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Abolish ICE: Workplace Safety Edition

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ICE is a government stormtrooper force engaging in ethnic cleansing. It’s employees should be publicly exposed and shamed. Many of them are fascists and the rest should resign to separate themselves from that fascism. ICE should be abolished entirely and we need to start over, with the first question investigated about potential immigration agents being their opinions about race. We need some kind of immigration agency, but it must be purged of racism. I believe this more every day, with continued stories over the ethnic cleansing going on around the nation. That insurance companies are able to turn over undocumented people in order to avoid paying workplace compensation after the workers get hurt is despicable beyond words I can express.

At age 31, Nixon Arias cut a profile similar to many unauthorized immigrants in the United States. A native of Honduras, he’d been in the country for more than a decade and had worked off and on for a landscaping company for nine years. The money he earned went to building a future for his family in Pensacola, Florida. His Facebook page was filled with photos of fishing and other moments with his three boys, ages 3, 7 and 8.

But in November 2013, that life began to unravel.

The previous year, Arias had been mowing the median of Highway 59 just over the Alabama line when his riding lawnmower hit a hole, throwing him into the air. He slammed back in his seat, landing hard on his lower back.

Arias received pain medication, physical therapy and steroid injections through his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. But the pain in his back made even walking or sitting a struggle. So his doctor recommended an expensive surgery to implant a device that sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord to relieve chronic pain. Six days after that appointment, the insurance company suddenly discovered that Arias had been using a deceased man’s Social Security number and rejected not only the surgery, but all of his past and future care.

Desperate, Arias hired an attorney to help him pursue the injury benefits that Florida law says all employees, including unauthorized immigrants, are entitled to receive. Then one morning after he dropped two of his boys off at school, Arias was pulled over and arrested, while his toddler watched from his car seat.

Arias was charged with using a false Social Security number to get a job and to file for workers’ comp. The state insurance fraud unit had been tipped off by a private investigator hired by his employer’s insurance company.

With his back still in pain from three herniated or damaged discs, Arias spent a year and a half in jail and immigration detention before he was deported.

However people feel about immigration, judges and lawmakers nationwide have long acknowledged that the employment of unauthorized workers is a reality of the American economy. From nailing shingles on roofs to cleaning hotel rooms, some 8 million immigrants work with false or no papers nationwide, and studies show they’re more likely to get hurt or killed on the job than other workers. So over the years, nearly all 50 states, including Florida, have given these workers the right to receive workers’ comp.

But in 2003, Florida’s lawmakers added a catch, making it a crime to file a workers’ comp claim using false identification. Since then, insurers have avoided paying for injured immigrant workers’ lost wages and medical care by repeatedly turning them in to the state.

Of course, the evil is concentrated in a few people.

Since 2013, nearly 75 percent of the injured immigrants arrested in Florida for using false IDs were turned in by Command — and half worked for SouthEast, ProPublica and NPR found. SouthEast has had 43 injured workers arrested for using false Social Security numbers — more than any other company.

One reason: SouthEast, as well as its insurance carrier, Lion, and its claims processor, Packard Claims, are all owned by the same person. The unusual arrangement gives the company more control over injury claims and a consistency other firms specializing in high-risk industries can’t provide. But critics say it benefits SouthEast in more pernicious ways: Knowing that Lion and Packard can deny the claims of unauthorized workers allows SouthEast to offer discounts to contractors that other leasing firms can’t.

“They sign up these companies knowing full well that 95 percent of the employees are immigrant workers,” said Cora Cisneros Molloy, who recently began representing injured workers after two decades defending employers and insurers. “Only after an accident occurred do they determine they’re going to do an investigation and check that Social Security number.”

It gets better:

The sting had been meticulously planned for weeks. The day before, detectives had scoped out the site — a two-story office building resembling a Spanish colonial mansion near downtown Fort Myers. Before the arrest, they tucked out of sight to surveil the building’s back entrance from across the street, according to the detective’s case report.

The time and manpower wasn’t to nab a gang member or drug dealer, but a coordinated effort with Command to snare a 27-year-old roofer who was at a court reporter’s office to testify in a deposition for his workers’ comp case. A year earlier in 2014, Erik Martinez was working on a roof when a nail ricocheted and hit him in the left eye. He was seeking medical care and lost wages, but like many construction workers, he was using a false Social Security number.

