP so the state division of corporations can force you to disprove that you’re money laundering, or smuggling komodo dragons? Turn over any and all evidence against you?

    I’ve got no problem with Immigration enforcement but it needs to be done by I.C.E. pursuant to the I&N Act.

    If the current I&N Act isn’t doing what it is supposed to (and clearly it isn’t)then Congress should amend it. If ICE isn’t enforcing the Act then it should be held accountable and given the resources to do so. Just be prepared for the higher taxes and (even more) rapidly ballooning deficit.

    By the way I’m greatly enjoying this exchange. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  7. Well, one thing you’re missing is how a lot of things are going to get a LOT more expensive around here. Like produce, for example.

    Whether we like it or not, there is a lot of work that white people won’t do — especially not for the wages that a lot of illegal immigrants will work for. So as the cost of business rises, so do prices.

    There was a small town in Washington that got raided and the plant in town nearly went out of business because it couldn’t afford to hire workers at prices they were willing to take. It was gross work. A fish farm or something that involved lots of guts, lots of smelly stuff, etc.

    Frankly, I think there are a lot better ways to use taxpayer money than to go around weeding out illegal immigrants. They’re often doing work no one else wants to do, and, depending on the business, they’re still paying taxes and Social Security. In fact, some studies suggest that SS would already be bankrupt if it weren’t for all the illegals paying in who can’t actually claim their benefits.

    • “Whether we like it or not, there is a lot of work that white people won’t do — especially not for the wages that a lot of illegal immigrants will work for. So as the cost of business rises, so do prices.”
      - This argument doesn’t sit well with me. It is used often (probably too often). I am a believer in free markets, and if there is a job that no one wants wages for the job will have to increase until supply and demand meet. Will that increase prices? Maybe/probably but any time you F with the market bad shit seems to follow (I wasn’t alive but I have read about the HAVOK which was caused by wage/price controls in the late 60s early 70s).

      “they’re still paying taxes and Social Security”
      - Woah but they aren’t! Thats what makes the whole system screwed up. Why would they pay any taxes? You think FICA is being witheld from some guy paid in cash cleaning up fish shit (your example from above lol)?

      • Actually, a lot of illegal immigrants working for larger companies have to get fake papers. Which means they’re paying taxes and SS. And they can’t afford to risk filing returns to get refunds — nor can they risk trying to get Social Security. As I said, there’s evidence that illegals are one of the only reasons Social Security is still solvent.

        Yes, there are a lot of illegals working under the table. But you know what? Those same companies will pay regular people under the table too. It’s cheaper for everyone: workers don’t pay taxes, companies don’t pay employment taxes. It’s win-win. For them, anyway.

        • I never considered the fake papers part, however, I bet it is not a net gain for the country. Meaning those that do pay into the system (which I would venture to guess, maybe I can look up papers later) are MUCH less then those that do nothing for the system and use its resources through k-12 education, food stamps, emergency programs, and health care write offs (going to ER and ignoring the bills).

      • “I am a believer in free markets, and if there is a job that no one wants wages for the job will have to increase until supply and demand meet.”

        A fair point Evan but one that I believe has been weakened tremendously by globalization.

        If an employer can’t find legal workers here in the US to do the job at those low wages, he’s not going to raise the wages, he’s going (if at all possible) to outsource that job to countries where people are willing to work for that wage.

    • Hmmm I might be a little too much for the American people. How about if I run with a hippie blogger who just beat me out in the Alexa Rankings?

      That may make me tolerable.

  8. I was just watching the movie Food Inc last night. In it the subject of illegal immigrants working for giant food producers came up. Instead of going after the company they gov’t goes after the people.

    This allows the company to keep its cheap labor and keep their prices low for everyone.

    I agree that companies should be held responsible for hiring. I think in many cases they encourage illegal workers to come work for them. Going after the people themselves for trying to raise their quality of life, something our forefathers did centuries ago, just doesn’t seem…American.

  9. Food Inc was an eye opener. Its been on PBS as part of the POV show lately. Take a look if you can.

    As for cheap products and low prices, just because a product costs less money due to cheap labor it doesn’t mean the product is inexpensive. It just means the price isn’t capturing all of the external costs we incur. All the people who aren’t paying into social security are a cost to us later on. All those who may go to the hospital because they need to that don’t have insurance are a cost to us. When a person without car insurance gets into an accident that’s a cost to us. So cheap labor only helps the company but doesn’t really help the consumer.

