If the USA is going to be a nation of laws it needs to make them, publish them and enforce them. I have been in business long enough to remember the 1986 Immigration Act wherein we started having to fill out I-9 forms. That whole deal did very little to get people to obey published laws, however it created an environment where business was under the gun to follow the law and many were punished because of "paperwork" errors, sure some bad apples ignored the law but most obeyed. But the fake ID card industry took off like a Tesla.
We now have a flawed, at best, system where many immigrants are trapped and many of those that are trapped live and work as slaves not to employers but to the coyote that brought them here and controls them. This is not a small problem in construction!
We all know you can't send everyone that is here illegally home.
Allow the immigrants that don't have legal status to step forward and apply for legal status. Check them out, do background checks, whatever can be done to confirm that they are good, hard-working people. Get them out of the shadows. If they check out, give them status so they can truly work legally and make E-Verify mandatory for all. If they don't step forward or don't check out they need to be sent back to the country where they have legal status.
At the same time, put some teeth in enforcement and get the coyotes that are holding so many of these poor people hostage, and put people in a fair, honest and safe work environment. Walls, fences, more ICE agents will only work if there are laws that all understand and that are equally and fairly enforced.
What would be best for my business? Tell me the rules! Enforce the rules equally and fairly! Or tell me there are no rules, I don't really care. Just tell me.
Martin Stout is president of Go Roof Tune Up, Inc. See his full bio here.
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