Though it was ostensibly a Florida Department of Financial Services operation, a state detective had worked closely with an attorney for Lion on a plan to alert officers in the final minutes of the deposition. In between questions, the attorney emailed the detective, at one point providing a description of Martinez’s clothing.

“We moved our position to the back parking lot,” the detective wrote in his report, “where we awaited word that the deposition was nearing an end.” Upon receiving confirmation, the detectives moved in, arresting Martinez as he exited the office.

Despite the extensive effort, the state attorney declined to prosecute. But the detective’s narrative reveals a larger story: In most of the injury cases reviewed by ProPublica and NPR, state fraud detectives were handed a packet from private investigators with nearly all the information needed to make an arrest.

This is absolutely reprehensible. It’s also entirely legal. The entire immigration system is broken. The people migrating here for work and to escape violence have done nothing wrong except make a better life for themselves. Employers know they can hire them and face no consequences should they want to get rid of these people. This is not only racist and immoral, it’s also part and parcel of a larger movement by employers to use up workers and throw them away, whether immigrants or native-born, documented or undocumented.

Again, we need an entirely new immigration structure. We need a new workplace safety structure as well.

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  • ringtail

    “Desperate, Arias hired an attorney to help him pursue the injury
    benefits that Florida law says all employees, including unauthorized
    immigrants, are entitled to receive.”

    Does this mean that they’re still entitled to the injury benefits, except they can’t collect on them because they’re in custody and/or being deported? or:

    “But in 2003, Florida’s lawmakers added a catch, making it a crime to file a workers’ comp claim using false identification. Since then, insurers have avoided paying for injured immigrant workers’ lost wages and medical care by repeatedly turning them in to the state”

    does that mean that the claim is thrown out if it’s made with false ID? Either way, it’s terrible, I’m just curious how it works. But not curious enough to look up Florida’s laws.

    When I was a teenager and basically a rightwinger and an idiot, I thought we should at least have reparations for Native Americans because it was so shady to out-and-out lie to people and break our own treaties and agreements. I thought part of being conservative was honesty and fair dealing. I think I would have felt the same way about the situation in this post: yeah, it should be illegal to use a false ID and you should be punished for it, but the employers and their insurers should also have to stand by their word and not weasel out of paying benefits for injuring people they knowingly employed. I believe I would have recognized this as villainy even then.

    • Zagarna_84

      As I understand it, it is “supposed” to be the case that they get the benefits sent to them in whatever country they are deported to.

      Needless to say, and the piece discusses this, it don’t work out so good most of the time.

      • ringtail

        Yeah, to me that makes it even more cognitively dissonant. These conservatives who think they’re good ol’ salt of the Earth plain dealing folk who walked out of some 50’s black and white cowboy movie fantasy have no problem with wriggling out of their responsibilities with shady legal machinations, the very thing they accuse those shiftless liberals of doing.

        • Zagarna_84

          Right, I mean, if you think that criminal defense lawyers love using legal technicalities to get their clients off, let me tell you, you have never seen an employment defense firm at work.

    • DAS

      There should be another catch: if you would have had to pay for an employee’s workers’ comp claim but you weasel out of it on a technicality, then you still have to pay: if not to the worker or on the worker’s behalf, then to some sort of general health care fund.

    • We need some legal way to make this land on the company, not the person. I know it won’t because corporations own the world, but it’s so wrong I can’t stand it.

      • HandleB

        It’s called mandatory e-Verify and I-9 audits. That forces companies to only employ people legally authorized to work in the US. None of this would happen.

        • It also makes it impossible to employ those who *are* authorized to work in the US, including American citizens, because the e-Verify databases are full of complete garbage.

          • HandleB

            Is that so?

            How, then, is it possible that 1.4 million federal employees, 200,000 contractors, 14 state government’s employees and contractors, and . . .

            Apple, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Visa, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Pixar, Charles Schwab, Kaiser Permanente, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Chevron, Symantec, General Dynamics, Airbnb, Sony, Paypal, Bechtel, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, HP, University of California, Merck, Salesforce, Pinterest, Accenture, State of California, MIT, and Exxon, Johns Hopkins, AT&T, Rolls Royce. . .

