From the Raleigh News & Observer; hat tip to Sister Toldjah!
Miriam Martinez Solais worked for low wages in a Roxboro restaurant until 2014
After Solais reported lost wages to labor officials, former boss had her investigated
Federal labor officials want restaurant owner cited for retaliating against employee who complained
By Mandy Locke | [email protected]
ROXBORO – When desperation drove Miriam Martinez Solais to sneak across the Rio Grande in 2007, she imagined life in the United States would be worth the risk.
Here, Solais thought she would find decent pay for honest work. She imagined earning enough money to feed and clothe Ruth, the 3-year-old daughter she left behind with family in Mexico.
Instead, Solais, 28, could spend the next five years or more in prison. Roxboro police say she is a thief who used a stranger’s Social Security number when seeking work as a cook at a local Italian restaurant.
Federal labor officials describe a different kind of misconduct. They say Solais is the victim.
In a complaint filed in federal court, labor investigators are accusing Solais’ former boss, Giovanni Scotti D’Abbusco, of retaliating against her for complaining that Vesuvio’s restaurant cheated her out of thousands of dollars of wages she earned.
Solais’ predicament brings to the forefront political and policy questions that draw emotional responses. Like millions of other natives of Mexico, Solais came to America uninvited and is here illegally. She soon found a place for herself in a service industry that leans on immigrants willing to work hard for low pay.
Read more here.
The rest of the article contains more details, and my impression is that her former employer knew all along that she was an illegal immigrant; he hired a private detective to investigate Miss Solais, and the investigator discovered that she had used a real American’s Social Security number. Thus, she committed more crimes than just crossing the border illegally: she collected wages fraudulently, and falsified a federal document.
Miss Solais should be prosecuted, for crossing the border illegally, for paying a runner to get her into this country, and for the crimes committed by using someone else’s Social Security number. President Obama won’t allow that to happen, of course; hopefully President Fiorina’s administration¹ takes care of that in 2017. If Miss Solais is convicted of such, she should be sent to jail, to send the message to everyone else fraudulently using a Social Security number.
And the feds should continue to investigate her former employer. He is alleged to have employed an illegal immigrant, and if he did so knowingly, that would be a crime. If he defrauded Miss Solais of the full wages to which a legal employee would be entitled, as has been alleged, that, too, is a crime, a federal offense. If sufficient evidence against her former employer can be found, he should be prosecuted, and if convicted, sent to jail; that would send the message that the next Administration is serious about enforcing immigration laws, and that employers will not get away with just a fine if caught.
But, let’s tell the truth here: the federal government loves having illegal immigrants using fraudulent Social Security numbers. It wouldn’t take much effort at all to determine that identical Social Security numbers are being used to report wages and pay income, Social Security and Medicare taxes for more than one individual; a simple computer program could determine when wages were reported and taxes collected from the same Social Security number in Roxboro, NC and Elko, NV, during the same pay periods. But by not pursuing this, the Social Security Administration takes in more in those taxes, and the government loves collecting taxes. It doesn’t harm the real American whose Social Security number is being illegally used, unless that American is a retiree who then loses part of his Social Security benefits because the government says he is working beyond the threshold amount.² And it might actually benefit the real American, if the government counts the wages and taxes reported by both the legal and illegal worker as part of the real worker’s earnings in determining Social Security benefits, but I’ll bet that that doesn’t happen very often.
However, those additional taxes don’t outweigh an important fact: the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 30% of native-born American families use some form of welfare program, and that jumps to 51% of all immigrant families, with a whopping 71% of illegal immigrant families using some form of welfare.³ We have an annual half-trillion dollar budget deficit, and entitlements are the primary driver of virtually uncontrolled government spending; allowing illegal immigrants to collect welfare benefits is just plain madness.
Of course, the Obama Administration loves having illegal immigration, and loves having more and more people on welfare, figuring that such is a guaranteed Democratic vote generator. That it will drive us into bankruptcy, well that isn’t all that important.
¹ – From my keyboard to God’s monitor screen!
² – If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. (If you were born between 1/2/1943 and 1/1/1955, your full retirement age is 66 years.)
- If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2015, that limit is $15,720.
- In the year you reach full retirement age, we deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2015, the limit on your earnings is $41,880 but we only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.
³ – The Center for Immigration Studies is a non-partisan, non-profit group, but it advocates policies to reduce immigration into the United States.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.