Good jobs are scarce in Wisconsin, especially in my part of Wisconsin. The article I linked doesn't wholly capture the truth of that; none I've seen does. The situation is precarious, and the government tends to fill the void with the same-old, same-old. This is something that my husband and I have felt dearly over the last few years, and the government's method of dealing with the problem has been sporadic and not nearly as successful as it could be.
The government puts a lot of efforts into recruiting new businesses to replace the old businesses, often offering delicious tax-breaks and a lot of media attention. This is all well and good, but it's still not nearly effective enough. Not only do the new businesses not always stay after they use up their tax-breaks, but they do not offer the variety of jobs that Wisconsin needs to revitalize our economy.
Finally, somebody is starting to take a closer look at this complicated problem. While, I would love to say that there is a new, vital set of businesses opening up in the area that provide good-paying, non-factory jobs...that's only a dream for the time being. That's not why I'm feeling just a little bit giddy.
Nope, it's something else entirely; but it's still something good!
Instead of protecting, accomodating and coddling illegal immigranst, somebody finally took some appropriate action!
Courtesy of the Janesville Gazette:
A Whitewater business owner and 25 workers who investigators say are illegal immigrants were arrested Tuesday by local and federal authorities.
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Petrie, 47, is accused of employing people without proper documentation, including Social Security numbers, that would allow them to live and work in the United States, Otterbacher said.
Otterbacher said Petrie's arrest came after "a number of meetings between the company owner and the investigators."
She said Petrie was told many times that he couldn't employ illegal
immigrants, but he didn't change his way of operating.
* * *
The workers were taken to the Dodge County Jail, where they were kept overnight before deportation proceedings today, said Gail Montenegro, an ICE spokeswoman.
Well, here's to hoping they kick them out and keep them out. Yet...
Otterbacher said the police department tries to work with businesses and companies to foster good relationships, but she said law enforcement must step in when illegal behavior doesn't stop. Her concern is that other Hispanics may see the arrests as a threat to their community in Whitewater.
* * *
During the meeting, ICE officers told the group that the Star Packaging arrests were "just the tip of the iceberg," Otterbacher said.
It's too soon to be certain whether ICE officers will be allowed to do their job. I will clarify that I have absolutely NO problem with Hispanics; I do, however, have a very BIG problem with illegal immigrants. Not because they're immigrants, but because they're here illegally and their illegal status (and, thus, the cheapness of their labor) depresses the wages other members of the labor force can demand for their exertions and that is unacceptable.
Sad as it is, a job at such a packaging plant is usually "good money" for workers in Wisconsin. This type of grunt labor is our staple. Our economy is fed by such jobs being paid honest wages to taxpayers; hiring illegal immigrants is NOT helpful, by doing so companies are not only stiffing the government, they are cheating Wisconsin taxpayers out of much needed jobs.
I'm happy to say that the efforts of ICE made for a nice victory. I hope it continues. Wisconsin needs these jobs!