Walter Schwartz and Bernado Reinoso are helping Latino families in Austin with basic chores and paperwork. Schwartz has also driven families back to Mexico during the past few months while Reinoso helps with filing taxes and other services. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Archived Story

Special report: Are Hispanics leaving?

Published 10:56am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Austin Daily Herald special report: Reverse immigration is a growing trend, as people are said to be returning to Latino countries in growing numbers

This is the first in a series of special reports by the Austin Daily Herald on reverse immigration in Austin.

Walter Schwartz knows every gas station from here to Mexico. He knows which interstates and highways are more trouble than they’re worth. He knows which flights go from Mexico City to Minneapolis. Most of all, Schwartz knows firsthand that people are leaving Austin. He has driven some of them back to Mexico.

“I take them all the way to wherever they tell me to take them,” Schwartz said. “Mainly I’m taking families to be reunited.”

Latinos are leaving Austin. Some were here illegally while others are scared they won’t find work or safety in town. Some say they feel discriminated against by police and local residents. Some have lost their jobs and are going where the work is.

Austin’s Latino issues mirror a national trend of reverse immigration. With increased attention on immigration – like Alabama’s policy allowing police to check residents’ status and detain undocumented immigrants without bail – more Hispanics, regardless of legal status, are feeling unsafe.

Schwartz and his friend Bernardo Reinoso run CubaMaya, a Latino services business. Operating out of Bernado’s kitchen, they help new Latino residents and Latinos who struggle with English do anything and everything. They make dentist appointments, drive people to the store, or translate for families, businesses, and local government offices. Reinoso, a former medical technician, usually helps with the paperwork, while Schwartz drives clients to their destinations.

Schwartz has helped families go back to Mexico before, but there are more families than ever looking to leave this year. They need an easy way to get back to Mexico for a reasonable cost and Schwartz is willing to help. He drove a mother and her son back in late 2007 and made a handful of trips since then until activity picked up this year.

The requests began in May, when a mother and her children wanted to be reunited with her deported husband. There was a trip then, and another trip in June. Soon, people were asking Schwartz to drive them south every time he came home to Austin, and he now makes two or three trips a month. Schwartz has three families to drive when he gets back in February.

He’ll typically drive the family’s car to a border town like Ciudad Juarez, where the family switches their car’s U.S. title to a Mexican one. Schwartz usually sends necessary paperwork several weeks beforehand, so the family doesn’t have to wait. Once the car title is set, Walter drives them through the border to their destination. He’ll then take a bus to Mexico City and catch a plane to Minneapolis, where he’ll have transportation waiting.

Schwartz and Reinoso don’t ask clients about their immigration status. It makes no difference to them; they help anyone in need.

“It’s not a business to get rich off of,” Reinoso said. “It’s something to help people.”

They listen to the stories, though.

They say many families don’t feel safe here any more. Schwartz blames increased police attention to immigration status and said he has heard stories of racial profiling. He said he has been a victim of police profiling several times, occasions when police have stopped him and, checking his license, find his name is Walter Schwartz.

“They assume I am Hector, Mario, or Jose,” Schwartz said. “I can see (their) eyes going ‘Whoa, I caught this guy with this fake ID.’”

Police made a concerted effort last year to catch more people with aggravated forgery charges, according to Schwartz, Reinoso and other residents.

“There was a period of time when there was an influx of aggravated forgery charges here in Austin, which were Latinos,” said local attorney Dan Donnelly, who practices immigration law. “It did result in a number of families leaving.”

Local police say there was no concerted effort to make aggravated forgery arrests, which would include undocumented workers committing identity theft.

“There was no effort to do that,” said Police Chief Brian Krueger.

There are other crimes that fall under the aggravated forgery heading, but a majority in Mower County involve people who are in the U.S. illegally. Austin police made 100 arrests for aggravated forgery in 2010, compared to 75 in 2009, according to Mower County court records. Mower County deputies made eight arrests in 2010, compared to three in 2009.

It is common practice for Austin and Mower County law enforcement to check a person’s status if they are stopped or arrested, said Sheriff Terese Amazi. While Schwartz and Reinoso said police have gone to homes to make arrests and to check status, the sheriff said there would have to be a crime committed before they check status.

“It would be as a result of something,” Amazi said.

There are rumors people are losing their jobs at local plants as well, due to increased hiring scrutiny amid federal immigration programs. Displaced workers who fear being fired and/or deported are going to Arcadia, Wis., to work for the Ashley Furniture plant or to Postville, Iowa, or St. Joseph, Mo., to work at other meat processing plants.

