2005 July 18 Monday
Growing Grassroots Immigration Law Enforcement Movement

A grass roots national movement to enforce immigration law is spreading across the United States.

At least 40 anti-immigration groups have popped up nationally, inspired by the Minuteman Project that rallied hundreds this year to patrol the Mexican border in Arizona.

"It's like O'Leary's cow has kicked over the lantern. The fire has just started now," said Carl "Two Feathers" Whitaker, an American Indian activist and perennial gubernatorial candidate who runs the Tennessee Volunteer Minutemen, aimed at exposing those who employ illegals.

Some local governments are looking for ways to enforce immigration law as well. The government of Canyon County Idaho is planning to bring RICO suits against local businesses which hire illegal aliens to recover costs of providing services to illegals.

"Their presence lowers the labor wage for American citizens and removes employment opportunities," county Commissioner Robert Vasquez, an ambitious politician who just started a bid for Congress, said of the illegal workers. "Certainly it uses tax dollars to provide them with educational services, medical care, unemployment compensation for those that are injured on the job. They are a drain on the taxpayers of Canyon County, the state of Idaho and the U.S. in general."

The county's attempt to recoup its expenses would be filed under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly called the RICO Act, which has been used against targets ranging from organized crime to Internet spammers.

Canyon County believes it can prove economic damages in court.

Though Vasquez has talked about the possibility of filing suit for several weeks, the commissioners signed a contract Tuesday hiring the Chicago-based law firm Johnson-Bell and lawyer Howard Foster. The contract instructs Foster to file the lawsuit.

The county alleges the businesses, which Vasquez declined to identify until the lawsuit is filed, are hurting the county by taking jobs from U.S. citizens and giving them to illegal immigrants, who then use county resources such as indigent medical care, schools and jails

Should these lawsuits succeed many other county governments could copy Canyon County and use RICO as a tool to intimidate businesses to stop employing illegals. Also, if RICO can be used against the employers of illegals then the desire for big money will bring trial lawyers looking for big scores. The triple damages available under RICO could bring a large change in incentives when it comes to immigration law enforcement.

Efforts to enforce immigration law at the local level will continue to grow as long as the federal government refuses to enforce immigration law. Don't expect the growth of the grassroots movement to change policy in Washington DC. I expect America's treasonous elites to try to get an amnesty through Congress in 2006 as a way to make all the illegals legal and thereby undermine local immigration law enforcement efforts.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 July 18 12:39 AM  Immigration Law Enforcement

Ned said at July 18, 2005 4:54 AM:

Interesting article about illegal immigration by Tamar Jacoby in the LA Times:


Basically, he tells about Operation Vanguard, an attempt to crack down on illegal immigrants working in the meatpacking industry in Nebraska. The initial phase was highly successful; lots of illegals were rounded up and many more fled the state to avoid being caught. This caused many meatpacking plants to close. The owners and legal employees complained to the politicians, who then raised hell with the immigration people who were running the sweeps. Operation Vanguard got dropped.

I'm all for dealing with illegal immigration by enforcing the laws. But there are powerful forces at work here that don't want anything to change too much. Immigration reform will not be easy.

Engineer-Poet said at July 18, 2005 6:37 AM:

That raises the question of who would have the most pull in Washington:  a few big employers of illegals, or a few hundred thousands Minutemen and all their supporters.  And all the county taxpayers tired of their money going to pay for illegals, etc.

If an Operation Vanguard had strong and explicit popular support, it would be much harder to quash.

Ned said at July 18, 2005 7:57 AM:


My point, exactly. Unless a large chunk of the populations gets behind immigration reform, it's not going to happen. The problem is that illegal immigration looks like a win-win to the illegals and their employers, and, in many ways, it is. The illegals get a job at a wage they could never command back home (for example, five bucks an hour looks like fifty to someone from El Salvador, where the per capita GDP is about 10% of the USA's). And the employer gets pretty good workers for cheap. And not just good, reliable workers, but docile ones too. No worries about unions or complaints to OSHA. Anybody foolish enough to make trouble gets kicked out. And the workers don't want to make trouble, because they think they're lucky to be here, and, truly, they are. Of course, the big loser is the taxpayer, who foots the bill for health care, education, law enforcement, etc. Plus there are huge national security concerns. But the reason nothing gets done is exactly what Jacoby says - every time the immigration folks try to do their jobs, the politicians jump on them. GWB is the leading offender here, but the truth is that Clinton was no better. Note that both Democratic and Republican leaderships steer clear from doing anything serious about illegal immigration. The push is coming from the fringes of both parties - people like Tom Tancredo and Maxine Waters - a couple of strange bedfellows if there ever were. This whole thing is pretty much a big scam. The periodic high profile attempts by the government to "crack down" on illegal immigration almost always involve stepped-up activity at the border. Operations like Vanguard seldom get tried, for obvious reasons. And improved border control may indeed snare a lot of illegals, but in the long run it has almost no practical effect. The illegals who are caught are merely sent back to try again in another, less secure part of the border. And they will all eventually get in unless they die trying (unfortunately, not an uncommon outcome), which is the desired outcome. No, the way to stop this plague is to treat the illegals and their employers as the lawbreakers they really are, with heavy fines and jail sentences.

