Thursday, December 8, 2016

Temp Workers’ 'Abuse' Stems from Immigration Policy

The New Jersey Star-Ledger ran an investigative report on the temporary employment industry in New Jersey. Death, discrimination and despair in N.J.'s temp industry documents “abuses” allegedly suffered by predominantly immigrant individuals seeking work through the hundreds of private temp agencies operating in cities around the state.

I left these comments, edited and expanded for clarity:

The headline of this series would have you believe we’re dealing with some kind of quasi-slave trade.

Yet in the articles, you find that actual “abuse,” whatever that is, is rare. (Allegedly “low pay” and lack of paid holidays or vacations is not abuse. They are terms of employment the worker agreed to. I spent 46 years in the construction trades, and never had paid vacations or sick days. I never felt “abused.” On the other hand, failure to pay agreed-upon wages or instances of sexual harassment are abuse.)

In reality, you’d be hard pressed to find “death and despair.” What you find are mostly people who willing immigrated to America looking for higher pay, and finding it thanks to profit-seeking companies that provide it, consumers willing to buy the products their jobs depend on, and the temp agencies that facilitate job placement. They are people who willingly take jobs that, by their own judgement, are better than the jobs they left behind in their native countries. Why? To make better lives for themselves and their families, and the opportunity to build a base for economic advancement. If they are so abused, why stay in the job? Just read the related article about one illegal immigrant named Rafael Sanchez ('I am illegal': How one Mexican became a N.J. temp worker).

Instances of actual abuse notwithstanding (such as sexual harassment), the temp industry looks to me to be an honorable industry. As I see it, the worst abuser is our government.

First, it rips 15.2% in FICA taxes right off the top, whether the worker wants to pay it or not.

Worse, there is our horrific immigration policy, which turns honest, hardworking people into illegals, stifles their opportunities, and fosters the rise of illegal and abusive human smuggling rings. As you read about Rafael Sanchez, you’ll see that low pay is not his main problem. Lack of the shot at upward mobility due to his illegal status is his main problem. Immigrants should pass criminal background checks, screening for infectious diseases, ties to terrorist organizations or terror supporting countries, and other criteria to make sure they are not a threat to Americans’ safety and rights. Coming here to work is not a threat. People who pass proper background checks and can demonstrate they are here to work should be free to enter our country without fear of legal retribution. Those already here working their butts off should be recognized legally and offered an official apology.


For its part, N.J. temp firms call for stricter enforcement of laws in light of investigation, but no new laws or regulations. As Kelly Heyboer reports for,

The New Jersey Staffing Alliance, a group that represents more than 140 employment companies, released a letter last week calling for new fines and more staff at state agencies overseeing the industry in response to "The invisible workforce," an NJ Advance Media series published last month.

The series detailed racial discrimination, low wages, unsafe working conditions and sexual harassment some New Jersey temp workers say they face on a daily basis.

Many blue collar temp workers -- who are usually paid between $8.38 and $11 an hour in warehouse or factory jobs -- said they avoid reporting mistreatment because they are immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The abuse, real or imagined, afflicts some workers, usually those who are victims of our immigration policies. Once again, the main problem stems from immigration policy. It’s described as “a cloud that hangs over all of this. ...  The threat of being deported is real."

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Anonymous said...

" Beyond that, there should be no numerical limitations to migration between nations at peace with one another any more than there should be limitations between states."

Have you ever thought about what would happen if the USA adopted this policy? There are polls that say 1/3 Mexicans would come to the USA if they could. (That's 40 million.) Mexico is wealthy by the world's standards but poor by the US standard, so that's probably a good proxy. With Brazil you'd have 60 million, 300 million Indians, 400 million Muslims, etc. Now they couldn't all move here at one time, but the USA as it now exists would come to an end. Why should anyone want this?

Europe and Israel would become Islamic.


Anonymous said...

"People who pass proper background checks and can demonstrate they are here to work should be free to enter our country without fear of legal retribution. Those already here working their butts off should be recognized legally and offered an official apology."

Could you name a single place in the world that has become more free enterprise oriented and less welfare dependent because of 3d world immigration?

How you can look at what's going on in Europe and think that mass Islamic immigration would be good for the USA is beyond me.

Didn't you hear about the Somali immigrant who, last week, ran over several people and knifed more?



Anonymous said...

Have you considered what will happen when these immigrants (or their children - since we have birth right citizenship) get the right to vote? These people will vote for higher taxes on the slowly diminishing white people. This has happened in California where in 2012 all these "hard working Hispanics" voted to raise taxes on the wealthy.

You are in your 60s? You have children and grandchildren? Have you given a moments thought to what will happen to your grandchildren if the US becomes a third world country? At best America would become Brazil, and at worse South Africa.


Anonymous said...

"People who pass proper background checks . . . ."

Well, if you take this seriosly, then we would have to restrict immigration to Europe, Australia and New Zeland since outside of these place there are not reliable background check (to the best of my knowledge - there might be some exceptions).

Say "Jose Suarez" goes to the US embassy in Mexico and produces a document showing he is "Jose Suarez" and has what purports to be a criminal background check saying he has no criminal convictions. Do you believe he should be let in? Also, the age of consent in Mexico is 14 - that's Mexico, not Saudi Arabia. So he could be a child rapist and we'd never know. I have a friend who is a public defender and he says the claims by people such as Ann Coulter about statutory rape and domestic violence in Mexican-American families is 100 percent correct.

Do you know that there are Middle East and North African countries that don't have laws against domestic abuse? Do you know that there are reliable polls that say 25% of men in these countries have committed sexual assault.

And assume that you could properly screen Muslims. Are you so naive about human nature that you don't think the worst aspects of Muslim culture (rape and corruption) would not reassert themselves? This has happened in Eureope where the 3d generation of Muslims are producing lots of terrorists.