“Everyone is moving away,” said Juan, a former employee at Quality Pork Processors, Inc. (Juan asked that his real name not be used, because he was in Austin illegally.) He recently quit his job after more than 10 years at the plant and is looking for work. He has relatives in Mexico to support and will most likely move to a different town to get a job.

It’s difficult to track how many families have left. The rumors seem to fly in the face of Austin’s reputation as an area increasing in population. Austin’s Hispanic population has more than doubled over the past 10 years, from about 1,400 to almost 3,800. This mirrors a statewide trend, as Minnesota’s Hispanic population has risen more than 74 percent over the past decade.

About 15 to 20 clients have told the Welcome Center in Austin they were moving away, said Jake Vela, executive director. Vela couldn’t say for sure if there were more leaving.

“Some people don’t let us know,” he said.

Austin Public School officials said that with children coming in and out of the district all the time, it’s tough to track where students and families are going. District officials say there isn’t a significant increase or decrease in Hispanic students, just a steady increase in the district’s overall student population.

Local officials and community leaders have heard the rumors of Hispanic families leaving, and of refugees from Sudan, Liberia and Burma coming into town.

“The city can’t really do anything about it,” said Mayor Tom Stiehm. “It’s obviously something of a work situation.”

Stiehm and other community leaders said they are pleased more people are coming into town and are working to build bridges with new residents. They don’t think many Latinos will leave Austin, or at least not as many as the rumors say.

“We have to continue to pay attention to the Hispanic community,” Stiehm said.

Some residents are worried families who go will never return. Riverland Community College student Diana Ramirez said her cousin recently moved to Marshalltown, Iowa, to find work, rather than stay in Austin. Ramirez remembers living in Marshalltown with her family shortly before Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided the Swift & Company pork processing plant in December 2006.

“There was rumors like there is here that a lot of the workers were going to be unemployed,” Ramirez said. “It was just like what happened here.”

Ramirez recently visited Marshalltown. Though the city’s Hispanic population more than doubled from 3,265 in 2000 to 6,632 in 2010, Ramirez said the town feels different than when she lived there.

“You go there and it’s not the same anymore,” she said. “It seems like the same thing is happening here. A lot of people are leaving their jobs, a lot are getting fired, and some are waiting for the best.”


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  • jmdaniel

    Go through this story and replace the words “Hispanic” or “Latino” with the words “criminal”. Then read it again. If you are breaking the law, you are being a criminal.

    Certainly some of the folks who are leaving are here legally, but evidence shows, over the years, that Austin also has a large group of people that are not in this country legally.

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  • MarvelousMisadventures

    @jmdaniel

    Please stop trying to demonize and dehumanize the Hispanic and Latino community by asking people to substitute “Hispanic” or “Latino” with the word “criminal”. By doing so, you are stating that ALL Hispanics and Latinos are criminals — which is clearly not the case.

    What was the purpose of your post? You didn’t add any value to the story or tell us something we didn’t already know.

    Let me remind you that Hispanics and Latinos are productive members of the community and are a driving force in Austin. Don’t believe me? Talk to ISD 492. Didn’t Austin just pass a school referendum to help build a new school? If this trend is true and families are leaving, who will be using this new facility? Perhaps if you weren’t so busy substituting words, you would have thought about this a little more??

    Still don’t believe immigrants are a driving force behind a community. Why don’t you pay a visit to Postville, Iowa and ask a few of the residents what has happened to their community? You’re in for a real treat.

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    • BajaRat

      Er, it seems to be fairly clear to anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together that jmdaniel was referring to illegal alien parasites…. you know, common criminals.

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    • Rhino

      Postville, IA???? Really??? Dont get it do you….

      THE EMPLOYER SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HIRING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FOR CHEAP LABOR TO MAKE HIS POCKETS DEEPER IN THE FIRST PLACE AND HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN HIMSELF IN THAT POSITION.

      OR YOU NO ENGLISH???

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    • jmdaniel

      “By doing so, you are stating that ALL Hispanics and Latinos are criminals — which is clearly not the case.”

      Not at all, just the folks that are here illegally. Read what I wrote again, or have someone read it to you, as you appear to be having a hard time comprehending. Illegal is criminal. Period.

