LatinaLista — There’s a lesson to be learned from the latest high-ranking government figure who unwittingly got punk’d for employing a cleaning company that had undocumented workers working for it.
It seems it was discovered that the head honcho of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Michael Chertoff, has been having his home cleaned by a cleaning crew comprised, in part, with undocumented immigrants.
The moral to this story, besides the fact, that this exemplifies just how ingrained undocumented workers are in our society is that though these workers were screened every few weeks for the past four years, they always sailed through with flying colors â€” because of one important fact.
The Secret Service was the agency involved in screening the cleaners who worked at Secretary Chertoff’s house. Yet, for an agency that is entrusted with keeping the most important government figures safe and who prides itself on catching criminals and thwarting illegal schemes, how could their screenings had missed such an important detail as the fact that these workers were undocumented?
Screenings that involve keeping such high-profile figures safe involves checking for the one element that would create an unsafe situation â€” a criminal background.
In other words, the Secret Service did their job and screened all these workers’ criminal backgrounds â€” and they found nothing. It was only when they checked their immigration status that they realized they were here illegally.
But overstaying visas and being in the country without the proper paperwork is not and never has been the kind of crime that puts somebody’s life in danger and warrants addition to the “Most Wanted” list.
Yes, these workers were working and taxes were being taken out of their paychecks and going where? Oh yeah, to that big pool of money Washington has saved where all the money taken out of checks of the people who work here without the proper paperwork have their money taken.
Money that they will never see but money that is conveniently ignored when they are accused of not paying taxes. Money that the same gray-haired critics of these immigrants will benefit from when it comes time to live off their Social Security.
While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year’s surplus – the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it doles out in pension benefits. Moreover, the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all the Social Security Administration’s projections. (2005 New York Times article)
Chertoff’s situation exemplifies one thing â€” the vast majority of these undocumented immigrants are not criminals but workers who want to do the one thing everybody who wants to earn a decent wage wants to do â€”Â work.
Isn’t it time we stopped forcing the criminal label onto undocumented immigrants to make them fit the definition of a group of narrow-minded people who in less than two months will have to start cleaning their own homes.