Saturday, May 21

HOW TOUGH IS BUSH ADMINISTRATION IN GOING AFTER EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE ILLEGALS?

In the wake of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcment's (ICE) round-up yesterday of 60 alleged illegal immigrants working as contract employees in industries "considered vital to national security," most of them here in Texas and 23 of whom were leased out to three Houston-area refineries, the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required), in a copyrighted story this morning by Edward Hegstrom, points to a telling fact:

Nationwide, the arrests of employers who hired illegal immigrants plummeted from nearly 18,000 in 1997 to just 445 in 2003, according to ICE.
In the context of post-"9/11" homeland security enforcement, this is an abysmal record by the Bush Administration and indicative of the president's (and Congress') indifference to the impact of our porous borders' issue and runaway illegal immigration, particularly Mexican nationals entering this country virtually at will.

The 60 arrested were employed by a Beaumont, Texas company -- Brock Enterprises -- that provides contract/leased employees to refineries and power plants, and typically in maintenance-related positions, according to the "Houston Chronicle." Said to be "cooperating" with authorities, the company is nonetheless reported as not responding to inquiries from reporters.

According to reporter Edward Hegstrom, Luisa Deason, a spokeswoman with ICE, has indicated that some among the 60 arrested could face criminal charges for document fraud. Of course, the question necessarily follows that if all 60 of the purported illegals did not engage in document fraud, then how did those who did not get hired by Brock Enterprises? And the follow-up question, of course, is what are the internal procedures -- the practices in place -- used by refineries, chemical manufacturing plants, and power stations to ensure that contract or leased employees provided by third party agencies are, in fact, U.S. citizens and do not pose a risk vis-a-vis plant security and possible terrorist sabotage?

Hegstrom writes:

Officials first learned last March that some employees at a Florida nuclear power plant may have been illegal immigrants. The workers were employed by Brock Enterprises, a Beaumont company that provides employees to refineries and power plants.

Government agents then audited the records at Brock and discovered other illegal immigrant workers. Brock has cooperated and is not under investigation, Deason said. She noted that Brock kept proper records, and that some of the workers may have supplied the company with false documents.

This should put to bed permanently the notion, fueled by open-borders, pro-immigration forces, that illegal immigrants (these organizations customarily use the euphemistic term "undocumented workers") come to this country in desparation and take only low-paying jobs that Americans refuse to do, typically in agriculture (so-called "stoop labor"). Fact is, illegals have been found working for the Federal government in airport security and for a company that provides "Meals Ready To Eat" to the Department of Defense, as but two egregious examples. Now they're found working in oil refineries -- refineries located in the heart of one of the world's largest petro-chemical manufacturing centers. As I wrote yesterday, the Gulf Coast region of the United States, from the Greater Houston area all the way to New Orleans and on to Mobile, Alabama, is saturated with petro-chemical plants. This is a target-rich environment for terrorists bent on harming America and Americans, and if illegal immigrants by the millions can cross into this country unimpeded from Mexico and some of them find jobs in refineries, chemical plants, and power stations, then tell me, what could terrorists do to us?

This blogger holds out little hope that this will be a wake-up call for the Bush Administration; but, it can be a wake-up call for concerned Americans -- Americans justifiably worried about jobs, national security, and the ongoing, deleterious impact to this nation of uncontrolled immigration and unsecured borders.

How about signing this petition to put President Bush and Congress on notice? Over 400,000 of your fellow citizens have! Please do your part.