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  • walkthewalk

    I have a neighbor that works at Quality Pork and she said that the company is now checking indentifications slowly but surely. They are calling people into the office one at a time and they must come up with 2 forms of proper ID. When people know that they are going to be going to the “office”, they just don’t show up for work. She knows of at least 50+ that are gone in the last three weeks. So if anyone is looking for a job–QP is hiring.

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  • Douofishtoo

    Hey Marvelous,

    Do you wonder why they had to do a school referendum? Would they need a new school without the current Hispanic, legal and illegal, population?
    Check the Hispanic population moving in to town. A while back, they were talking about forcing grade schoolers to learn spanish as a second language. I took german in High School because I wanted to, not because the kid next to me couldn’t speak English.

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    • wowzer

      If new families come to town to take the place of the people who are leaving, we will need a school for their kids also. I presume most “locals” won’t be taking these difficult jobs. Too bad they are cracking down so much. Alot of nice hard-working people are leaving.

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  • factchecker

    As Juan said in this report “I have a family to support in Mexico”.

    They take their check from QPP, go to Wells Fargo & cash their check for cash, go down to the post office & get a money order and mail it to Mexico. How is that helping to support our community?

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  • Douofishtoo

    “Too bad they are cracking down so much. Alot of nice hard-working people are leaving.”

    Are you kidding me? Yes they are hard working, great, if they are legal and above the board. But if not, get the hell out and go home!!!!

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    • wowzer

      Hey, the Native American’s Called—they want their land back. They also said you should “get the hell out and go home” Oh yea, Jesus also called–he said start treating all people with love and respect. He also said you are a doofus.

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      • BajaRat

        Hay genius….. the so-called “Native Americans” came from Asia via an ancient land bridge. Better call JC back and refresh his memory, eh? Sheesh!

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  • leftthehatebehind

    It doesn’t matter if a Hispanic is here legally or not… all some of you do is assume that ANY and EVERY person with a Hispanic sounding name is here illegally and are some sort of criminal. It has turned from “I am ok with people here legally” to “I hate Mexicans!”. You can skirt around it and call it what you want, but that is basically what you are saying.

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    • jmdaniel

      You mean I meant all when I wrote “Certainly some of the folks who are leaving are here legally..”?

      Report comment

  • Packer Backer

    The largest number of Mexicans leaving is because they are in this country illegally. That’s what this crack down from ICE is all about at Quality Pork. It is difficult for any foreigner from any country to move to an alien country and understand a different language and culture, but that’s the real world!

    There was another point in the article concering crime , safety and profiling. It doesn’t take a “Rocket Scientist” to figure out who are the main responsible parties concerning crime when you read the newspaper. If their afraid for their safety they need to RETHINK profiling when you read about drugs,rape, molestation, robbery, shootings, and the list goes on and on. Please do not respond if you plan to point out many WHITES participate in crime also, that is true, but proportionally the other groups cause much more criminal acts.

    Maybe we should also put the “New and Renovated Schools” on HOLD until the dust settles to make sure we need them. Because I know I need my tax money living on a fixed income! Wait, you don’t think those people leaving had to vote first?????

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  • MarvelousMisadventures

    Surprise, surprise. The same old tired arguments from the same old people. Yawn.

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  • Packer Backer

    One more item, isn’t Shwartz and Reinoso gulity of aiding and abeiting ileagal alien’s into the United States? I am all for immigration if it follows our laws obviously this is NOT the csae!

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    • wowzer

      The sad truth is that the corporations will simply move buz south of the border if the immigration laws become too strict. Let’s talk to our legislatures and see if we can make Mexico the 51st state. That would solve alot of problems and create infrastructure opportunities for the unemployed in the U.S. We need to have a world view, instead of a “my country” view. The world is made up of International companies, not U.S. companies. It is a World Community these days, so let’s expand our views, and stop acting like we are an island. And, it wouldn’t kill any of us to learn conversational French, Spanish, or German. The more knowledge we have the better. Good? Good…………Carry on………..

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      • BajaRat

        Make Mexico the 51st state? Are you out of your mind? Have you any idea what has been going on in Mexico lately…. and oozing into Texas and elsewhere? Check out krgv.com or valleycentral.com sometime. The only good part of Mexico is the real estate. That’s it. That cesspool has more corruption in it than Washington DC.

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      • lmarreel

        bajarat…….Wow, with that description of Mexico you wonder why people would ever want to leave and come to the US!!! Way to be a human! As long as YOU aren’t affected, other people can live in awful situations.