Randall Parker said at July 18, 2005 9:12 AM:


Tamar is a she. Be aware that she is extremely for Open Borders. So you have to take her claims with a grain of salt.

It is amazing to me that Tamar Jacoby and Heather MacDonald both work for the Manhattan Institute. On immigration Heather is quite the opposite of Ms. Jacoby.

Ned said at July 18, 2005 9:54 AM:

My most humble apologies to Tamar. It was an honest mistake. And pro-open borders that she may be, her commentary is still correct.

John S Bolton said at July 18, 2005 12:52 PM:

Legalization of any large number of illegal aliens is quite counterproductive for the places that use them. There should be trifling support among such businesses for legalization. Why would they want to pay more, and have to observe regulations, when they used illegals preciseley for the reason of not having to deal with legal workers? There would have to be quite a lot of RICO prosecutions before there would be any ground level business support for amnesties.

Invisible Scientist said at July 18, 2005 7:56 PM:

But when will the immigration law be modified so that the regulations favor the immigration of more intelligent and educated people to enrich the gene pool,but actually creating a "point system" like Canada, New Zealand, etc?

This is FAR more important than blocking the illegal aliens. The entire leadership of the United States in the world, is due to the critical mass of exceptionally talented people here... Give automatic US citizenship to all kids with IQ over 150 if they are under the age of 15, and green cards if they are over the age of 15.

D Flinchum said at July 19, 2005 8:13 AM:

Invisible Scientist,

Out of curiosity, how would you handle the issue of family reunification with your high IQ immigrants? In a lot of countries, your family picks your spouse so that a high IQ person could end up with a pretty "normal" (or even below normal) immediate family. Let immediate family in and call a halt there unless, of course, the other family members qualify on their own? Accept only the high IQ immigrant? Accept only single high IQ immigrants?

Just curious. A lot of the legal immigration today is just family reunification. Sort of migratory nepotism if you please.

John S Bolton said at July 19, 2005 4:03 PM:

That's the beauty of a merit system in immigration, if it has high standards; you would get all young single men, and they would have to be assimilable in high degree. They could only stay and raise families here, if the women here could find them acceptable, specifically in terms of reproduction. Today immigrants are selected by special interests, and our minimum standards get ruthlessly driven down. Then localities start to respond, as illiterates are shoved 30,40, 50 or more into a small house, and the people with standards start demanding that the government respond, and fullfill its responsibility.

John S Bolton said at July 20, 2005 12:41 AM:

This local immigration law enforcement shows up a weakness in the tranzi power base; it is quite narrow, with a broad tottering gaggle of servant users on the top end. The despised, fat, selfish bougeoisie who are so backward that they would dare to insult officialdom and professoriate, by insisting on minimum standards locally, don't realize how dangerous it is to not have Edwardian staffing levels, for the movers and shakers. If local housing standards, not to mention those for driving, are zealously enforced where, for some time, they have not been, the low wage advantage of illegals goes away. The ability to throw one's costs on to the general public is greatly diminished, if one can't beat the minimum rents, which generally reflect additional public school costs, to some considerable extent.

M.robinson said at July 23, 2005 7:41 AM:

In Britain the law has changed recently, any one employing an illegal immigrant will will be ined 2500($4200) pounds per illegal employee. Its the unscrupulous employers that need to be tackled and as such the British government is taking the advantage.

m. davies said at September 10, 2005 7:36 PM:

Grass roots enforcement of immigration laws. Some of my friends and I have made it a point to tell local restauranteurs that we've notice that they use illegal immigrant labor, we've reported it to DHS-2ICE and will no longer patronize their establishment. I've also called our state dept. of revenue to report businesses in my area that I suspect are paying illegal immigrants "off the books". Customers/patrons need to let the businesses know that we don't like their hiring practices and will take our business to places who play fair and by the rules. If we all did that, businesses would realize it doesn't pay to hire illegals.

carol said at April 11, 2006 2:34 AM:

What are we going to do about it? We could have a Boston tea party and dump Congress, starting with Ted K.

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