Saturday, September 01, 2007

Enforcing Laws Unconstitutional?

Hmm...what exactly needs to be thought about here? Judge puts hold on immigration penalty letters to employers

The Social Security Administration cannot start sending out letters to employers next week that carry with them more serious penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Ruling on a lawsuit by the nation's largest federation of labor unions against the U.S. government, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the so-called "no-match" letters from going out as planned starting Tuesday.

The AFL-CIO lawsuit, filed this week, claims that new Department of Homeland Security rules outlined in accompanying letters threaten to violate workers' rights and unfairly burden employers. Chesney said the court needs "breathing room" before making any decision on the legality of new penalties aimed at cracking down on the hiring of illegal immigrants.

She set the next hearing on the matter for October 1.

The Social Security Administration has sent out "no-match" letters for more than two decades warning employers of discrepancies in the information the government has on their workers. Employers often brushed aside the letters, and the small fines that sometimes were incurred, as a cost of doing business.

But this year, those letters are to be accompanied by notices from the Department of Homeland Security outlining strict new requirements for employers to resolve those discrepancies within 90 days or face fines or criminal prosecution if they're deemed to have knowingly hired illegal immigrants.

It is garbage like this that gives our judicial system generally, and liberal jurisprudence specifically, such a bad name. Notice, there is no new law at issue here. Indeed, the law in question has been on the books for decades. What has changed is its method of enforcement. Federal authorities are now increasing the level of scrutiny and telling employers to resolve discrepancies resulting from factual error or improper (illegal) documentation on their workers...or else face stiff penalties as required by law.

How is the change in enforcement methods a matter for the court exactly?

Think of it this way: There is a stretch of state highway near my home that is never patrolled by police. Basically, anybody can speed with impunity. Now, let us say that next year the state decides to crack down and puts five patrols on that road, who begin pulling people over and writing tickets hand over fist. Now, the law hasn't changed at all. Speeding is still the same offence it was the year before, only the enforcement has been stepped up. By the "reasoning" of Judge Chesney, there would be reason to grant judicial oversight on such matters. "Hey," say an enraged driver, "I was going 90 mph in a 55 mph zone for the last five years and never got a ticket! It should be unconstitutional to start giving out tickets now!" "Ohmigod!" exclaims a gullible Judge Chesney, "You may be right!"

It is rank stupidity, and leaves the judiciary open to the charge that they wish to subvert laws for the benefit of particular interests (economic, political or whatever). Alright, I don't believe liberal jurisprudence is just "open to the charge," I believe they are "guilty as charged." But think about what we are witnessing here. The interference of the judiciary in the enforcement of law based solely upon political considerations. I thought that was always supposed to be unacceptable.


I love the concerns voiced in the WaPo version of this story:

There are errors in the Social Security records of an estimated 12.7 million native-born U.S. citizens, 250,000 foreign-born citizens and 4.8 million legal immigrants, potentially creating a paralyzing bureaucratic nightmare for workers and Social Security offices if their records are dragged into the sweep, union representatives said.

Whether the Social Security offices are backlogged or not is under judicial purview how exactly?


Anonymous said...

I think investigations should be undertaken on Judge Chesney, an officer of the court who is interfering with the enforcement of the law. Disbarment proceedings and removal from office seems to be the correct steps to be taken.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Haven't you heard? It's a living Constitution so, evidently, anything long as it is liberal minded.