    That no one else would do those jobs? Sure they would. As mentioned, if the jobs can’t be filled then wages will go up until someone fills the position.

  10. And who is going to do all the dishwashing, garment sewing, tomato picking, hotel room cleaning, etc, etc, when they are gone? what about cooking your meals at your favirite restaurant? Let’s see……Oh, I know…the unemployed.

  11. we don’t need new laws. enforce the ones we have now. It’s easy I think…

    if you came here legally, you are welcome here. if not, you need to leave. No amnesty.

    seems very simple to me. take the politics out of it, and the racism card everyone keeps crying about, and uphold the laws.

    put the national guard on the borders. stop the insanity.

  12. When stopped by the police, one must always present a legal ID. What’s the big deal? If you are here illegally you get sent back home, period. If you are here illegally, make yourself legal, period. What is the big deal????? It is a shame that a veteran of this country’s armed forces can be foreclosed upon; denied healthcare; lose a pension but an illegal immigrant mother with children can be given a monthly stipend, free housing and healthcare, and three squares a day for contributing nothing to this country. It is not right.

    • When stopped by the police, one must always present a legal ID.

      - only if you are doing something wrong or if it is a check point. There are a few S.Ct Cases that go over thi point. If I am walking down the street (not drunk lol) a cop can not legally ask me for ID, and that is what I am worried about with AZ’s new law.

  13. Hum, interesting idea. I’ve had similar thoughts myself. While I do think that fining employers would have quite an impact on illegal immigration (and think the only reason we haven’t seen that sort of approach taken yet is because the people who benefit from cheap immigrant labor provide higher campaign contributions than those hoping to end illegal immigration), I don’t think it’s a silver bullet, one solution fix. Here’s a few reasons why:
    1) Not all immigrants come here to work: There’s many reasons people come to the US, not all of which have to do with finding better work. From fleeing religious or ethnic persecution to trying to escape natural disasters and corrupt governments (hello, Cuba), even if everyone around the world realized tomorrow that jobs in the US were only going to US citizens, there would still be people trying to get into the country.
    2) It’s tough to get the fine levels exactly right: If the fine is too low, businesses might decide to go ahead and risk getting caught, because they’ll still come out ahead in the end. If the fines are too high, it can put an undue burden on small business owners or individuals who happen to employ immigrants without thoroughly checking their paperwork. (Hell, I’m no lawyer; if I hired a few handymen to work on my house, I’d have no idea what sort of papers to check to ensure they were legal.)
    Personally, I’d like to see us have a more realistic conversation about immigration, work, and pay rates. Maybe we can’t really expect to buy apples at $2 a pound AND have them grown in the US and harvested by American workers. Whether we are willing to up the price we’re going to pay for goods that are ‘Harvested by Americans’ or accept that immigration/importation is the price of cheap agriculture products (amongst other immigrant associated lines of work), I’m not sure, but it’s about time we starting having THAT conversation, not screaming about ‘They took our jobs’.

    • The fine level would be difficult to determine but that shouldn’t be the reason not to enforce this type of idea.

      “Personally, I’d like to see us have a more realistic conversation about immigration, work, and pay rates.”

      I think this is a realistic idea. It is basically just enforcing the laws we already have.

      I often thought that there is a hole for products/goods that have the made in the United States Sticker. Would I pay an extra buck if I were given some sort of assurance that it was harvested by Americans (not necessarily Unionized Americans LOL)

      • “Personally, I’d like to see us have a more realistic conversation about immigration, work, and pay rates.”

        I think this is a realistic idea. It is basically just enforcing the laws we already have.

        My point was less directed at you (since you did come up with an idea that seems workable, reasonable, and much more practical than a several thousand mile long wall manned by tens of thousands of federal troops (which does nothing about people who come into the country in ways that have nothing to do with crossing the US Mexico border, but I digress)) and more a point about the state of the immigration issue and the dialogue we have about it as a country. I sometimes fear that a mature, reasonable discussion about the issues that affect our country is no longer possible. Here’s hoping that I’m wrong.

        I do think there’s probably a market for ‘Made in the USA’ goods that could be exploited by clever marketers/producers; why there hasn’t been more of a ‘Buy American’ movement, particularly in the wake of this recession, I do not know.

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