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  • Hootch

    The slaughterhouse likes the idea of high labor turnover, the new recruits are easy to train, eager, afraid and will never collect a retirement or build up 20 years of benefits. So work the young stronger Mexican long hours 6 or 7 days a week until burn out, slam another round into the chamber every 5 or 8 years send the other one home on comp. (never to return) and walla ! cheap labor, high corporate profit infinitum.

    Packer Backer is right on. Austin does not need to continue building a town with border criminals many of whom become convicted felons and human service parasites above and beyond what the town had prior to their arrival.

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  • baysrache

    Marvelous….you need to spend more time reading the facts regarding illegals and less time reading labels at GNC.

    The amount of money flowing from these people out of the The United States back to Mexico is in the Billions and expenditures illegals place upon State and Local Governments is a strain which cost us as well.

    For example..The by them using local ER’S as main source of Health Care weighs heavily on Hospitals to provide the care. They have to use interpreters and special devices just to gain basic info from many of these people.

    Look at county records pertaining to people with warrants on them and review the names. Sure looks like a lot of Spanish looking names and the like…unless Mr.Anderson gave them a fictitious name?.

    They think nothing of disrespecting our laws, using false names,no license etc..etc..or entering thru channels we have set up to do so. There are many who are taking the legal route and room should be made for them…not the one making room in the trunk to get here.

    And Walk the walk is correct….I know a woman born and raised in the county of Mower that did just get one of those QPP jobs and she is even white. So it appears there are born and raised locals white, black or other that need work and are willing to work at QPP.

    And when ICE shows up…QPP will not lose down time looking in the cornfields for their workers each time they do!!S

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    • wowzer

      How is sending money to Mexico any different than buying something on Amazon or going to Rochester or the cities and spending money. If it aint spent in Austin, it aint spent in Austin. I’m sure many of you spend your money elsewhere, or send relatives in need money who live outside our town.

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      • leftthehatebehind

        Really good point wowzer! I wonder if some people who are griping about it spend all of their money in Austin? I doubt it, because while there is much you can buy in town, there is also much you can not because Austin does not provide it.

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    • MarvelousMisadventures

      @baysrache

      I’m laughing at how little you TRULY know.

      Report comment

      • factchecker

        I am laughing at how much you THINK YOU KNOW and how much you choose to ignore.

        Report comment

  • wowzer
    • Hootch

      We should all defer to the omnipotent Marv “”" a statistical blank entity. Money that stays in America helps Americans, money that’s sent to Mexico leaves OUR economy forever.

      Report comment

      • Rhino

        Wanna barrow my crayons?

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      • lmarreel

        money, money, money, money! You can’t take it with you when you go! If YOUR meaning of life is money…..then you have a great rest of your life posting your worthless rants and enjoying your crotchety hate filled life!

        Report comment

  • dooshkin78

    “Local officials and community leaders have heard the rumors of Hispanic families leaving, and of refugees from Sudan, Liberia and Burma coming into town.”

    Its like having a snake problem, so you release a bunch of hawks to contain them…..great

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  • dabbler312

    This great nation of ours was founded by immingrants and these immigrants came to the United States of America to become Americans.

    Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
    ‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’
    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

    Every American citizen needs to read this!

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  • crayzed

    As long as there is immigration issues in this country there will always be the bleeding hearts that see nothing wrong with it and those that have only positive things to say regarding the issue. So all you bleeding hearts that want to see the illigal immigrants remain in this town & country because they are just trying to make a living, let me ask you this. How many times are you going out of your way to help them out, translate for them, give them a ride somewhere, take them shopping, watch their children, etc. Or how many of your are walking at night, after dark, by yourself in these highly populated areas in our community? Thats what I thought, probably none of you! You only post your “do-gooder” comments because it makes you feel good about yourself not because you give one Sh*t less about these people. The law is the law, if you break it you have to pay the penalty. I don’t care if they have a family of 20 to feed, they should have thought about that before they broke the law in the first place. That goes for whites, blacks, hispanic, reds, yellows and purples! And whatever else you want to throw in that bag!

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  • aspearaustin

    I commend the both of you! It is humanitarians like yourselves that might one day smarten up the ignorance in our society. Don’t let the hate effect what you are doing, and just by first appearance I can’t see that happening. Recently the best part of my week has been seeing the smile I put on this little girls face that doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak any Spanish, so our communication is through smiling, that indicates to me that she feels safe and all the scary things of her new surroundings is replaced with 2 hours of fun activities and reading time while her father is learning to speak English himself. I would hardly call that girl and her father criminals. To me the criminals will be the haters that sweet innocent little girl will have to face in her life just because her father wanted her to be in a safe place with more opportunities for her.

