September 18, 2006


Get-tough policy on employers has had limited effect (Alwyn Scott, 9/18/06, Seattle Times)

It was 4 in the morning when immigration agents roused Eugene Su from sleep in a new, five-bedroom house on a quiet suburban street in Tacoma.

He recalls being handcuffed and herded into the living room along with nine other people suspected of being illegal workers at the Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant a few blocks away.

Su, a U.S. citizen, was released later that morning in 2005. Heavily armed agents took the other workers away in a van for possible deportation, he said.

The restaurant owner, Jian Zhong Tang, who owned the house, ended up behind bars.

"They looked like a SWAT team," Su said of the agents who burst into the house.

The Great Wall arrests are part of what federal immigration officials call a crackdown on companies that employ illegal workers. Rather than ineffective fines, employers now face the prospect of prosecution under criminal statutes for money-laundering or harboring immigrants that can lead to asset seizures and jail time.

But despite some big fines and a few jail terms for employers, the government's get-tough effort appears limited. In Washington state, agents have announced only two convictions of employers — both Chinese restaurants. They have missed other obvious sectors such as farms and construction sites where illegal workers are prevalent.

They aren't going to arrest white folk.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Of course not. Because the "white folk" (and their employers) have learned the hard way that we don't cut 'em any slack, so they either follow the rules, as stupid as they are (like the European immigrants who work here at the Evil Software Empire), or don't make themselves such an obvious and conspicuous and easy targets.

Then again, around the Evil Empire's campus, the only place you hear a Spanish accent is from behind a lawn mower or a steam table. (Even the valet parkers (don't ask...) seem to have East African accents.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 18, 2006 12:27 PM

They certainly aren't following the rules. Note the sectors that aren't being investigated are the ones where the owners are white?

Posted by: oj at September 18, 2006 12:36 PM

They are doing just enough to try to make the people believe they are getting tough on "illegal" immigration. If they were really serious, they would really crack down on illegals and employers alike instead of just token cases.

Posted by: Jean at September 18, 2006 4:36 PM