Immigration Newsletter

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Immigration Debate Steps Into the Kitchen - NYTimes.com

Immigration Debate Steps Into the Kitchen - NYTimes.com: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

here is a link to an interesting article by: Sarah Kershaw of the NYT

Click on the link above to read the article -- my comment starts here:

Undocumented workers are not just found in the fields harvesting crops; many businesses and even entire industries have a segment of their employee pool that consists of immigrant workers - and not all of them are in the country legally. They were here when the unemployment rate was in the 4% range and many still remain.

You may have heard or read recently that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has dropped substantially over the past two years. The Department of Homeland Security does deport quite a number of people every year ( I have heard estimates in the area of 350 thousand). However, in the past, that has been more than offset by the number of new people either coming illegally or coming legally and then overstaying their visas. What has changed? The economy of course -- construction, for example, is one of the big employment categories where immigrant workers find jobs. Now that construction has slowed to a snail's pace some undocumented workers (mostly non-Mexicans as I read it) have left and fewer are making the journey to the United States.

My job as an immigration lawyer is to find ways for workers and employers here in New Hampshire and the rest of New England to comply with the always changing immigration laws. It is important for our economy that workers are here legally; it helps protect the workers themselves from exploitation, it helps ensure fair competition for labor so that US citizen workers are not put at an unfair disadvantage, it helps with the proper collection of employment related taxes, and it makes for a more stable and productive economic environment.

In years past - immigration law enforcement against business has been pretty spotty at best. Politicians and government agencies weren't interested in hearing flak from business and industry groups and chambers of commerce about stifling the economy with immigration enforcement. Businesses who have not been careful about their compliance activities with the immigration laws need to take notice because that policy is changing.