            . . . and 700,000 other companies use e-Verify with no problem?

            • Easy. They lie about not having any problems.

              ETA: I’ll be more specific. The “no problems” is the result of asking *employers* if they had problems through a survey. Employers DON’T CARE if a legal employee is rejected by the crap e-Verify system, because there are more workers available. So as far as the employer is concerned, there aren’t any problems.

              • HandleB

                ALL 700,000 companies lie to the government?

                Here they are. Which ones are lying?

                https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/E-Verify/E-Verify-Statistics/E-Verify-MOUs-AsOf-June2017.pdf

                • All of them. Again, NONE OF THEM CARE IF A LEGAL WORKER IS REJECTED. Why should they? Virtually all new employees are easily replaceable with another candidate.

                • HandleB

                  Then, there’s no reason for all companies to not use it, since no employees have any value. May as well reject them all. Right?

              • HandleB

                NO employers care if the employees they hire get rejected accidentally?

                None, zero? Apple, Google, and Microsoft don’t care who they hire? They don’t care if the best employees get rejected?

                • You do know that those three companies were caught ENGAGING IN A CONSPIRACY to keep the salaries of those “best employees” down by REFUSING to hire them, if they came from the other companies in the conspiracy?

                  So no, they DON’T FUCKING CARE. Their actions have proven that. And the rest of the industry is no different.

                • HandleB

                  Where are the tens of millions of complaints by unemployed people who were rejected by e-verify?

                  How do federal contractors lie to the government but still manage to pass their clearance poly graph tests?

                • Jesus H Fucking Christ, you’re a moron. Even if polygraphs fucking worked, and there’s plenty of evidence they don’t, they would only be relevant to questions asked while actually hooked up to them. Which does not include anything related to e-Verify.

                  As for the complaints? Try over two million rejected legal workers a year, according to the ACLU paper linked by someone else in the thread. Over three quarters of which are either not informed of their right to appeal or their appeals are “unresolved” – i.e. ignored and lost in the system, without legal recourse because e-Verify’s due process is basically nonexistent. That’s over a million and a half legal workers – just in 2012! – who were forced to find employment with an employer that does not use e-Verify. The government itself (via the GAO) ADMITS that over 160K workers a year will be rejected just due to legal name changes (e.g. getting married) which aren’t reflected in the database.

                  So go fuck yourself, you fascist piece of shit. You’re going on the block list.

                • HandleB

                  From personal experience, they ask if you have ever lied in any official communication with the government. How does everyone lie about e-Verify but pass the polygraph test?

                  “Try over two million rejected legal workers a year, according to the ACLU paper. . .”

                  Where is the ACLU paper’s evidence for its false claims? It links to a GAO page that doesn’t exist. Why would that be?

                  “Over three quarters of which are either not informed of their right to appeal or their appeals are “unresolved” – i.e. ignored and lost in the system, without legal recourse because e-Verify’s due process is basically nonexistent.”

                  Evidence?

                  “That’s over a million and a half legal workers – just in 2012! – who were forced to find employment with an employer that does not use e-Verify. The government itself (via the GAO) ADMITS that over 160K workers a year will be rejected just due to legal name changes (e.g. getting married) which aren’t reflected in the database.”

                  Evidence?

                  As I thought. You have none.

  • Zagarna_84

    I do not understand how a company that is committing or abetting immigration fraud on a mass scale is allowed to remain in business, much less how authorities can justify actually cooperating with such people. Am I wrong that this is, literally, a criminal labor racketeering enterprise being conducted in broad daylight?

    It’d sure dry up document fraud if we offered a $50,000 reward and a U visa to any undocumented immigrant who blew the whistle on a company committing it. Of course, the corporatist wing of the fascist-industrial complex would never allow this.

    • saraeanderson

      I’ve wondered why companies that hire lots of undocumented workers don’t get in trouble.

      • As long as the prospective worker provides the required documents and fills out the necessary paperwork, the company is in the clear.

        • Zagarna_84

          But a lot of these claims of work authorization are transparently fabricated, to the point where literally five minutes of investigation would tell you that “Carlos Danger” is not a real person and the documents he gave you are forgeries.

