Nolan Rappaport at The Hill has an unusual report on the fallout from so-called sanctuary laws in cities and states around the country. It’s not all that “unusual” in terms of what’s been found, but rather the fact that somebody in the press is actually talking about it. Particularly in California, where a flurry of sanctuary laws have been passed, you might be tempted to think that life is getting easier for illegal aliens, right? But the reality is that many of these laws have simply made it easier for unscrupulous employers to abuse their illegal workers.
A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on labor laws that California has enacted to protect unauthorized immigrant workers indicates that many of the aliens who have been attracted to California by its sanctuary policies are being exploited by unscrupulous employers.
According to EPI, fear of being reported to ICE gives employers extraordinary power to take advantage of unauthorized immigrant employees…
Presumably, exploited aliens think the abuse is an acceptable price to pay for protection from being deported. They don’t have to stay in California.
The report covers a few different areas where illegal aliens are impacted by these policies. A series of laws were put in place, supposedly to protect illegal aliens from discrimination by employers. Some of these bills, such as AB 263, SB 666 and AB 2571 either made it illegal for employers to threaten workers by saying they would call ICE on them or made it easier for illegals to sue employers who did such things. These are curious laws to begin with because they ignore the fact that it’s against the law to knowingly employ an illegal alien in the first place.
But since nobody is supposed to be talking to ICE, the upshot of many of these laws is that employers have far less fear of being discovered hiring illegals and paying them low wages, denying benefits and the other cost-saving measures which come from such unscrupulous business practices. This is allowing such employers to operate with impunity.
Another effect of the sanctuary laws is that the illegal aliens with no other criminal records (generally the lowest priority for ICE) are getting swept up in raids more often. When ICE was able to simply pick up the real criminal offenders at jails, there was little reason to go out into the community. But now, the sanctuary laws are forcing immigration officials to seek out the illegal aliens wherever they might be found. This results in more of the low-priority illegals being swept up.
So who is benefitting from the laws? In addition to the employers who are abusing their illegal workers, the illegal aliens with serious criminal records have a better chance of winding up back on the streets and disappearing according to the report. That’s some real productivity for you. Of course, there’s one other group of people benefitting greatly from all of this who are not mentioned in the report. That would be the politicians who get to increase their national profile and boost their fundraising by generating #RESIST headlines while actually doing little or nothing for the people they claim to be protecting.