Even though the tough-talking, illegal immigrant-busting Joe Arpaio was in Tampa, his presence was felt in Sacramento as the exclusive Del Paso Country Club terminated employees that could not show proper documents allowing them to work in the United States. This was a polite way of saying, “We think you are not legal, so you have to leave.” the employee house cleaning happened after an audit by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as reported in the Sacramento Bee.
But it wasn’t a boisterous and zealous anti-immigrant law enforcement office that prompted the exodus of potentially illegal aliens from Del Paso Country Club. It was the work of enhanced enforcement of immigration laws and the I-9 employment eligibility form under the Obama administration.
Lack of documentation is nothing new
It is no secret that illegal immigrants, at least in California, fill the employment void in many outdoor, low wage, landscaping positions. It would be pretty easy pickings to visit virtually any country club or commercial landscape maintenance company and flush out a hand full of folks without proper documentation. But if the ICE focused solely on those industries, there would be an ironic cry of discrimination.
Even Democrats dislike enforcement
Undocumented workers are a touchy subject within the agricultural communities in California.
Cheap undocumented labor is what makes the agricultural farm machines hum with production during the summer and fall harvests. California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein even complained about the I-9 audits as potentially impacting the labor pool of central valley farmers.
Stop doing your job Mr. President
That’s why it is particularly amusing to see the conflict between conservative folks who want tougher enforcement of immigrations laws, but not at the expense or their recreation or businesses. The crack down on undocumented immigrants gives Obama haters one more schizophrenic reason not to like him.
A big mouth doesn’t equal results
The Obama administration has done more to push undocumented folks out of the country than Sheriff Joe Arpaio ever will. And it has been in a far more humane and comprehensive approach. It is impossible to stop people from crossing the border illegally. But you can put pressure on the very flowers that lure the bees. When businesses get serious about not hiring cheap undocumented labor, South American citizens will have little reason to seek employment in the United States.
Patriotic law-abiding business?
Where is the tough talking GOP rhetoric on shutting down businesses that hire immigrants? Just as with the war on drugs, you don’t focus on the user so much as you target the supply side. Republicans have purposely avoided taking on business regulations or openly supporting laws that target employers of undocumented aliens. It only makes sense that you don’t alienate your largest donor base by asking them to comply with the laws of the United States of America.
No win situation for President Obama
So, the Obama Administration is executing what it was tasked to do which is to enforce the laws. There is very little upside political potential for the President and Democrats on the enforcement issue. They risk alienating the voting citizens of Mexican descent for being seen as unsympathetic to the plight of the immigrant and further eroding what little support they have in the business community as law enforcement costs companies money from lost production. Instead of ignoring the issue, the Obama Administration is executing the law and hopefully it will push the various groups to come together for comprehensive immigration reform.