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Workers Need Seizure of Assets

September 05, 1993

* In reference to Assemblyman Tom Umberg's (D-Garden Grove) proposal to seek an asset forfeiture law aimed at employers who willfully employ workers without legal documentation ("Umberg Aims Tough State Bill at Employers of Illegal Immigrants," Aug. 31):

I am appalled that Assemblyman Curt Pringle (R-Garden Grove) would attack this measure as the wrong approach. I have personally witnessed dozens of honest subcontractors in the construction industry bankrupted by sleazy contractors who purposefully seek out a work force that cannot defend itself against slave wages, no benefits and unsafe working conditions.

Those honest businesses that were bankrupted already had their assets seized. Sleazy employers feel that you and I can pay for their company health plan with county indigent health care programs. This proposed legislation is not anti-immigrant. It will help citizens, legal immigrants and amnesty recipients put a floor on those who destroy decent contracting and decent employment opportunities with a ready supply of slave labor and sleazy business practices. Maybe, with legislators like Tom Umberg, the construction industry will be restored as a ladder of opportunity for so many immigrant families to better themselves and the next generation.


Los Angeles/Orange County Building and

Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO

* Can this be the same Tom Umberg who refused to support the bill AB 1986 by Assemblyman Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside), that would require the school districts in California to ask a simple question as to whether or not the student was legally in the United States?

Surely, Umberg is serious about the illegal immigration issue, but I find it hard to believe that his grandstand position is from his heart and not from his ego that wants a statewide office for an Orange County Democrat. If Umberg is serious about the flood of illegal immigrants entering daily across our border and settling in California, then he should get behind a tamper-proof Social Security card. We would finally be able to take away the job magnet with a document that all legal residents and U.S. citizens would have to present to an employer.. Umberg must be joking to think employers are qualified to determine the viability of the documents they are presented by employees today. The tamper-proof Social Security card will dry up the jobs and do more to stop illegal (immigrants) from coming to get jobs than seizing the property of constituents in Umberg's Assembly district.


Newport Beach

Harold W. Ezell is the former commissioner of the INS, Western Region.

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