Another Consequence of the Immigration Issue

So, I had the opportunity to go to this Democratic big-wig thing, which I will say more about later, if I can think of anything coherent to say about it.

I must learn Spanish; it’s painful at this point.

But here’s what I heard that I have to tell y’all about right now.  Okay, so you know how, in our state, you get a huge fine for knowingly (or should-have-knowingly) hiring illegal immigrants?  Well, apparently, one of the ways companies are getting around this is by farming out the hiring to these other companies, so that those companies will have to bear the brunt of the law.

And those companies, then, in order to mitigate their risk, run criminal background checks and drug tests and check people’s immigration statuses.  If any of those three things don’t check out, the person doesn’t get hired.

I will say that again, in case you missed it: If any one of those three things doesn’t check out, the person doesn’t get hired.

If you have a criminal record, you cannot get a job at these major, national companies, which, in many cases, are the only places in your community to work (for all practical purposes).

I’ve read, and I’m sure you have, too, that it’s estimated that one in three black men has been involved in the penal system at some point in his life.

These places have a blanket policy of not hiring people with criminal records.  One in three black men has a criminal record.

You know what you call a 33% unemployment rate in any segment of our community?

Pretty damn devastating for the whole community, that’s what.

14 thoughts on “Another Consequence of the Immigration Issue

  1. It gets worse.

    It’s not widely talked about yet in many circles, but many of those hiring firms are also rejecting people with bad credit.

    Given what’s gone on in the subprime lending market over the last 3 years, it’ll be even harder for many of the poorer folks to get a job with a sustainable wage and chance for advancement.

  2. Kat, thats a HUGE point. Credit is also a major factor when buying insurance, especially auto insurance. Or, when renting an apartment, which is what many of those foreclosed families will have to do.

  3. It scares me viscerally when I think what a large sector of our population is facing. Nobody talks about it, but it’s amounting to a large-scale lockout that will dwarf anything like Katrina.

  4. I gotta say, though, that the particular problem that B is discussing seems to be much more a consequence of the War on Drugs ™ than of the war against immigrants.

  5. Except that these employers, if they were still doing the hiring themselves, would not necessarily not hire a person just because he got arrested when he was 18. But because they need to have a buffer between them and the hiring of illegal immigrants, they’ve hired companies whose policies include bouncing everyone who’s got a record.

  6. I gotta say, though, that the particular problem that B is discussing seems to be much more a consequence of the War on Drugs ™ than of the war against immigrants.

    But at least some of the WoD has fueled the War on Immigrants. Who hasn’t seen all the episodes of Miami Vice where the drug lords were brown people, all the episodes of L&O where all the drug mules were brown people, all the movies (think “Lethal Weapon”) where the illegal immigrants were smuggled in the country as a cover for drugs.

    Nearly every speech given about the Wall or The Border(s) emphasises the whole “drugs come through our porous borders! Oh Noes!” and nearly every new piece of WoD propaganda talks about how terrorists fund their terroristic ways with DRUG MONEY!!!!!! and all the pot you smoke was smuggled in by Mexican drug mules who will give the money to Osama for Blowing Up Shit.

    The WoD and the WoII is pretty darned intertwined right now.

  7. I’m finding it hard to imagine that a company that’s big enough to be able to afford farming out their hiring, and nervous enough to do so, isn’t going to have a company policy against hiring ex-cons, “’cause you never know.” Unless I’m misunderstanding, we’re not talking about a small garage or mom and pop store or little landscaping company using these subcontractors, and those are the kinds of places most likely to take the risk of knowingly hiring ex-cons.

  8. I hear what you’re saying, but what they were saying is that we’re not just talking about a guy who served two years (or five or ten) in prison and needs someone to give him a chance. We’re talking about anyone who’s been in the criminal justice system for anything other than minor traffic violations. You don’t have to have even served time.

    My understanding, from what they were saying last night, is that this is a much more stringent policy than what companies had been operating under.

  9. hmmm, Kat…I agree with you to a point, but most of the latino stereotypical Drug Lords are Colombian, not Mexican…

    But you have brought up excellent points here… I’m pondering…

  10. Responding to nm – the company I work for fluctuates between 50-65 employees. Not a tiny business, but probably about the same size as the “little landscaping company” you refer to. Most of our new employees are from a temp agency. It’s more efficient for professional hiring companies to go through resumes and do interviews than to have one of our managers with little time or talent for such things handle them. It’s also much easier to fire a temp (vs. a direct hire) if they don’t end up being a good fit for the job. Large companies have a human resource department to handle those things and are more likely to do direct hires. Small and medium sized companies are, I think, actually more likely to use these kinds of services.

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