Illegals` Employers Meet RICO Doomsday Machine


We

reported
 in December that Chicago lawyer

Howard Foster
had filed a class action
against Colin Service Systems, employers of illegal
immigrants, on behalf of honest employers, who don`t.
Foster has now filed two class actions on behalf of

native-born workers
 (and legal immigrants)
against employers who have apparently conspired to
hire illegal immigrants on a massive scale.

Tyson Foods, and IBP, a subsidiary of Tyson, are
being sued by Foster on behalf of 

“[A]ll persons legally
authorized to be employed in the United States (“U.S.”)
who have been employed by defendant Tyson Foods, Inc.
(Tyson), reportedly the world`s largest processor and
marketer of poultry, as hourly wage earners at 15 of its
facilities throughout the U.S. during the last four
years.”

The issue is

cheap labor
. It benefits employers but lowers the
wages of American workers in the surrounding area. For,
example, in 1999, NumbersUSA`s

Roy Beck
testified before Congress on the damage
done by immigrant labor to workers in the

meat-packing
industry.

Tyson is vulnerable because it has already been
indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for

conspiracy to hire illegals
in its Shelbyville, Tennessee plant. (The firm
is also on

probation
for bribing Clinton Agricultural Secretary
Mike Espy.) Foster is simply piling on in time-honored
trial-lawyer style.

Foster is able to do this because he has noticed that
the 1996 immigration reform legislation, a bitter
disappointment in so many ways, did at least allow
private individuals to sue to enforce the law – a
provision commonly added by legislators at the behest of
the plaintiff bar. As the LA Times noted  (New
Angle in Fight Against Hiring Illegal Immigrants
,
April 3 2002):

Corporate and immigration law experts said the
approach has the potential to become a private
"enforcement tool" supplanting federal employer
sanctions laws, but only if plaintiffs can pass the high
bar of proof required under the Racketeering Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations statute.

Similar suits have been
backed by

supporters
of strict immigration law enforcement,
who say the prospect of treble damages under RICO could
force employers to think hard before hiring

undocumented
workers. That could have a big effect
in California, where roughly half of the estimated 7
million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. are
employed.

The advantage of a private lawsuit [PDF file of National Law
Journal
article on use of RICO against illegal
immigrants]
is that unlike INS enforcement, it`s
not influenced by political factors. As I

reported
previously, INS

enforcement
is down, the Bush administration isn`t
interested in enforcing these laws, but the RICO act
allows America`s notoriously hungry tort lawyers to do
what the government won`t.

The case against Tyson in

criminal court

involves

conspiracy to smuggle

aliens into the U.S. and faked Social Security cards
provided by Amador Anchondo-Rascon, who copped a plea
recently and is described in the suit as “an informal
Tyson employee.” (See Wichita Eagle 1/27/02

Immigrant lived American Dream by trafficking illegals
into U.S.)

National Public Radio (!) did a significant

story
about the Tyson suit, interviewing

G. Robert Blakey
, who drafted the

RICO act
when he was Counsel to the Senate Judiciary
Committee. Blakey is the expert on RICO. He said
that he thought that the Tyson suit “has substantial
chance,” largely because of the greater ease of
demonstrating that employees, rather than employers, are
damaged: 

“What
we now have in the Tyson case is the

employees themselves
complaining that their wages
were artificially depressed, by the willingness of Tyson
foods to bring in illegal aliens who would then work at
artificially depressed wages. That sounds to me like a
superb suit.”

[Listen to the interview in RealAudio by clicking


here
.]

Mainstream media reaction to this
is – guess what? –  to sympathise with the illegal
workers. AP

reported
that “Tyson
Indictments Leave Some Illegal Immigrants Stranded.”  It
quoted a Chattanooga social worker:

"They are not going back
home," he said. "They are forced to look for other means
of survival."

Of course, Tyson Foods, which apparently paid their
fare from Mexico, could be required to pay their fare
going the other way, if they were willing to go.

Ironically, the same social worker told the

Boston Globe

(2/2/02) that some Mexicans were leaving,
because of economic concerns, the Tyson lawsuit, and
their fear of being

drafted
into the War on Terrorism.

RICO is a brutal weapon. It has been misused in the
past, for example to attack

political dissent
.

But these suits are legitimate:

  1. A crime has been committed. If
    Tyson is guilty, they`ve violated the

    Immigration and Nationality Act
    in order to make
    money. The technical name for this is “enterprise
    crime” and of course, it`s “Organized Crime” even if
    they don`t have guns.
  2. Tyson made money from it. Tyson
    has 120,000 employees. (Every dollar an hour that they
    can lower their average wages is worth roughly a
    quarter of a billion dollars annually.)
  3. American workers lost money.
    (See above.)
  4. They`re suing.

We at VDARE.COM wish them luck.

Click here for the
full text of the complaint against Tyson Food, with
links.

April 10, 2002