May 22, 2006


Senate bill protects employers of illegal aliens from penalties (Charles Hurt, May 22, 2006, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Among those who will be cleared of past crimes under the Senate's proposed immigration-reform bill would be the businesses that have employed the estimated 10 million illegal aliens eligible for citizenship and that provided the very "magnet" that drew them here in the first place.

Buried in the more than 600 pages of legislation is a section titled "Employer Protections," which states: "Employers of aliens applying for adjustment of status under this section shall not be subject to civil and criminal tax liability relating directly to the employment of such alien."

Supporters of the legislation insist that such provisions do not amount to "amnesty." [...]

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, vehemently opposes "this effort to waive the rules for lawbreakers and to legalize the unlawful actions of undocumented workers and the businesses that illegally employ them."

Democrats are always in favor of criminalizing business practices, but it's surprising to find conservatives with them.

As their numbers grow here, Hispanics become big business (Alwyn Scott, 5/22/06, Seattle Times)

As Mexican President Vicente Fox arrives in Washington state Wednesday for a whirlwind 24-hour visit, he will be greeted by a fast-growing Hispanic population that is important to the state's economy and its business world.

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in Washington surged by 69 percent, to about 10,270, in the decade through 2002, the most recent data available, according to the University of Washington's Business and Economic Development Center.

The growth in Hispanic businesses was faster than any other minority-business segment, said Michael Verchot, the center's director.

Mexican or Hispanic entrepreneurs have developed some well-known local brands, such as the Azteca restaurants and Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. There are also many doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals, often aiming their services at Latinos.

"It's not a niche," said Raymundo Olivas, owner of Multiservicios, a Seattle company that prepares taxes for many Hispanic immigrants, including undocumented ones. "Now every service — chiropractor, loan officer, travel agent, real estate — any service that the general population needs, there's a market for the Hispanic population."

Microsoft employs about 150 Mexican technical or software workers in Redmond, and hires five to 10 new Mexican recruits a year, said Pedro Celis, who holds the coveted Microsoft designation of "distinguished engineer."

A Mexico native, Celis spoke from a research conference in Guadalajara, Mexico's Silicon Valley, where he and other Microsoft workers were looking at new research and ways to collaborate with Latin American professors and universities. He said he hopes the trip will open doors for future recruiting..

"Mexico has been a very effective [recruiting] area for us," Celis said. "When we compare the numbers we get from a university here with the U.S., they compare favorably. They're as good as any of the universities in the U.S."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 22, 2006 8:24 AM
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