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  • http://Yahoo HWYSTAR

    Hey wowser, you make a very good sheeple,

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    • geno39

      There was an individual who gave a false name and social Security number to Avera McKennan Hospital to get medical attention. The hospital later found out the person who received the medical attention used someone else social security number and name and was charged with Identity theft and other charges. Why is it that when illegal aliens get medical services using someone else’s name and social security number is not charged with this crime? Citizens should demand that the social security administation get finger prints of all people who have a valid social security number.

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  • Brittanicus

    It’s morally correct to look after our own suffering people first, as we have no obligation to foreigners, no matter their motherland? We have thousands of homeless veterans, left to wander in our streets; even single mothers with children, the sick and unwanted. We have our own share of poverty, without being responsible to people who have already scorned our laws. If Pro-illegal immigrant activists think they can intimidate pro-sovereignty entities, as akin to the Dept of IN-Justice is performing the same restraints against Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina—they are poorly mistaken—as there is a building strengthening majority of every walk of life, every American, called the TEA PARTY.

    Most Americans respect people who follow the law, but just appearing and asking for handouts—forget it. Even the highest of skilled occupations, must be vetted through FBI, physical and previous employment examinations, sometimes waiting years. Those who illegal cross borders, fly in and overstay have no reverence for our countries people. What is happening right now and adding to our own unemployed is people escaping poverty, the drug dealers and criminals.

    In the Austin Daily Herald reports: “There are rumors people are losing their jobs at local plants as well, due to increased hiring scrutiny amid federal immigration programs. Displaced workers who fear being fired and/or deported are going to Arcadia, Wis., to work for the Ashley Furniture plant or to Postville, Iowa, or St. Joseph, Mo., to work at other meat processing plants.” Companies that have already violated ICE audits and prosecuted, have seen a large increase of regular Americans and lawful residents, lining-up for jobs—as illegal workers run off.

    Out of work Americans and patriotic citizens and residents can speed up this exodus, by promoting the E-Verify mandatory enforcement program, especially if President Obama signs a new directive for a job program in ‘Construction.’ These jobs should be going directly to unemployed workers in these particular occupations. Those not working and want a job should get into action and phone 202-224-3121. This is the Washington switchboard that can direct you to all House Representatives responsible for moving Chairman Lamar Smith’s ‘Legal Workforce Act’ (bill H.R.2885) to the house floor. Especially confront the new members sent to Congress by the TEA PARTY. Additionally, you can learn more about the illegal alien occupation, which permeated every community from Vermont to Arizona by going to NumbersUSA web site. Judge for yourself the truth, instead of reading the craftily engineered vitriol propaganda from the two parties.

    Become a TEA PARTY member and see what you can do to halt this economic mess, with billions of dollars annually going as free public assistance, to illegal aliens who break our laws. The TEA PARTY will enforce our immigration laws and construct the fence(s) as originally enacted in 2006. Thousands of Hispanics have joined the TEA PARTY, whose families go back generations. Only the households that have something to hide are moving towards the Obama administration. People, who respect the laws of the land, have no commitment to illegal immigration and are adamantly opposed to even their own race, color, faith if they broke the law.
    THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY CHANGE IN CONGRESS, LAWS, AND POLICIES IF THE SAME MIXTURE OF LIBERALS, DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS HAS THE EMPOWERMENT TO RULE US. WE CAN ALTER THIS WRONG DIRECTION OF OUR ECONOMICALLY CRIPPLED SOVEREIGN LAND, BY VOTING MORE TEA PARTY LEADERS IN THE SENATE AND HOUSE. ALL AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT NOT PROSCRIBED IN THE CONSTITUTION WILL BE LIQUIDATED, MERGED, PURGED OR RETURNED TO THE CONTROL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS.

    Smith’s Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885) would require 100% of companies—large and small– to use E-Verify for all new hires within 2 years. This bill would also require all federal, state, and local agencies as well as federal and state contractors/ sub-contractors and critical infrastructure sites to use E-Verify within 6 months. Increase employer penalties and fines for knowingly hiring illegal alien workers. Require the Social Security Administration to send no-match letters to employers if a current employee’s name and social security number don’t match in their system. Require the Social Security Administration to notify owners of a Social Security number if their number is used multiple times.

