Editor’s note: James Williamson, one of my younger brothers, an Ohio native who is currently residing in Alaska, submitted this guest blog. This is his second guest blog article for Buckeye RINO, the first one (when he was a Utah resident) being “Imminent Rebellion: States vs the Federal Government.” This is another chapter of the Imminent Rebellion saga, and there will be yet another chapter after this one, with this and the next installment examining the sticky subject of immigration. For illegal immigrants and for potential employers, the circumstances that lead them to a point of convergence can turn out to be a morass for both of them. The author asks that you put yourself in the shoes of the immigrant that skirts the laws, and then in the shoes of the employer that may unwittingly hire illegal immigrants. Would you be able to extricate yourself from the tar pit?
Imminent Rebellion: The Tar Pit
First I would like to thank the Buckeye RINO for allowing me a an online venue to express my opinions and sentiments. I would also like to thank him for being a sounding board before I write to help me sort through what I want to say and how to articulate it. Today will be the beginning of a two part blog on perhaps the steamiest issue of them all: immigration.
The controversy over immigration begins with a very simple fact: more people want to come here than current law will allow. It sounds innocuous enough by itself but add some greed, corruption, and an insatiable desire to come to the land of opportunity and it becomes a complicated web that is nearly impossible to unwind.
Let’s imagine for a minute you are living in one of the poorer countries on the planet such as Haiti or the Philippines. You make about $250 a month. To rent an apartment you need about $100 and to buy food you need another $125. (This is not an uncommon scenario in many places of the world). Would you be content with $25 of discretionary income? Let’s say now you are married and have two children. Even with the combined income of both parents and grandma watching the kids you see little improvement. Your income is now $500 but your budget looks something like this:
$200 – rent
$175 – food & expendables
$30 – electricity
$35 – bus fare
$15 – school supplies
$25 – clothing, furniture, etc.
$30 – discretionary
Do you like your life? You live this everyday and if anything happens that causes you to spend more than $30 unexpectedly ruins your life. So you hear that you cousin in the US makes $1500 a month working at a hotel. Three times your current income with only one breadwinner. You start to dream, then you start to salivate. Your desire to leave where you are becomes unbearable so you find out how you can immigrate. It turns out that you can’t get residency because your cousin is not a close enough relative to solicit you and you don’t have enough money to start a business and hire 10 people. You aren’t a professional athlete or famous entertainer and you don’t have a college degree. What avenue do you have left to become a resident of the good old USA? The diversity lottery! The US allows 50,000 green cards a year to be issued for the entire world to increase the diversity in the country. (Don’t ask me the logic behind it because it doesn’t make any sense to me.) So if you are extremely lucky and your country hasn’t hit their limits for immigration (Mexico for example routinely exceeds the limit to be eligible to participate) you might be able to come legally… If you are willing to try every year for fifty years you might even have a 50/50 chance…
So your options now become stay where you are or find a way to get around the law. Obviously many, many people have chosen the latter or I wouldn’t be writing this article today. So how do they do it? Well we actually make it fairly simple for them. Get a visa. Any visa will do, as long as you can get in through the front door you’ve made it to your destination and didn’t even need to hop the Rio Grande, you came in at the airport! If you can’t get a visa it’s more complicated but where there is a will there is a way. You can “borrow” your cousin’s visa or you can avoid the border crossings altogether and come in as a “wetback” (a last resort).
OK so now you are in the the good old USA. It doesn’t really matter which route you took because regardless of how you got here you are in the same condition as everyone else that has chosen to do what you just did: you need a job and no one can legally hire you. Your potential employer wants to hire you but needs proof of work eligibility. Your cousin tells you all you need is a driver’s license and a social security card. Until recently you could get a legitimate driver’s license with your current passport in most states and still can in some, so you pick a state that has looser laws and get a legitimate driver’s license. Now you need a social security card so you go to the social security administration and they issue you a legitimate social security number with a card that has “Not valid for work authorization” written on it. Or if you fear being caught if you show up at a government agency you borrow your cousin’s number. A guy only known as “Pancho” gets you a social security card with your real or borrowed number on it but without the annoying text that says your aren’t allowed to work and voila! You can now show your employer a driver’s license and social security card! Your employer checks your documents that seem to be legitimate (he can’t tell) files his I-9 and you have started your path to prosperity! (Oh, and Pancho told you that he could also get you a US birth certificate if you need one!) At first you love your new lifestyle of generous cash flow and easy living. After a while you hear on the news that Arizona has passed a new law…
OK now let’s switch roles for a minute. You are an employer and Olga comes in looking for employment. Every other Romanian (contrary to popular belief illegal immigrants are not all from Latin America) immigrant you have hired has been a working fool. You interview and she produces a driver’s license and a social security card that look legitimate to you (honestly you can’t tell) and so you file your I-9 and put her to work. The instructions for the I-9 explicitly tell you that you cannot dictate which forms the potential employee needs to show. Even though you suspect that your employee may not really have work authorization the law prevents you from asking for a passport or green card because she has already shown you a driver’s license and social security card. Time goes on and you are happy as a lark with your Romanian machine and they represent more than 50% of your work force. Slaughtering and packing meat is a job that not many others will do at the wages you can offer. You can’t really raise the wages very much though or your competitors will mop the floor with you. Things are looking good for your business until one day ICE knocks on your door…