Diary

The downstream effects of illegal immigration

From the Allentown, Pennsylvania, Morning Call:

Rape investigation leads to arrest of undocumented workers in Palmerton

By Dan Sheehan | February 22, 2017 | 8:03 PM EST

A sexual assault allegation against two undocumented immigrants in Palmerton led to the arrest of three other men who were also in the country illegally, officials said.

Jose Antonio Corripio Martinez, 36, of Jim Thorpe and Rafael Alberto Escobar Garcia, 29, of Palmerton, were charged Wednesday with assaulting an 18-year-old woman at a party in mid-December.

Police said the men had acknowledged they were undocumented, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement joined the investigation.

ICE agents visited the men’s workplaces — borough restaurants Tony’s Pizza and Papa Al’s — and determined three of their co-workers were undocumented, Palmerton Police Chief Randolph Smith said.

“These gentlemen were there, couldn’t provide proper ID…They were run through ICE’s system and all found to be illegal,” Smith said.

ICE took the men into custody, Smith said. Martinez and Garcia were arraigned and committed to Carbon County Prison, each on $150,000 bail.

The arrests came a day after the Trump administration rolled out tough new immigration rules, but Smith said his department isn’t targeting immigrants. He called the three co-workers were “collateral damage” from the rape investigation.

“This was not an ICE raid,” Smith said. “We weren’t targeting any illegal people other than the two who were the focus of our investigation. We’re not going to be going out looking for illegal immigrants. We have a lot of other important things to take care of.”

There’s more at the original.

Now, just how did ICE determine that a total of five employees of those two pizza restaurants were “undocumented?” To hire a worker, an employer must have the prospective employee fill out an immigration Form I-9. The I-9 requires that the employee produce documentation demonstrating his eligibility for employment, normally a photo ID issued by the state, such as a driver’s license, and a Social Security card. If ICE did not find copies of those documents in the employers’ files,¹ or if the copies in those files were obvious forgeries, then, on the surface, it would seem that the employers broke the law by hiring the illegal immigrants.² If this is the case, the employer should be prosecuted, and if convicted, imprisoned for the maximum time allowed under the law.

The only way that we can combat illegal immigration is to penalize the people who give them jobs!

Now, it’s possible that the employees provided forged documents which would have passed normal inspection. In that case, the arrested employees need to rat out the forger who provided the documents; if they refuse, then they should get the maximum time allowable in prison before being deported.

This case demonstrates what we have pointed out previously: illegal immigrants cannot survive in the United States without breaking the law on a continual basis. If the Morning Call story is accurate, then there were five people working illegally, along with two restaurants illegally employing them, and (possibly) someone illegally selling forged documents. Illegal immigration has downstream illegal effects, and will always have downstream illegal effects.

But, as usual, there’s more. Had these five illegal immigrants not been able to support themselves in this country, they wouldn’t have been here, and the 18-year-old woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted in December would not have been raped!³ We cannot know, in advance, which immigrants will commit crimes beyond those directly linked to them being here illegally, but doesn’t allowing people to commit those immigration-related crimes with impunity encourage the belief that the laws simply do not apply to them?

The real test of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration will be whether the managers of Tony’s Pizza and Papa Al’s restaurants in Palmerton will be investigated for their complicity in the illegal employment of the immigrants in question, and whether they will be criminally charged for any crimes they may have committed. If the crackdown does not include criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hire people ineligible to work in the United States, the problem of illegal immigration will persist.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
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¹ – The employer is not required to send the completed I-9 into Washington, but to keep it in the employee’s permanent record, to be available for examination by ICE.
² – I do not use the mealy-mouthed term “undocumented,” other than for prosaic concerns, because “undocumented” has been meant, by those who use the term, to obscure the fact that illegal immigrants are here illegally, are in violation of the laws. I do not go along with obscuring the fact that “undocumented” immigrants are here illegally.
³ – This assumes that the Morning Call story is accurate. I take no position on whether the alleged crime actually occurred, or, if it did, whether the two men charged with the crime were actually the perpetrators. That remains for the justice system to adjudicate.