Frame it this way now: America has an illegal employer problem, not an illegal immigrant problem.

Anti-immigration fanatics always seem to point to porous borders and the lack of a “big fence” around the country as the reason our labor market is flooded with workers (see my previous post about this issue for more back ground and research on the trend towards non-enforcement of illegal employment laws over the past 20 years or so as our republic has increasingly become more corporatist.), who they say keep American’s wages lower than they would be other wise (see supply and demand of workers.); what they should really be upset about is the magnet that is drawing these aspiring Americans into the American labor pool, namely, ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS AND NON-ENFORCEMENT OF NON-CITIZEN EMPLOYMENT LAWS. The New York Times has an interesting article about Big business and it’s battle to maintain the favorable supply/demand ratio of low wage workers the non-enforcement of illegal alien employment laws that they have enjoyed in our country for the past 12 years or so…The following is an excerpt from today’s NYTimes article by Julia Preston:

Business groups have resisted measures that would revoke the licenses of employers of illegal immigrants. They are proposing alternatives that would revise federal rules for verifying the identity documents of new hires and would expand programs to bring legal immigrant laborers.

Though the pushback is coming from both Democrats and Republicans, in many places it is reopening the rift over immigration that troubled the Republican Party last year. Businesses, generally Republican stalwarts, are standing up to others within the party who accuse them of undercutting border enforcement and jeopardizing American jobs by hiring illegal immigrants as cheap labor.

Employers in Arizona were stung by a law passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature that revokes the licenses of businesses caught twice with illegal immigrants. They won approval in this year’s session of a narrowing of that law making clear that it did not apply to workers hired before this year.

Last week, an Arizona employers’ group submitted more than 284,000 signatures — far more than needed — for a November ballot initiative that would make the 2007 law even friendlier to employers.

Also in recent months, immigration bills were defeated in Indiana and Kentucky — states where control of the legislatures is split between Democrats and Republicans — due in part to warnings from business groups that the measures could hurt the economy.

In Oklahoma, chambers of commerce went to federal court and last month won an order suspending sections of a 2007 state law that would require employers to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires. In California, businesses have turned to elected officials, including the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, to lobby federal immigration authorities against raiding long-established companies.

While much of the employer activity has been at the grass-roots level, a national federation has been created to bring together the local and state business groups that have sprung up over the last year.

“These employers are now starting to realize that nobody is in a better position than they are to make the case that they do need the workers and they do want to be on the right side of the law,” said Tamar Jacoby, president of the new federation, ImmigrationWorks USA.

After years of laissez-faire enforcement, federal immigration agents have been conducting raids at a brisk pace, with 4,940 arrests in workplaces last year. Although immigration has long been a federal issue, more than 175 bills were introduced in states this year concerning the employment of immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State lawmakers said they had acted against businesses, often in response to fervent demands from voters, to curb job incentives that were attracting shadow populations of illegal immigrants.

“Illegal immigration is a threat to the safety of Missouri families and the security of their jobs,” Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, said after the Missouri Legislature passed a crackdown law in May. “I am pleased that lawmakers heeded my call to continue the fight where Washington has failed to act.”

But because of the mobilization of businesses, the state proposals this year have increasingly reflected their concerns. State lawmakers “are starting to be more responsive to the employer community because of its engagement in the issue,” said Ann Morse, who monitors immigration for the national legislature conference.”

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