Spencer S. Hsu writes in the Washington Post:
A federal judge yesterday barred the Bush administration from launching a crackdown Tuesday on U.S. employers who hire illegal immigrants while she considers a lawsuit by the AFL-CIO that charges that the plan will harm citizens and other legal workers.
The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney in San Francisco, prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from starting to mail notices to 140,000 employers about suspect Social Security numbers. The "no- match" letters warn of penalties employers face by having discrepancies in their paperwork. The order was a victory for the labor federation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit alleging that DHS is overstepping its authority to enforce immigration laws and is misusing a Social Security Administration database. They allege that the letters are an effort to pressure businesses to fire workers whose documents are flagged and could expose countless immigrant workers — including law-abiding citizens and legal residents — to job discrimination.[Immigrant Crackdown Halted | Judge Delays DHS Plan to Check Social Security Numbers, By Spencer S. Hsu, September 1, 2007]
One issue is of that allowing illegal immigration to persist lowers the wages of some of the most vulnerable American workers, including those with the least skills and education. The AFL-CIO was founded by folks like Sam Gompers, who, whatever his other flaws understood this point quite well.
I'd love to see a realistic plan for having an immigration law that is actually enforced from the ACLU and AFL-CIO.
Are there problems with the current enforcement trend? Quite possibly there are. The trend to enforcement after long period of non-enforcement has put a lot of poor folks in a very bad position. Their illegal employers have a responsibility to help those folks return home to a situation at least as good as what they started with.
The present role organized labor is playing in the immigration debate is utterly bizarre.