Federal authorities have accused 13 Arizona motel owners of harboring illegal aliens brought by smugglers into the United States and will seek to seize their businesses as part of a nationwide investigation into a network of hotels and motels being used as "stash houses." U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Dean Boyd said indictments charging the owners of six motels in Mesa, Ariz., were unsealed yesterday after a nine-month undercover investigation, accusing them of harboring illegal aliens and of facilitating organized human smuggling. Twelve of those named in the indictments have been arrested, said Mr. Boyd, who described the owners as ethnic Indians. He said eight of those charged were identified as U.S. citizens, while five others were listed as citizens of Britain now in the United States on green cards. "Human smuggling is a ruthless criminal enterprise that puts the safety of our communities and even our country at risk," said ICE Special Agent-in-Charge Roberto G. Medina, who heads the agency's office of investigations in Arizona. "Businesses like these that collude with human smugglers bear a substantial responsibility for the violence and bloodshed that this illicit trade generates."[13 motel owners charged with housing illegals , By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times November 11, 2005]
You notice that the ICE spokesman described the suspects as " ethnic Indians." This is to avoid the absurdity of saying that there were eight Americans and five Britons.
As it happens, eight of the thirteen suspect were named Patel, which is a very common name for motel owners in the United States.
The subhead was "No, but you might think so if you've stayed in a motel lately. More than half of American motels are now owned by Indians, most from a single Hindu subcaste."
Varadarajan [send him email] thinks this is a Good Thing, not just because they're his kind of people, but because he works for the Wall Street Journal , and has assimilated to their anti-nativist culture.
I'm not so sure it's a Good Thing, and in 2002, I pointed out that a lot of these motels have been financed with affirmative action loans from the Small Business Administration.
I quoted Joel Millman's 1995 story in Forbes, which said
Nor were the immigrants shy about cashing in on U.S. affirmative action programs. Though in no sense disadvantaged, Patels qualified as a "minority" and tapped below-prime financing offered by the Small Business Administration. [Emphasis added]Patel, Inc. By Joel Millman, Forbes, August 14, 1995 )
Since these immigrants are displacing American motel owners, and doing it with taxes paid by those same motel owners, it may not be such a Good Thing after all.
And while the Patels, members of India's Vaishya businesman caste, may make very good motel owners, this latest arrest shows why turning over an entire industry to immigrant entrepreneurs may be a Bad Thing rather than a good one.
More from Vadarajan's 1999 article:
"The hotel establishment once didn't want to know about us," chortles Amin. "But now we are the establishment."
That kind of success has, inevitably, bred resentment in some quarters. In some parts of the rural South, white competitors have been known to add a potent and less-than-subtle phrase to their motel signs: "American-Owned."
I suppose the WSJ would think that was a Bad Thing.