Sunday, December 07, 2008

Accuse companies of hiring illegal aliens when CITIZENS NEED JOBS??? Illegal aliens are DESTROYING OUR ECONOMY, OUR SOCIAL SERVICES?

Illegals are DESTROYING our economy, bankrupting states, high crime and total disrespect for laws.......and CITIZENS WHO COMPLAIN ARE VILIFIED AND THREATENED BY BIG BUCKS LAWYERS???


Web site accuses companies of hiring illegal immigrants
Dallas Morning News | 12/5/8 | Dianne Solis

Hundreds of Texas employers, and thousands around the nation, have inspired Internet publicity they didn't court: They're accused of hiring illegal immigrants.

A Web site,, lists companies from Pilgrim's Pride to Swift & Co. as "alleged" employers of illegal immigrants. Both those food companies have had employees at their Texas operations arrested for immigration violations and document fraud, but many other companies listed on the site have not.

And that has employers angry that the founders of the Southern California-based site publicly accuse them of breaking laws. The founders contend they established the site in 2004 in frustration over what they call ineffective action by the federal government. There are now nearly 5,000 "illegal employers" listed from nearly every state.

The Web site reflects one more way that technology is amplifying the national debate over illegal immigration. Scores of sites have gone up in the last few years to defend, to denigrate, and to discuss civilly the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

"We wanted to put the pressure on to the employer because they are the magnet drawing illegal aliens to invade our country," said Jason Mrochek, a co-founder of the Web site.

But others retort that the site unfairly places blame where evidence may be thin. Still others question the site's role as a law enforcement adjunct.

"If these folks really cared about America and safety and crime," said immigration attorney Dan Kowalski, "why not put the public Internet finger on their relatives, friends and neighbors by creating sites like, www.we, www.we"

The federal government won't divulge its tipsters. "ICE doesn't confirm special sources, but we use various sources to obtain intelligence," said Carl Rusnok, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Dallas. "Then we determine if follow-up action is appropriate."

ICE runs its own hotline – 1-866-DHS-2ICE – and information there keeps the Department of Homeland Security agency very busy, Mr. Rusnok added. Mr. Mrochek said they send information to ICE, the FBI and the Social Security Administration. He also said that information is vetted and less than a third of the complaints they receive are actually posted on the Web site.

"We put it to a reasonable suspicion test," Mr. Mrochek said. "Would a reasonable person suspect this employer?"

Examples of information that would be discarded would consist of allegations that people are illegal immigrants because they are "purple with polka dots" or "everyone around here says they hire illegal aliens," Mr. Mrochek said.

Companies respond

Pittsburg, Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride Corp. is listed on the site, along with a photo of Bo Pilgrim, a company co-founder. "Illegal alien employment rate of possibly 80% plus at the slaughter/packaging factory" in Dallas, reads a posting by an anonymous source.

In a detailed e-mail, Pilgrim's Pride responded by listing all the various ways it complies with U.S. immigration law, including a program called E-Verify that checks the validity of Social Security numbers. E-Verify cannot detect identity theft, corporate spokesman Ray Atkinson said.

Pilgrim's Pride also conducts audits of government employment forms known as I-9s, via a third party, and "fully investigates any reports of alleged identity theft."

Several North Texas construction firms are also listed on the Web site. Among them is General Aluminum Co. The personnel director, Juan Banda, said he was "very shocked" to hear about the Web site and planned to call an attorney. "We don't hire illegal aliens, and we comply with all federal laws," he said.

The Lewisville office for the Arkansas-based Klaasmeyer Construction firm also made the Web site. One anonymous informant complained that Klaasmeyer workers were unable to speak English and were therefore "illegals."

Klaasmeyer supervisor Joe Bartlett defended the company's hiring practices and said it is wrong to assume that every Spanish-speaking Hispanic is in the U.S. illegally. "They may be Hispanics, but there are many Hispanics who are card-carrying documented-properly people," Mr. Bartlett said.

There were 8.4 million Hispanics in Texas in 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state's "unauthorized immigrant population" was 1.7 million, coming from all parts of the world, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Dallas-based La Madeleine Bakery, Cafe and Bistro is also listed on the site. Officials at the privately owned restaurant chain said they have tried to get the chain's name removed from the site and that they comply with federal immigration laws. "It would appear that they never remove these postings and do not verify if the allegations are true," said CEO Mike Shumsky. "This, as you might expect, is concerning."

Free speech questions

Beyond the immigration debate, the site offers a window into free speech questions over the rules of a fast-changing media game, infused with technology that moves like quicksilver and takes information and reputations with it. The key issue is the manner in which the Internet allows a Web site to serve as a host for the postings of third parties.

Companies have tried to take legal action against Mr. Mrochek, a 33-year-old who serves as the director of a group called the FIRE Coalition. FIRE stands for the Federal Immigration Reform & Enforcement Coalition.

But his attorney is firm in asserting a legal defense under the Communications Decency Act of 1996. "Everybody and their brother claims they are defamed if they show up on the Internet in an unflattering way," said Escondido, Calif., attorney M. David Meagher. "It is strictly a bully tactic.

"Under the Communications Decency Act, it says that if you host a Web site and if a third party posts something and it turns out it is defamatory, you, the host, are not liable for it," Mr. Meagher said.

Other lawyers concurred with the interpretation, but said there are legal nuances. The messenger, in this case the Web site host, doesn't have "100 percent immunity" but it is very broad, said Oren Bracha, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Dallas lawyer Debra Witter added: "If they are only publishing the content, they should be immune. If they were substantially editing it or altering it, that would be different."