    The old lethargic propaganda from the Left side of the aisle, that Americans will not do dirty jobs—is a big fallacy—it’s about good wages and benefits. Young men are rushing to North Dakota for drilling operations in an oil bonanza, because they are earning a 100 grand annually. They have created 30.000 jobs and people can get some of the action. It’s cold and dirty work, but nobody is complaining.

    Remember Liberals, Democrats and Republicans will concoct any rhetoric, to dislodge any candidates, other than their own chosen favorite. Democrats will manipulate voting using such unpalatable organizations, as ACORN. The activists that run this group, is re-organizing under a different name in New York. Previously they were hiring persons of ill-repute, to register anybody who could sign their name—non-citizens and illegal aliens. Most American states have poor laws respecting the citizens right to vote and Arizona is no exception. With overwhelming numbers of illegal aliens in occupancy, the State Senator who was recalled could have been compromised. Having only to show two pieces of personal ID, such as a utility or water bill, could be manufactured on any computer. With the hasty arrival of the 2012 election, state voters must demand a picture ID, with proof-positive that the owner is a US citizen.

    The name of the game from both sides is money and power. More votes for the Liberal Progressives, hidden away under the Democratic veil. Elitist Republicans like the way things on the beltway, as they have always been. Both parties will reclaim the ‘Pork’ and the special interests with the money bundler’s and the never ending stream of financial engineers from ‘K’ Street lobbyists. Only the TEA PARTY established as a majority in the Senate or House can return America to it principle foundations as written into law by our founding fathers.

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  • taco
  • taco

    I am all for people coming to America. Immigrants can be a driving force in a community I agree.
    Postville is a terrible example to prove your point.

    Although it is a good example of what happens when you take short cuts and the easy get rich quick path, in the end NOBODY WINS! Rabushkin goes to prison, the workers get deported, families get split up and the towns house of cards built on illegal workers comes tumbling down. This should serve as prime example of why we shouldn’t condone illegal workers becoming such a large part of our community. I want to have a stable community built on people willing to take the right path not the easy path to get here.

    Justify breaking the law to make a better life for your daughter? I want to make a better life for my daughter but I am not going to disrespect my neighbor by stealing from him to make my life better. When you do these things you are assuming the risk of being caught so don’t try and play the sob story about how you want a better life.

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  • taco

    Racism is a failed attempt to divert the attention off the fact the law is being broken and the system cheated. Our community is investing in organizations and services that serve the purpose of making it easier for new cultures to live and work here and to feel welcomed. I extend a welcome hand to everyone in our community and look forward to many immigrants. But don’t jump in front of those waiting in line, it is disrespectful.

    You hit the nail on the head Hootch! The illegals are being used and discarded like a machine being sent to the scrap yard.

    It makes me wonder who’s side you are on? You want the illegals to be left alone but you don’t say a word about the discarding of them by companies that must cheat to compete. Is this the message we want to perpetuate in America?

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  • mrcamillon

    iam for legaly imigration i will not work for 2 dollars an hour in order for me not working for low wage i must not let any one work this cheap or i will not be abel to find work because a company will take the lowest wage person it can get

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  • mrcamillon

    jmdaniel you are a loser my sister is married to a mexican my oldest daughter is also with a mexican they are not criminals

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  • wowzer

    I know Jesus wouldn’t treat the Mexicans with such disdain as so many of you are. Shame on you. Find some spirituality that grows compassion and love in your heart. On your death beds, treating others with love and kindness is what will matter, not counting our dollars.

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  • dand4

    All sorts of directions to this story, good article. Part of what happens when companies put profits first, which of course that is why they are in business in the first place. Can’t do away with all regulations, as some would like to do, or we become similar to China in how their environment/safety/workers rights are an afterthought, if even that. Some regulation is needed, and legal residency or work permit is certainly a part of that……way to complex for my little mind to comprehend.

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  • taco

    If you are for illegal immigration you are for lower wages for all laborers. When you flood the market with workers it’s value is lowered. Most of the people embracing illegal immigration are outraged by the income gap of upper and middle class. If they could just realize illegal immigration perpetuates lower wages for ALL laborers.

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  • Packer Backer

    Adios!!!!!

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  • taco

    The source of your statistics?

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  • Hootch

    Mexicans have lived in Freeborn, Mower and Steele county ever since I can remember without anyone batting an eye…… WHY ? because they weren’t here illegally. The illegal Mexicans are ruining the reputations and image of the resident law biding Mexican who belongs here and has been here for generations.

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