New York's State Labor Department has agreed with some workers' advocate groups to watch the labor practices of employers for violations of wage, hour samd safety laws. The New York Times lauds the state's initiative as being a more enlightened way to the issue of employing the undocumented than the federal government's effort to drive them out by tough enforcement. The ICE threats of raids only creates fear and makes the undocumented worker even more beholden to unscrupulous employers. Immigration advocates rightly focus on deportation and family unification. Even the plight of children brought across the border illegally when they were young children have hope in the Dream Act. But ironically, the undocumented worker is entitled by law to fair and safe treatment in the workplace. Only the fear of deportation and family seperation silences their protest. The Times hopes New York State's initiative will curb workers' exploitation and be picked up by other states.
CONGRESSMAN ASKS INVESTIGATION OF SHERIFF JOE
Rep. John Conyers (D. MI), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has written to the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio's treatment of Hispanic immigrants in Maricopa Couty, AZ. (See Arizona Republic article.)
2.2 MILLION DEPORTED IN THE BUSH YEARS
The Inspector Generral's office of Homeland Security reported to Congress that since 1999 2.2 million removals of immigrants by INS and ICE. A hundred thousands of these had children, (see Washington Post article.)