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Missing the immigration point

Posted: January 26, 2010 10:50 p.m.
Updated: January 27, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Sadly, the comments Councilman Bob Kellar made - and the whole Minuteman rally itself - entirely miss the point and continue to mislay the blame for illegal immigration.

While it is important to secure our borders, that alone will never stanch the flow of illegal immigrants as long as employers here continue to hire and exploit them.

Why is it that the poor and desperate people who come here to try to improve their lives take the full weight of our ire while the companies that hire them get a free pass?

Corporations use illegal labor to keep downward pressure on American wages and the penalties for doing so are so minor that it costs little to flout the law.

If America really had the political will to solve the illegal immigration problem, it would start by assessing meaningful fines and penalties against employers who equally break the law to hire them.

I'm not talking about the usual cost-of-doing-business type fine, but business-crippling fines and jail time for corporate officers. I can guarantee that companies facing major penalties would no longer offer substandard wage jobs to illegal immigrants.

If and when the jobs dry up, illegal immigrants will go home on their own, making deportation unnecessary. The recession has forced a drop in illegal immigration for the first time in decades, proving employment is what keeps them coming.

The current unemployment rate in California is 12.4 percent.

How many of California's remaining jobs are still being filled by illegal immigrants? Why are those companies allowed to get away with it?

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