I was having a â€œdiscussionâ€ with someone about illegal workers. This person didnâ€™t seem to think that illegal workers were much of a big deal.Â The premise on which she based this was that people violate traffic laws all the time with infractions like speeding. Speeding isnâ€™t a felony and neither is illegal immigration; theyâ€™re both misdemeanors and therefore not serious offenses was the premise of the argument.
I tried to point out, but to no avail, of course, that laws like speeding, texting while driving, and driving while intoxicated may be misdemeanors, but when they result in fatalities, they become serious offenses. So someone who is negligent about seemingly minor laws is more likely to be involved in more serious crimes.
Such is the case with the illegal population. You can argue that theyâ€™re just here seeking a better life, and Iâ€™ve been through that argument with others in the past too. However, the way this country works currently (I think it still does, anyway) is that you need to work to make a living even for the bare necessities and if you donâ€™t have proper identification, you canâ€™t get a job. Now, that might not be the case with all work because some employers do pay their workers without documentation on a cash basis, illegal as that is.
Youâ€™ve often heard the chant that illegal workers are actually good for America because they do jobs most Americans donâ€™t want to do. The fact is that illegal workers who have come here for a better life want the same amenities others who are here legally have and more opportunities are available with employers who are not as ready to hire illegal workers. The only thing they need for consideration to be hired by a legitimate employer is documentation to prove they have legal status.
You may have noticed that in the last five years or so, identity theft insurance is advertised almost as much as auto insurance.Â This is because identity theft is an underground industry that sells your documentation to illegal workers who will pay to own it illegally. So, just as the traffic violator who was negligent obeying traffic laws and later may have killed someone because of that indifference to law, the same indifference to law is true of an illegal worker. Crimes of a more serious nature are more likely to follow when someone has no regard for law in general.
The need for identity theft insurance is almost as important a need as auto insurance now. It angers me that I have to be responsible to keep my own identity and pay to keep it. I think it should be the responsibility of those to whom we have entrusted our most private personal information, but itâ€™s difficult to know from what source your identity has been stolen so the liability of any particular entity is not always as easy to determine. Still, I think that companies and organizations that need your personal information should have to share in the liability. However, that wouldnâ€™t help either because the cost would still be passed onto the private citizen in higher costs to procure the services of the entities that have received your informationâ€”a catch 22.
So how much of identity theft is attributable to the illegal worker? Itâ€™s hard to tell, but from this 2008 MSNBC article, â€œthere are clear indications that many -- if not most -- of the 9 million mismatches are immigrants using the wrong SSN. One study by Social Security indicates no-match payments come most frequently from agricultural and restaurant industries, for example.â€
The article also attributes blame to the SS Administration, the IRS, and privacy rules that disallow lenders such as banks and auto dealers to alert consumers when they find multiple social security numbers attached to one name.
So, yes, our system is at fault too and there is no doubt about that. Yet, illegal is illegal for reasons far more significant and beyond what the simplest of laws might indicate at face value. Just as disregard for what seems to be a simple traffic violation can result in far worse consequences, illegal immigration also has consequences far beyond the act of residing in a country in which one has no business.