Monday, June 19, 2006

Essay 709

A full-time mess in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…

• The New York Times reported on the growing complexities of illegal immigrants working in the U.S. The story stated, “In contrast to the typical image of an illegal immigrant — paid in cash, working under the table for small-scale labor contractors on a California farm or a suburban construction site — a majority now work for mainstream companies, not fly-by-night operators, and are hired and paid like any other American worker.” Additionally, “More than half of the estimated seven million immigrants toiling illegally in the United States get a regular paycheck every week or two, experts say. At the end of the year they receive a W-2 form. Come April 15, many file income tax returns using special ID numbers issued by the Internal Revenue Service so foreigners can pay taxes. Some even get a refund check in the mail.” Click on the essay title above for all the details.

• The Washington Post reported that employers are rarely penalized for hiring illegal workers. According to the story, “In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three.” A spokesperson for an advocacy group backing stricter workplace enforcement said, “The claims of [the Bush administration] and its commitment to interior enforcement of immigration laws are laughable. … The administration only discovered immigration enforcement over the past few months, five years into its existence, and only then because they realized that a pro-enforcement pose was necessary to get their amnesty plan approved.” Plus, they didn’t want to lose their landscapers.

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