The U.S. Supreme Court dispensed a smidgen of common sense in 2002 with a ruling that illegal aliens could not recover lost wages because, well, they could not have legally earned them in the first place.
However, in direct defiance of that ruling, an appellate court in New York has ruled that illegal aliens can collect back wages at their home country's rate. [Sanango v 200 E. 16th St. Hous. Corp.]
A jury handed Arcenio Sanango, an Ecuadoran illegal who fell from a ladder at a Manhattan worksite, $96,000 in lost earnings, both past and future. The award in U.S. dollars couldn't be upheld, the appellate judges acknowledged, so they remanded for a recalculation based on the Ecuadoran pay scale.
"We are unaware... of any federal policy that would be offended by awarding an undocumented alien damages for lost earnings based on the prevailing wage in the alien's country of origin," wrote Justice David Friedman.
Uh, how about that big one that says illegal aliens aren't supposed to be here to begin with?
But here's an idea: By the same token, are illegal aliens who commit crimes in America entitled to "home country" criminal procedure?
If so, we could get confessions with a bullwhip.
Fire up the RealPlayer to watch a gaggle of cheerful Salvadoran politicians celebrating the third extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). (Paste this corrected link into the URL line of the RealPlayer: rtsp://video.c-span.org/15days/e010705_salvador.rm)
The president of El Salvador Elias Antonio Saca appeared at the National Press Club Jan. 7 to chat up the renewal of TPS for 250,000 Salvadorans for another 18 months (until Sept. 9, 2006).
TPS is a non-permanent amnesty awarded on the basis of a nation's natural disasters which for some reason preclude its illegal aliens from being repatriated. (Say, wouldn't these willing workers be helpful in rebuilding the earthquake-damaged country?)
El Salvador's major claim to fame these days is as the home of the ultra-violent Mara Salvatrucha gang (aka MS-13), recently linked to al Qaeda. Gangsters covered by the TPS provisions will now be able to concentrate on their criminal and terrorist activities without worrying about annoying deportations.
Once again, the Bush administration's open-borders expediency is endangering every one of us.
El Presidente Saca was not shy in declaring that his purpose was to wangle American citizenship for his expats (and everyone else, as it happens).
"We are working for permanent legalization of those people who are living in the U.S." he declared.
Salvador may be an insignificant backwater but its leaders have learned a few tricks from neighboring Mexico, the avaricious champ of human dumping for fun and profit.
In fact, PBS calls remittances "El Salvador's biggest industry." Salvadoran officials estimate their dutiful TPSers alone remitted nearly $1 billion last year, a substantial chunk of the nation's total remittance loot of $2.5 billion.
Incidentally, El Salvador is one of the most densely populated countries in the Western Hemisphere. I recall Vdare.com writer Linda Thom comparing Salvador to the sci-fi overpopulation film Soylent Green—at a special CAPS showing attended by star Charlton Heston.
Linda explained that her visit to Salvador included a lot of stepping over people jammed in everywhere, just like in the film.
El Presidente Tony ended his press conference with a perfect summation:
"My purpose is to gain the permanency of these people in the U.S. ... TPS is good but it is only temporary."
On cue, the Haitian contingent of the Gimme Lobby piped up in the press with a "Hey, what about us! We got disasters too!"