Evidence mounts that President Obama’s administration sanctions hiring illegal aliens.
A year ago, Patricia Shiu, director of the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, issued a directive that overturned George W. Bush’s guidelines requiring OFCCP investigators in certain cases to examine I-9 immigration status forms or to use Homeland Security's electronic E-Verify program to identify illegal workers.
Under Shiu’s new directive, OFCCP is focused on racial and gender discrimination. Shiu, in a statement, confirmed that her agency is committed to protecting workers from discrimination including the hundreds of qualified white, black, Asian and female job seekers involved. That’s fine as far as it goes. But what about illegal aliens who take jobs that should be held by Americans?
An October 20 OFCCP announcement that it had reached a discrimination settlement with Texas-based Caviness Beef Packers caught the attention of Monique Miles. Caviness has a $20 million contract to supply meat products for the federal school lunch program; Miles is a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a Washington group that seeks to protect legal rights and property of U.S. citizens from "damages caused by unlawful immigration."
According to IRLI documents submitted to Government Executive, Miles phoned an OFCCP official for the details on the Caviness case and asked if the Labor Department knew if any of the meat company’s employees were "illegal aliens." The Labor Department official responded that it no longer refers cases to ICE. [Labor Department Criticized for Abandoning Citizenship Checks, by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, November 9, 2011]
When advised that Shiu’s 2010 directive discontinued citizenship checks on contractor employees, Miles said she informed the OFCCP that federal contractors are required to use E-Verify. The Homeland Security’s website states that E-Verify, although voluntary for most business, is:
"…mandatory for some employers, such as those employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause and employers in certain states."
In conclusion, Miles determined that the Labor Department:
"…is shirking its responsibility to protect U.S. workers by turning a blind eye to the presence of unlawful workers at contractors' worksites."
When asked to comment, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee replied in an email to Government Executive,
"The Obama administration's actions continue to show that they are putting illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American workers. It's unfortunate that the Department of Labor is not doing everything it can to help put unemployed Americans back to work. While it is true the Department of Homeland Security administers the federal e-Verify program, the Department of Labor has a responsibility to team up with other agencies to ensure jobs are protected for legal workers."
Smith’s bill, the Legal Workforce Act, would make E-Verify mandatory for employers and would remove currently employed illegal aliens from their jobs.