Southern Poverty Law Center Protects Corrupt System While Defending Policies that Undermine Immigration Enforcement
SPLC and others engage in ad hominem attacks against groups that try to reform a corrupt system and end illegal immigration, while taking credit for winning a settlement in a single case of abuse.
-Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(August 13, 2015 — Washington, D.C.) — America’s massive and largely unpoliced guest worker system has resulted in millions of lost job opportunities for American workers and unconscionable exploitation of many foreign workers at the hands of unscrupulous employers and labor brokers.
Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced a $20 million settlement with Signal International, a Gulf Coast marine services company which used the H-2B guest worker program to bypass American workers and engage in abhorrent exploitation of Indian guest workers. Ironically, SPLC has consistently attacked groups that have been working to bring about immigration reforms that would protect the jobs and rights of American workers from abuses of the guest worker programs and the flagrant practice of hiring illegal aliens.
“It is commendable that Signal International is being held accountable — legally and financially — for its mistreatment of guest workers the company lured here under false pretenses,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “But the much larger problem goes beyond the abuse of an excessive and unpoliced guest worker system. The problem is a general lack of enforcement of immigration laws that serves to displace American workers and countenance the employment of illegal aliens, often at substandard wages and adverse conditions. Rather than work to curtail illegal immigration through aggressive enforcement against employers who hire illegal aliens, SPLC has fought such efforts.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Signal International abused the H-2B guest worker program to bring in Indian laborers to rebuild devastated communities, even though the hurricane itself displaced countless American workers who lived in the region. “A government program that allows for American workers, desperate for jobs, to be sidelined, while companies are free to bring in large numbers of foreign guest workers, is the root cause of the problem,” Stein said.
“Individual settlements may provide a small measure of justice, but the only way to ensure that we do not simultaneously undermine struggling American workers and end exploitation of foreign workers is to ensure that the laws meant to protect them are strengthened and enforced. Both our dysfunctional guest worker programs and mass illegal immigration leave American workers out in the cold and put foreign workers at the mercy of unscrupulous labor brokers and companies,” Stein continued.
“Instead of attacking those problems, SPLC and others engage in ad hominem attacks against groups that try to reform a corrupt system and end illegal immigration, while taking credit for winning a settlement in a single case of abuse. Typically, SPLC is more interested in grandstanding and fundraising than it is in fixing problems,” concluded Stein.