After decades of hiring illegal aliens and lobbying against any and all restrictions on immigration, Big Business is about to find out the real costs of the Open Borders it has subsidized.
In California, the Washington Times reported last week, thousands of Mexicans who have worked for some of the state's and the nation's largest supermarket chains are joining in a class action suit against their employers.
They also have the aid of the Mexican government. [Mexico urges immigrants to join class-action suit, By Jerry Seper, March 22, 2004]
The grounds of the suit, brought by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), one of the most radical Open Borders lobby groups, are that the supermarkets have discriminated against the workers "because they were employed as independent contractors."
The claim is that the supermarket chains since 1994 or so have fraudulently hired workers—mainly for menial jobs like cleaning floors—as independent contractors and thereby "reaped millions of dollars in annual labor costs savings" by paying less than minimum wages, avoiding paying benefits costs and forcing workers to work seven days a week.
Well, what else would you expect? What, after all, is the point of hiring illegal aliens if you can't exploit them in ways that you can't exploit Americans?
Whether the companies are guilty or not is not really of much interest. What's interesting is first of all El Grande Pollo that is finally coming home to roost on the hefty bank accounts of the supermarkets.
The suit's plaintiffs—700 so far—are seeking what attorneys say is "millions of dollars" in compensation for back wages, overtime and benefits for the nine-year period covered by the claims as well as forfeiture of "all profits acquired by means of any unfair business practices."
Of course, if the suit succeeds, it will set a precedent for similar court actions against meat packers, food processors, agribusiness, the hotel and restaurant industry, construction firms and any other businesses that for years have wallowed in the cheap labor that Americans supposedly won't do.
The other point of interest in the case is the involvement of the Mexican government—in a lawsuit brought in American courts on behalf of all those "new Americans" of whom the Open Borders gang is so fond, as long as they shut up, get to work and don't bring lawsuits.
The "new Americans," of course, are not necessarily Americans at all, and many—probably most—are illegal aliens. The judge in the case has ruled that the workers' immigration status at the time of their employment is not relevant to whether they were fairly compensated. Hence, millions may be eligible to join.
The Mexican consulate in San Diego, the Times reports, held a news conference last week to urge workers to join the suit. "This lawsuit is important," pronounced Mexican Consul General Luis Cabrera Cuaron [Email the consulate] at the news conference, "because it involves large numbers of our nationals and because it insists that their rights be respected, regardless of their legal status."
It's also important because through its open involvement in the case the Mexican government is officially siding with the workers against American businesses.
And what the Mexican government is thereby announcing is that the Mexicans involved in the suit don't need to look to the American government for help. The U.S. government is not their real government any more than the United States is their real country. Mexico is their real country, regardless of whether they're here legally or not. And the government in Mexico City is their real government.
The message is in part to the thousands of Mexicans who are or might become part of the suit, but it's also in part a message to the U.S. government that the "new Americans"—over whom President Bush, most Republicans, all Democrats, Big Business and the heavy-lifters in the Open Borders Literary and Cogitation Society have long gushed—are not Americans at all.
The message tells us what critics of mass immigration have tried to explain for years, that when you have millions of people coming from one country to another, you do not have an addition to the receiving country. You have an invasion by the sending country.
For decades the Mexican government has encouraged massive emigration, using its own population and our weakness and greed to conquer a good part of our country, and has firmly denounced and resisted any effort by us to control immigration.
Americans, including the president, may not yet get this message, though some signs suggest that many are starting to.
But after the Mexican government sends it a few more times and helps bankrupt the businesses that have served as the best allies of Mexico's re-conquest of their own nation, the message will be received and understood.
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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future and here for Glynn Custred's review.]