          If the employers honestly believed that these people had work authorization, they wouldn’t be staking them out when they filed a workers’ comp claim. The very fact of the employer’s investigation is itself a confession that they are lying about having no knowledge of fraud.

          Yet ICE tolerates employers whose ability to hear, see, and speak no evil makes the San-Saru look like sensory savants in comparison.

          • There is no requirement for employers to do any sort of investigation or evaluation of an employee’s paperwork. And what is transparent to one person may not be so to another.

            We could require that all employers use E-Verify, but the ACLU thinks that’s a bad idea

            I think a national ID card would be the best solution for this and a lot of other issues, but people seem to oppose that idea.

            • Zagarna_84

              The point here is that an employer cannot be allowed to stick its thumbs in its ears at Time One, then suddenly– based on literally zero additional evidence of undocumented status beyond the fact that an employee exercised his rights under a labor statute– purport to have suspicions about said status at Time Two. Either (i) the initial acceptance of the documents as genuine was in bad faith and fraudulent, or (ii) the company is engaging in a retaliatory fishing expedition. There are no other possibilities, and either of those possibilities is intolerable.

              As for E-Verify, it would be great except it’s exactly the same as all these other right-wing technogoop programs (the voter cross-check thing, electronic voting machines, Michigan’s “unemployment fraud detection” software that hit 99% false positives, etc.), i.e. it doesn’t fucking work for its ostensible purpose and is useful only to shovel money to contractors and randomly screw with minorities.

              • Karen

                This. If the employer accepted the documents at hiring, it should be bound by them forever. No backsies, as the kids say.

              • HandleB

                e-Verify is already used by 700,000 companies, is mandatory statewide or for state government contractors in 14 states, 100% of federal employees and contractors, has been in operation for 10 years, and protects tens of millions of employees nationwide.

                That’s a 10 year, massive proof-of-concept, with tens of millions of users. For a fact, in practice, e-Verify works, works well, and would avert the problems being discussed here.

            • Lot_49

              I don’t. I’d rather have the feds deciding who’s a citizen than the DMV. Think of Mohammed Atta….

          • Drew

            Eh, insurance companies routinely investigate on moderate to high value claims. It’s definitely shady here, but it’s not always immigration related and not uncommon.

            • Zagarna_84

              I don’t fault insurance companies for investigating whether the claim is
              actually legitimate or not. Someone’s immigration status has exactly
              zero to do with whether they are faking an injury.

              • The insurance company is also verifying that the person making the claim is the person who worked at the company. By using a fraudulent SSN, an undocumented worked makes that confirmation problematic.

                • Zagarna_84

                  Surely in most instances the company would be able to verify whether the person worked there by… you know… looking at him and telling the insurer whether he worked there.

              • HandleB

                True, but the reverse is also true. The injury does not negate the fact that they are living and working unlawfully in the country.

                • Zagarna_84

                  For purposes of workers’ comp (and most other labor laws, for that matter) it does, because future work authorization is LEGALLY IRRELEVANT to whether you are entitled to benefits. There’s no “but he’s a bad person” exception to workers’ comp.

                • HandleB

                  I am not disagreeing about an injured worker being entitled to workers comp benefits for a PAST injury. However, ICE, independent of whatever worker’s comp does, is responsible to enforce immigration laws.

                  It’s no different than a tax scofflaw who got injured on the job. Being injured does not absolve someone from being held accountable for breaking federal tax law, to include imprisonment. Similarly, being injured on the job does not absolve an undocumented immigrant for being held accountable for breaking federal immigration law, to include detention.

    • Karen

      I have more than once suggested to so-called “immigration patriots” that I would completely support a system that jailed the executives of any corporations caught hiring undocumented workers. None of them have ever agreed with me.

    • HandleB

      Tell them to make e-Verify mandatory so that ilegal employment ends. That protects people from this abuse.

  • Sentient AI From The Future

    Between this, the endemic wage theft in e.g. the construction trades, and the use of prison labor (which I recently discovered is used to do homeless sweeps in my city!), it sounds a lot like the post-reconstruction regime described in Blackmon’s “Slavery By Another Name”

    • HandleB

      Slaves were kidnapped or forced into work; these folks came to the county illegally seeking work. Major distinction.

