Again, you can read our full story here. Of course, it's too early to assign particular, individual blame for this incident. But a few issues definitely stick out.
Someone--probably multiple on-site personnel--knew these workers were illegal. And obviously someone made a deliberate--and incredibly stupid and dangerous--attempt to hide these workers and subvert federal immigration laws. Further, the report indicates they could have been hidden in this space for more than an hour, without any ability to exit on their own, which sort of/kind of highlights a minor safety issue--i.e., a callous disregard for the well-being of these workers, despite their status.
Then there are these questions: Are contractors hiding behind the E-Verify system? Who would be stupid enough to hire insufficiently documented workers on a federal construction site? With an industry unemployment rate of roughly 20%, do contractors really need to take the risk of hiring illegal workers? Or, are the aggressive bids of today actually encouraging firms to continue their shady employment practices?
In short, the dramatic details of this latest immigration incident seem to expose the attitude that too many firms in the industry take in their apparent attempts to game the system.
Who's to blame? Again, it's too early to tell. But I think we may have an idea.
Stay tuned; there's surely more to come. For now, though, what are your thoughts? Let us hear you.
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