An article in Workforce Management magazine reports a raid on meat processor, Swift & Co., resulted in 1300 arrests of illegals and 65 criminal arrests of illegals who stole Social Security numbers, birth certificates and other valid documents to obtain work. The article reports that political pressure on the Bush administration has boosted enforcement with criminal arrests up from 25 to 716 over the past four years, and illegal alien arrests increasing from 485 to 3,667.
An interesting slant to this situation is that employers like Swift are now second-guessing their decision to volunteer for the federal government's Basic Pilot program that is supposed to check their new-hires for employment eligibility. Even though it's widely known that the program has serious flaws, employers thought that by cooperating they would get assistance, not raids, from the feds. When Democrats who campaigned on a "comprehensive solution" raise the issue of making the program mandatory, expect widespread opposition by employer groups which will kill the deal. Some groups are already gearing up for the fight.
Another twist in the illegal immigration knot affects Democrats who played the race card against pro-border security candidates during the recent election. Dems aren't quite sure how to handle minorities calling for deportation of illegal aliens. An example of the issue's complexity is reported in last Wednesday's Wall Street Journal in an interesting article entitled Trading Places. The article spotlights a black couple that first embraced the idea of cheap labor associated with hiring illegal aliens en route to building a thriving business that came to rely on workers who would work for less money than citizens. After watching the illegal aliens they hired and trained leave to start their own buisnesses as direct competitors, they have been undercut to the point of almost losing their business altogether. Struggling financially, they have become part of a growing number of minority activists lobbying against illegal immigration. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out in congressional debates about amnesty and border security.