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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:
In response to the wonderful letter by Irene Weiser of Stop Family Violence I have only one thing to say - that it is indeed ironic that we live in a country where our leaders can see fit to order life support to be reconnected to a comotose woman in defiance of the wishes of her next of kin, while essentially removing life support from a woman who is very much alive and deserving of it, in defiance of a significant lobby of American citizens, including many members of Congress. In response to Mr. Alexander, I say, given his accurate observations, wouldn't he then draw the inevitable conclusion that Walmart either had no interest in finding a way to hire those workers legally or to find US workers to fill those positions or it simply wasn't possible, given the profit imperatives and the existent labor pool in some areas where they operate. I think this case provides clear evidence of what companies who may desire to abide by the law are up against in terms of their ability to do so and continue to staff their operations. Walmart is practically an institution on a par with church in many communities throughout the heartland of this country, it's where people gather on weekends, it's the only game in town in many instances, and its alleged monopolistic business practices have come under fire before. Willing or not, I don't think that even Walmart's big machine is able to practice diligence with the contractors that supply its workers, because the contractors are between a rock and a hard place. There are not sufficient US workers out there who are willing to take those jobs at those wages and working conditions , and there simply are no current legal categories of immigration which include the types of workers in question. You cannot get blood from a stone! If you really want to witness the magnitude of the problem, tell the government to bust all the contractors. After all, I believe that they are the "employers" for purposes of maintaining I-9's on the workers they supply or assign to companies like Walmart. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe that corporations are responsible for keeping I-9's on their janitorial staff if that staff is supplied by a contractor and is not directly employed by the corporation. However, notwithstanding the lack of I-9 accountability, corporations may still be liable for constructive knowledge. The government already knows about these contractors, because they are among the 245(i) employers whom the USCIS has pledged not to raid. (See my Letter to the Editor of 9/26/2003). Now do you see the Catch-22.

SJD



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