The race to find a cure for U.S. immigration laws continues with job opportunities for illegal workers now in the spotlight. Deferred action work permits put an entirely new spin on the immigration debate as we transition from bypassing labor laws to pretending they no longer exist. The Department of Labor is doing its best to get a foot in the door for illegals with its ongoing crusade to enforce laws against businesses on behalf of migrants. Is anyone in the Obama administration still backing American citizens looking for jobs?
What a glorious time this is for American workers. First, the unemployed were told that the private sector is doing just fine and that small businesses, our best hope for creating new jobs, “didn’t build that.” Now they have to listen to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis promote Labor Rights Week and her department’s Commitment to Safety and Fairness for migrants and illegal workers:
Labor Rights Week, a week-long observance being held Aug. 27-31 this year, to honor the contributions of all workers, regardless of language barriers or immigration status.¹
We are used to Secretary Solis cheering the improving job outlook whenever her department prints a new employment report, but rubbing our faces in the flagrant disregard for labor laws is more than we should stomach. The White House got away with its deferred action order. How much farther is it willing to push federal agencies in its zeal to erase the distinction between American citizens and illegals looking for work?
Unemployed American workers are doing just fine?
After the July employment report was released, Secretary Solis let us know that the higher jobless rate was “essentially unchanged”² and gave us an update on her favorite special interest:
The Latino unemployment rate dropped nearly a percentage point last month to 10.3 percent.³
Over 29 straight months of private sector job growth, the economy has created 4.5 million jobs that didn’t exist when President Obama came to office, including 172,000 new private sector jobs in July and 1.1 million generated in 2012 alone.4
Putting a happy face on tragedy is de rigueur for Obama administration lackeys. Labor Department number crunchers gave us a starker view of the big picture, reporting that 12.9 million workers were displaced from their jobs between January 2009 and December 2011 because of job loss, facility closings, or lack of work. For the 6.1 million Americans seeking to replace jobs they had for three or more years, 44% are still knocking on doors.5
Trying to tackle the unemployment problem and failing is one thing. We could cut Cabinet officials some slack if they were not determined to marginalize the unemployed so they can sell us on the administration’s success with the economy. With record joblessness going up, focusing on illegal workers and migrants for their political value is offensive in the extreme. Turning illegals into short-term, two-year Americans through deferred action and handing them work permits is unforgivable.
Labor rights for migrants are a foot in the door for illegals.
The unemployed matter less as long as Democratic Washington nurtures its hope that lost tax revenue can be made up somewhere else. Do Americans looking for jobs matter less than groups deemed more deserving because they can be used in the push for amnesty and the Dream Act?
Promoting Labor Rights Week, Secretary Solis was adamant about the rights of everyone who works in America:
We’re committed to ensuring that workers are safe on the job and paid what they’re owed by law. This means no one can be paid less than $7.25 an hour. It means overtime must be paid for each hour above 40 a week. And it means that employers must provide a safe workplace.6
Safety is one thing. Workers should be safe on the job, even if they have no legal right to be working. Fairness to American citizens is quite another. How do we reconcile going after businesses for violating labor laws when migrants, most of whom are here illegally, and other illegal workers are given a pass and guaranteed rights, the minimum wage, and overtime?
Immunity was easy. What will we give illegal workers next?
Passing executive orders has become second nature to our president (see: Will Executive Order Force Us to Fund Teacher Salaries?). Short-term citizenship and work permits was easy, but before the deed can truly be done, illegal workers need a pass on labor law violations already committed. Look for fraud forgiveness before November as the immunity applications stream in and Homeland Security starts verifying the trail of fraudulent identities.