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Use Employer Sanctions to Control Immigration

June 02, 2005

Re "Employers of Illegal Immigrants Face Little Risk of Penalty," May 29: If we want to reduce illegal immigration, we must sanction the entire spectrum of illegal employers, from the multinational CEO who knowingly contracts with a supplier of undocumented janitors to the middle-class family that hires undocumented cleaners, gardeners and nannies. Supply-side solutions never work: As long as a demand exists, the supply will rise up to meet it. Prohibition proved that.

Employers demand cheap, disposable workers, and so the supply comes. Arrest the employers, or fine them in a way that truly hurts, and the demand will dry up.

Employer sanctions would not shut down businesses, they would shut down a corrupt system. Businesses would finally have to pay living wages and provide safe working conditions. In turn, all of us would have to pay the real cost of goods and services, instead of letting undocumented workers subsidize our way of life. Shame on us if we prefer the status quo.

Kay M. Gilbert

Santa Monica

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It was news to me that illegals are turning up in nuclear plants, oil refineries, a Boeing military helicopter plant and petrochemical refineries. Added to the already impressive list of good jobs taken by illegals -- electricians, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, real estate agents, etc. -- one has to wonder, is it the offshoring of American jobs or the onshoring that's killing us?

Doug Hammond

Bellingham, Wash.

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Finally someone mentions the cause of our immigration problem. The threat of a third-strike conviction mandating 75 years in jail for employers who hire illegal aliens without checking the validity of their Social Security number would do more to shut down illegal immigration than all the Minutemen in the world. I wonder if there is a connection between employers picking up our politicians' campaign costs and the uninterrupted source of extremely cheap, nonunion, easily replaceable workers?

Pat Ormsbee

Newport Beach

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George Garcia of the Sunset Car Wash gets proper (albeit forged) documents for each new hire but does not call "to see if the documents are phony." Well, of course not. He is not required to do so, and he also knows that he would be on hold for half his life, hearing "your call is important to us, etc." if he did make the call.

What is of interest to me is that if I have my car waxed and detailed by Garcia's staff and give him my Visa card, the process is different. Garcia is required to verify by telephone or through electronic terminal the legitimacy of my card (if he wants to get paid).

Congress could require employers to verify Social Security numbers of new hires, but it doesn't. We all know why: The Democrats don't want to because they believe the illegals will vote someday in their column, and the Republicans listen too closely to some employer groups that need the cheap labor to compete.

Ron Thomson

Cheviot Hills

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