Undocumented immigrants are human beings, too
Apart from what you understand about legal or illegal immigration, we are a nation of immigrants. Not one individual reading this article is anthropologically entirely sired of native stock. Lost in the immigration debate is the truth that both documented and undocumented immigrants are human beings.Nancy Myer hired a human being who did not speak any English to work as a cleaning lady. This human being is a Hispanic woman and did not have papers. Myer allowed her to work with her company Busy Bee Cleaning for a great deal of time. Next, Myer decided not to pay her undocumented worker. Even more offensive to any decent person’s sense of right and wrong, Myer then threatened the undocumented worker that she would call immigration, have her arrested, and deported if she “caused any problems.” Contrary to the nonsensical opinion drafted by Marty Lich, Myer is devoid of any legitimacy. She is a predator who illegally takes advantage by willfully dealing in the trade of human exploitation and illegal labor.Myer knew it was unlawful to hire an immigrant knowing the immigrant is unauthorized to work in the United States. She hired this undocumented immigrant explicitly because she could take advantage of the low cost of labor. There are about 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States (according to the latest U.S. Census figures). Immigrants come to the United States to seek work.Everyone agrees that the system is foul and corrupt when employers who follow the law cannot compete with the employers who break the law. How can the law-abiding cleaning company struggle to compete with Myer? Employers who play by the rules cannot compete in countless industries because of the prevailing immigration law insanity and the illegal employers who exploit. Even greater than the market exploitation by a small number of corrupt employers, we face a human rights crisis on the scale of slavery in this nation.According to the Mexican government, over 2,000 human beings have died crossing the border since 1994. Abraham Lincoln said, “The institution of slavery is founded upon both injustice and bad policy.” (March 3, 1837) Slavery is an order where work is done under harsh conditions for little or no pay. It is the most extreme, coercive, abusive, and inhumane form of legalized inequality, where people are treated as property. Our government recognizes property. Ten million human beings in our nation are not property. The American immigration policy that allows the cancer of exploitation of human immigrant labor to continue is both injustice and bad policy. How can we in good conscience allow to continue this terrible hypocrisy in the law that punishes law-abiding employers and terrorizes the weakest, most vulnerable members of our community? Our existing immigration train wreck is bad for our economy, dreadful to our workers and horrific for employers who follow the law.The illegal employer, Myer, being afforded all due process of all of our nation’s laws, has been ordered by our local county court to pay wages for services performed by the undocumented worker she hired. The illegal employer, Myer, is in violation of that order. Let us not forget we lost 618,000 Americans in our own Civil War, which forever addressed the morality of not paying workers. I pray we never forget the wisdom of Lincoln. May we be a civilization of virtue and forever reject the Myer/Lich missive of human exploitation.Donald J. Kaufman is an attorney with Kaufman & Kaufman LLC in Glenwood Springs. He speaks Spanish and represents Spanish-speaking clients. He handled the undocumented immigrant case Nicolasa vs. Nancy Myer on a pro-bono basis where the court ordered an employer to pay an undocumented worker for work performed. For more information, visit http://www.coloradoattorney.comDonald J. Kaufman is an attorney with Kaufman & Kaufman LLC in Glenwood Springs. He speaks Spanish and represents Spanish-speaking clients. He handled the undocumented immigrant case Nicolasa vs. Nancy Myer on a pro-bono basis where the court ordered an employer to pay an undocumented worker for work performed. For more information, visit http://www.coloradoattorney.com
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Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein announced his resignation Friday, effective at the end of the school year, saying he will take “a personal sabbatical” next year.