  • Fuse01

    I have been wondering about ICE enforcement policies this article was in the chronicle this past February

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Texas-builders-fear-fallout-of-immigration-10959823.php

    I have not heard of any ICE raids at construction sites or factories here in the Houston area. I wonder if its because a lot of the big builders are big rethug contributors

  • Socialist Cubone

    You know as long as we’re vandalizing stuff, SouthEast seems like as good a candidate as any statue.

  • Of course this is the whole point of the racist harrassment ICE carries out. It’s not about getting rid of all the undocumented workers. It’s about making them easy to exploit and disposing of them when they are no longer “useful”.

    • Fuse01

      That’s exactly correct. A lot of businesses around here benefit from them and would readily screw them over when it becomes convenient

      • Fuse01

        it is definitely to the employers benefit to keep these guys in the shadows and afraid to complain, nothing more than slavery as mentioned above

        • HandleB

          That’s where a-Verify could help.

    • HandleB

      if they made it impossible to make a living in any way unless you’re in the country legally, exploration of people working illegally would be impossible.

  • TheBrett

    What they need to do is set up a much improved E-Verify style system (maybe as part of a National ID card set-up that would also be used for universal automatic voter registration if you’re a citizen), and then couple it with an immigration enforcement agency with broad humane exceptions to deportation. Generally speaking, I don’t think you should be deported if you’ve been here for more than five years past your visa expiration or illegal arrival, or if you were brought over below the age of (say) 16 when you came over. Instead, you pay a fine and get put on a probationary period where you get to apply for a green card.

    I guess we could do Open Borders, but that seems like it would be really unpopular in the US and a major strain on the environment (imagine another 100+ million people immigrating to the US over the course of a decade).

    ICE should be abolished entirely and we need to start over, with the first question investigated about potential immigration agents being their opinions about race.

    They need to screen them much more thoroughly, although that also means they’d probably need to pay them a lot more. They’re not swimming in recruits – in fact, they and police forces in general tend to have chronic problems in getting enough new officers.

    • Zagarna_84

      Right, this would be what ought to be (and probably would be) done if we didn’t have one of two major parties, and the one currently in power, in thrall to corporatists who want to intentionally break the government and use it to screw over the people it’s ostensibly supposed to help.

    • HandleB

      People will flood across the border by the the scores of millions if they know they’ll be given amnesty if they can hide for 5 years.

      Open borders would yield hundreds of miillions in a decade.

      • liberal

        The community here, while not all pro-open borders, are relatively close to it.

      • TheBrett

        The proposal comes coupled with a much tighter, mandatory E-Verify/National ID system. How are they going to support themselves for 5 years if they can’t work? People don’t wander across the border, either – they usually come through networks of connecting people back in the sending countries, and those in the destination ones. If it starts percolating back through those networks that no jobs are available, they’ll stop coming.

        Open borders would yield hundreds of miillions in a decade.

        Probably at least 100 million, although not “hundreds of millions”. That’s why I don’t support Open Borders – that rapid of an increase in the population from immigration would put an immense strain on the environment and urban systems.

        • HandleB

          “How are they going to support themselves for 5 years if they can’t work?”

          Like 60-70% of illegal immigrants do now: work off the books. People figure out how to make a living when a traditional “job” is not available.

          Now, if they also made it illegal to rent an apartment or house, own a business, register or drive a car, make any major purchase, like a house or car, and end birthright citizenship, that would all help.

          As for the numbers, India alone would take care of 100 million, and China another hundred million. Easily. Think of the number from Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, places like the Philippines and Bangladesh. You’re talking multiple hundreds of millions.

      • slavdude

        Open borders would yield hundreds of miillions in a decade.

        And you know this how?

        • HandleB

          “North America is home to just 4.9% of the world’s population — and 26.5% of its wealth. Meanwhile, South Asia is home to 23.7% of the global population but owns just 3.6% of global wealth.”

          http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/11/21/the-poorest-countries-in-the-world/

          India, with 1.4 billion people is one of the poorest countries in the world. With open borders, how many of the 1.4 billion would enter?

          http://www.nwitimes.com/news/world/the-poorest-countries-in-the-world/collection_5178a5fb-0af6-5af4-a226-6e107baa3959.html

          • slavdude

            And they’re all coming here, right?

