Release of Illegal Aliens in Washington State Signals End of Worksite Enforcement
(April 1, 2009 — Washington, D.C.) - 28 illegal alien workers recently arrested during an ICE worksite enforcement effort at the Yamato Engine Specialist plant in Bellingham, WA have just been released and granted work authorization. This event the most revealing in a recent series of actions signaling a major shift in policy — now confirms that the Obama Administration has abandoned meaningful immigration enforcement in the workplace.
Instead of expanding immigration enforcement at the workplace against all those who have broken U.S. laws, this administration has indicated it will focus its efforts only against the employers. The Bellingham illegal alien release highlights the administration’s decision to affirmatively dismantle worksite enforcement and undermines the rule of law. It also sends a clear message to illegal aliens that there are no penalties for getting caught, possibly even rewards in the form of work authorization.
“The actions of the Obama administration represent a complete capitulation to the demands of the illegal alien lobby,” charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). In the aftermath of the raid on the Yamato plant, advocates for illegal aliens demanded that further raids be curtailed. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano responded by saying she had “grave concerns” about the enforcement effort and announced plans to reassess worksite enforcement strategies.
“This administration has gutted worksite enforcement policies and ignored its duty to enforce the laws of this country,” Stein continued. “By giving in to the demands of the illegal alien lobby, the administration has turned its back on struggling workers in this country who are eager to fill jobs now occupied by illegal aliens.”
“Worksite enforcement depends on holding illegal aliens and the employers who hire them accountable, but the administration is only tackling part of the problem. How do you enforce the law against the people who hire illegal workers, and not enforce the law against the workers themselves who are also breaking the law?” Stein asked.
The actions taken in this case should also serve to strengthen public opposition to any amnesty proposals. The administration is on record as supporting legislation that would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in exchange for promises to better enforce immigration laws in the future.
“The public cannot trust this administration to enforce our immigration laws now, or in the future,” Stein continued. “If they will not carry out enforcement in this case, why should we have confidence that they will carry out their responsibilities after millions of illegal aliens have been granted amnesty? If the American public was skeptical before, the actions of the administration simply confirm their worst fears.”