A Narrative – And 15 Illegals – Busted In Cameron

You’ve heard the line 1,000 times about illegals. We’ll let AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who isn’t just one of the most obnoxious advocates on the issue but the leader of an organization which traditionally opposed efforts at bringing in immigrant laborers who depress wages for union members, tell it…

“Right now, today, the United States of America has 11 million aspiring citizens who rent or own homes, who raise families and buy groceries, who work hard, who pay taxes, and do their fair share right here in Chicago, and in thousands of cities and towns all across this country—but who live here as second-class citizens, and something has to be done about it!”

Over and over again you hear politicians and other assorted mouthpieces repeat this narrative – that illegals are just hard-workin’, law-abidin’ folks who are somehow victimized by a broken system and forced to live their lives in the shadows, and Gosh-darnit we ought to have a comprehensive immigration reform that brings these people in under the law.

But the question has never really been answered – how are these people both hard-working and law-abiding at the same time if they’re illegals? How do they get hired to work a job when it’s illegal to hire illegals?

Last Thursday in Cameron Parish, on a job site for a liquefied natural gas facility under construction (it appears to have been either Cameron LNG or Cheniere Energy Services; we haven’t figured out which yet), we gained a clue how it happens – and the answer isn’t good.

Fifteen undocumented immigrants were arrested Thursday, May 4, for working under false identities at an LNG project underway in Cameron, according to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas.

The defendants, who are all in the U.S. illegally, fraudulently gained the names, social security numbers and birth certificates of U.S. citizens and used them to obtain identification cards from multiple states — Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas among them — according to the release.

Federal officials say they used the stolen information to obtain jobs at the LNG project. The subcontractors who hired the employees used offices in Port Arthur, Texas.

A federal grand jury in Beaumont indicted the defendants earlier in the week on charges of identity theft, using social security numbers of citizens, and falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to obtain jobs at the project over a three-year period. Federal and state agents then arrested the defendants Thursday evening.

They will each face up to five years in federal prison if convicted, according to the release. Since some defendants have had previous encounters with immigration authorities, they could accrue additional charges or increased sentences once convicted.

The arrested include a dozen Mexicans, two Guatemalans and a Honduran. It’s not that they’re hardened criminals, but they’re walking around with stolen identities. It seems there’s a ring out of Puerto Rico which deals in stolen birth certificates and Social Security numbers, so these guys are all impersonating Puerto Ricans whose identities they’ve stolen. What’s worst about this is E-verify couldn’t catch these guys, so the contractor who hired them really can’t be blamed for their having slipped through the cracks. They followed the recommended procedure and still ended up hiring a bunch of illegals.

Which isn’t a problem for the “comprehensive immigration reform” crowd because they’re not Puerto Rican and aren’t having their identities stolen. But when these guys get credit cards they don’t pay balances on, or take mortgages they don’t service, their victims get some pretty ugly surprises.

Richard Trumka and the rest of the crowd don’t bear the cost of illegals. They don’t suffer for them.

Now, there is an argument which says these 15 illegals got hired because they’re better workers than the Americans those contractors can find to build that LNG facility, and that argument does have merit. We do have a cultural problem in this country whereby nowhere near enough Americans are willing to give a full day’s work for a full day’s wage. A couple of days after the illegals were picked up on that job site in Cameron there were well more than 15 able-bodied Americans standing around on a street corner in Baton Rouge listening to a harangue about the “Baton Rouge Pig Department” on a megaphone by a silly man in a beret. That’s hardly a wise use of one’s time when there are 15 well-paying jobs building America’s energy infrastructure newly available just down the interstate.

But that’s not a good enough reason to put up with criminality. If the going labor rate won’t net you American workers, then the going rate might have to go up.

And that’s a pretty damn good reason why Richard Trumka should have been fired as the AFL-CIO head honcho a long time ago. Rather than fighting to increase the minimum wage and put Americans out of work, why in the hell isn’t he fighting to stop illegals from getting hired and create economic conditions that increase American wages?

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