            Sorry to pull this out, but this sounds like a warmed-over version of the “Yellow Hordes” from the turn of the twentieth century.

            • HandleB

              If they want to remain in poverty, they’ll stay right where they are. If they want to follow the money. . .

              “”North America is home to just 4.9% of the world’s population — and 26.5% of its wealth. Meanwhile, South Asia is home to 23.7% of the global population but owns just 3.6% of global wealth.”

              India alone has several hundred million people in poverty. Something tells me people will follow the money.

              • slavdude

                I’m not sure poverty will be the only issue. Climate change will have an effect as well.

                And somehow North America would not be the only destination.

                • HandleB

                  Who else is planning to have open borders? Path of least resistance.

                • slavdude

                  I didn’t realize we were planning on having open borders.

                  We all know the immigration system is broken and has been for decades. But Fortress America is as dead as St. Ronald.

                • HandleB

                  That was what you responded to above.

                  Many people are pushing for that, in essence.

                  A new immigration system is being proposed, similar to Canada’s widely regarded system.

  • Rand Careaga

    “Many [ICE employees] are fascists and the rest should resign to separate themselves from that fascism.” Look, I hold no brief for ICE, and I agree with you that the fucking outfit should be broken up, but this kind of promiscuous tossing around of the term “fascist” has never been helpful, and it is positively harmful to dilute the word now that we have real, proud, avowed fascists marching among us. Eye on the Hakenkreuz, people.

    • woodrowfan

      I know one ICE agent, and have known him several years. The word “fascist” fits him perfectly. Seriously. Put him in Germany in 1933 and he’d be beating up Jews on the sidewalk for grins… Yeah, it’s only one guy but still…..

    • HandleB

      ICE (INS) has existed for almost 100 years. It’s part of Federal law.

      • Rand Careaga

        I assure you that I know a great deal more about these matters than you do, since my own work has brought me into regular contact with this area of the public sector for decades. As it happens, most of the old INS was absorbed by the former US Customs Service when it was turned into CBP in 2003. Its criminal investigative arm, a relatively small part of the agency, was merged with their counterparts in Customs to become ICE, which I despise almost as much as Loomis does, and yes, woodrowfan, I also know some of these people, a few of whom are brutes. That still doesn’t make the outfit, egregious as it is, “fascist,” and we do our side no favors by inflating the term until it becomes vaporous, because that just helps the real fascists to hide at need in the fog.

        • HandleB

          What you really despise is immigration law because ICE can only enforce whatever the current law is. For instance, it can only deport people when a Federal judge orders them to.

  • sharculese

    I work with a group that helps green card holders prepare for the citizenship interview. We have a new volunteer who’s originally from Toronto. Last week I started explaining to him how ICE worked and he was aghast that this was legal, much less part of the government.

    • HandleB

      How can you become a citizen if you are for giving everyone citizenship for crossing illegally?

      • sharculese

        Your question is poorly worded. I can’t become a US citizen because I was born here and already am one. But to answer the question I think you think you’re asking: I… work within the system I that exists while thinking it could be improved. I don’t know how that’s even confusing. It’s a pretty straightforward

        • HandleB

          Why would someone be “aghast” when millions of people take it upon themselves to enter, live, and work in a foreign country illegally, including trafficking humans and drugs, and then object to the country having a law enforcement agency to enforce the law?

          Do they think that those people,should be awarded citizenship just for showing up illegally and managing to evade the police for years?

  • Steve LaBonne

    “Why do you hate America?”
    “Well, how much time have you got?”

  • LeeEsq

    Resident immigration lawyer with a professional opinion from work experience. All the immigration agencies, EOIR, ICE, USCIS, CPB, and the immigration people at the consulate attract a wide variety of people. Some are just people who want a job with benefits. They tend to be professional and neutral as possible in their judgments.. Many are lazy though and will deny Others are welcomers. They are going tend towards the side of granting an alien status or relief. Others are border guardians. They tend to be hard on everybody regardless of race and think its their duty to deny as many immigrants as possible status in the United States. ICE has many more border guardians than other agencies. The visa people at the Consulates also tend to be border guardians.

