Tragedies Abound

February 19, 2011

Courtesy of a friend in NY ICE comes a story about what happens when you combine unsafe working conditions with lax hiring practices. In short, it’s not pretty. 

Too often tragic accidents such as these elicit debate over what an illegal alien, as well as his or her surviving family, is entitled to in terms of worker’s compensation, death benefits, and in cases where the victim lives, associated medical expenses. However, very rarely will you hear anyone broach a much more important question, “why was this person working in this country illegally?” Moreover, why were the dangerous conditions and haphazard methods that precipitated this lethal accident allowed to go on without government intrusion? 

I live in one of the most heavily regulated states in the nation. New York is not only subject to numerous health and safety regulations, it is also a union shop where employing non-union workers is supposed to be nearly impossible for any business enterprise, large or small. Yet, when it comes to employing illegal aliens-who presumably do not have union cards-this impregnable pro-American labor stance goes by the wayside, as this story outlining a multimillion dollar settlement stemming from a less serious injury to illegals illustrates. 

None of the injuries that illegal aliens employed in New York or elsewhere incurred during the course of their labor would have happened if the federal government, including a lax judiciary, merely enforced laws that are already on the books. There would be one less widow today, and one less fatherless family, if the managers and owners of that tortilla factory had been required to cross-check all of his potential employees with a national E-Verify database, and we wouldn’t be having a debate over what is the proper relationship between an employer and a person who’s not legally allowed to seek to work in this country. 

That, to me, is the only serious long-term solution to this problem.

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2 Responses to Tragedies Abound

  1. Tremley on February 21, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Looks like the factory is more concerned in cheap labor than saftey. After the fines from OSHA and the lawsuit from the illegal family it looks like the Tortilla factory loses in the long run

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