  • Oppen

    “ICE is a government stormtrooper force engaging in ethnic cleansing.”

    :-).

    • HandleB

      What does federal law say about illegal border crossing?

      • Zagarna_84

        If memory serves, a plurality or even an outright majority of undocumented workers have never illegally crossed a border, but instead entered the country legally and then failed to leave at the end of their visa.

        • HandleB

          Illegal border crossings and down, and border apprehensions and on-the-spot deportations are up.

          According to immigration law, a person cannot be deported if they are living lawfully in the country, no matter what their ethnicity is. So, no ethnic cleansing is possible.

          • Zagarna_84

            Yes-it-is-impossible-that-any-laws-will-ever-be-enforced-at-different-rates-based-on-race-meep-I-am-a-robot-meep-meep

            Also, and seriously, I’m sure illegal border crossings would drop if we instituted the death penalty for such offenses, but that doesn’t mean that wouldn’t be a fucking crime against humanity.

            • HandleB

              If a person, any person, is in the country illegally, it’s a choice they made, and they are subject to deportation, no matter their background. They were aware of this prior to entering.

              Given that a large percentage of illegal border crossings involve drug and human trafficking, how would preventing illegal border crossings be “a crime against humanity?”

      • Otherjen

        Well, that it’s a misdemeanor, for one.

        • HandleB

          True, the first time. The second time, it’s a felony.

  • mattmcirvin

    I recall Carlos Yu once mentioning a claim he’d heard from someone else, that if you look at the accounting records for Nazi work camps, you can pinpoint the precise moment that the inmates went from being treated as “a stock to a flow”.

    • (((realinterrobang)))

      Yes, that’s probably pretty accurate where the records are extant, and for camps where there was such a tipping point, as some of them never treated inmates as anything other than expendable.

  • Lot_49

    The insurance company should pay for the care and then recover the costs from the employer. In 2003, like now, it was trivially easy to verify a prospective employee’s SSAN.

    Goddammit this makes me mad.

  • Zagarna_84

    By the way, I would never, ever remotely concede that this is legal. For one thing, threatening or seeking immigration consequences against someone for exercising protected rights under employment law is illegal retaliation under just about every law known to man. See the recent Arias v. Raymondo case from the 9th Circuit for an example of this.

    For another, an attorney was involved in this Lion scheme. Anyone who knows who this scumbag is ought to be bringing him up on ethics charges for abusing immigration issues to aid his client in an unrelated civil case. I fully realize that the state bar will do nothing substantive, but at the very least, these scum’s knowledge that they will have to deal with an ethics investigation anytime they try this might convince a few of the more economically marginal scum to stop doing it.

  • HandleB

    If e-Verify were mandatory these people would never have gotten injured because they would not have been employed, and maybe would have either gone on back home on his own terms or never came in the first place. Now, he’s back home with a bad back and probably unable to work like he used to and needs to.

  • Uncle_Ebeneezer

    Fuck ICE. That is all. Support/pass SB54.

  • nice_strategy

    Outlandish claims like “many of them are fascists” require something beyond anecdotes and presumptions about what motivates people to become LEOs. Was ICE riddled with fascists during Obama’s first term? The evil in this story centers on the employer and insurance company.

    “The people migrating here for work and to escape violence have done nothing wrong except make a better life for themselves.”

    With respect, lots of people who would like to make a better life for themselves in the USA will not get that chance because they chose to play by the rules and illegal migrants got here first. But I guess in Erik’s America, anyone who doesn’t believe in open borders is a fascist, so all ICE is fascist. Seems like a simplistic reduction for such an accomplished historian.

  • 林威廉

    I was a semi- (ahem) illegal worker in Australia in the early 80s, and the local farmers would have Immigration sweep down and bust the fruit pickers (mostly Swedish and Dutch) just before payday, after the harvest was in.

  • ToddTheVP

    It’s especially gross that using a false social security number has nothing to do with whether these workers are earning workers’ compensation benefits or paying taxes. Florida can’t sink fast enough.

  • Michael

    I really appreciate you continuing to highlight these issues Erik. That The Intercept has mostly ignored reporting on ICE reveals to me that it shares more than a little common DNA with the people in Charlottesville.

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