The Wall Street Journal Is Worried.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page (Paul Gigot, understudy) is suspiciously furious with Chicago attorney Howard Foster for trying to enforce the law. We`ve chronicled the Edit Page`s immigration enthusiasm for some time. Recently, it`s been heating up again.

In the last few weeks the Edit Page has echo-chambered Tamar Jacoby`s long but very mundane Commentary article (we`ll analyze that soon) and run an editorial asking if the U.S. couldn`t keep the illegals who “bus tables” while kicking out terrorists. On Thursday, it attacked

Howard Foster because he has sued Tyson Foods for employing illegal immigrants, with sarcastic remarks about the Mexican chicken workers in “that notorious terror enclave of Shelbyville, Tennessee.”

Well, there`s more than one form of terror. Mass immigration not only provides a setting for terrorism to flourish in – it also leads to more ordinary crime. Look at the “busboy” example suggested by the Edit Page. I`m sorry if the Manhattan restaurants that Edit Pagers dine in find it hard to attract American busboys. But the fact is that a quick search on “busboy arrested” comes up with one of the three Hispanic killers of New Jersey millionaire Nelson Gross, and internet fraud artist Abraham Abdallah.

Immigrant crime is a big deal – even if academics, politicians and publicists want to make it a little deal.

Below is the WSJ editorial, with my comments interpolated.


RICOing Immigrants

Street Journal, April 18, 2002

there`s a will, there`s a way to sue in America. So it
was probably inevitable that the anti-immigrant
political right
[Yawn,usual cheap smear. We`re actually anti-immigration.
There`s a difference. But the WSJ Edit Page is
manifestly part of the anti-American political right.]

would join with the plaintiffs bar to achieve the
crackdown that they haven`t been able to get from

[Actually, they did get it from Congress. See below.]

That`s the gambit at work in the bizarre partnership between
Chicago tort specialist Howard Foster and the
Federation for American Immigration Reform.
the notoriously nativist outfit

[interesting, usually the Edit Page claims FAIR is left-wing] that used TV spots in the 2000 election to link then-Senator (and current Energy Secretary) Spence Abraham to Osama bin Laden.

[Needless to say, FAIR didn`t say that Abraham was a bin
Laden sympathizer – it said that his support for
increased immigration, specifically
H-1B visas,
and his  blocking of effective exit tracking,
would make it easier for terrorists to  sneak into the country.
This was before 9/11.]
The charge was preposterous, but FAIR figured it had license for
the libel because Mr. Abraham favored more H-1b visas
for immigrants working in high-tech fields. He`s also,
not coincidentally, a Lebanese American.
[There`s nothing coincidental about a Lebanese-American being
elected from Michigan, which – thanks to immigration –
has a large
Arab population.
The suggestion that a Michigan politician might be
soft on terrorism
is not surprising to me, considering
David Bonior`s
activities, or the attitude of
Cynthia McKinney,
D-GA, whose campaign funds always receive a lot of
Arab-American money. But what the WSJ Edit Page
is suggesting here is that working against Abraham is


Bunk. Bin Laden was dangerous, and would have
been even if it had been a Cabot or a Lowell who blocked
the proposed exit-tracking system at the border.]

FAIR has been supporting Mr. Foster,
[only with his first suit, but FAIR`s a useful bogeyman]
who recently filed his fourth anti-immigration
class-action suit, this time  against Tyson Foods, the big chicken company. What
makes this suit more than the typical
is that Mr. Foster has filed under RICO,
the federal racketeering law designed to cope with
mobsters and other hard cases. The burden of proof under
RICO is high, but so is the payoff. A successful
plaintiff wins treble damages, which would provide a
boon to Mr. Foster and might also be large enough to
seriously damage many businesses
make them pay more to American workers]

As Mike
Hethmon, staff attorney for FAIR, told the

Los Angeles Times
, “That`s enough to get any
employer`s attention. People hire illegal aliens not for
ideological but financial reasons.” In other words, FAIR
hopes to use a legal-financial bludgeon against American
business to achieve its political goal of shutting down
immigration. That`s a goal it`s never been able to
achieve through the ballot box,
[Wrong. The “ballot box” – an elected Congress – is what made
illegal immigration illegal, and it`s also what passed
RICO. In 1996, a Republican Congress added large-scale
employment of illegal immigrants to list of RICO
offenses, with the specific intent of enabling
this kind of suit]

but now is only too willing to pursue through a
scorched-earth legal strategy.

contradiction of principles here is breathtaking to
behold. Conservatives are supposed to favor limited
government, but some are only too happy to lower the
RICO boom on $8-an-hour chicken workers.
[No, on
their criminal employers.]

And they rail against excessive litigation, except when
it can intimidate a business never to hire someone
dark-skinned who might possibly have come from Mexico.

[There is a civil rights bureaucracy which prosecutes companies
that check their employees too closely, so they`re being
intimidated from both sides]

As for the trial bar, its members advertise themselves
as avatars of social justice, but in this case they`re
throwing anti-Mafia laws at Mexicans
it`s Tyson, which for all we know is owned by members of
the Mayflower society, which is being sued. Foster isn`t
suing the Mexicans; they don`t have any money. And an
anti-crime law that would only affect the Mafia would be
unconstitutional, as discriminating against
Italian-Americans. RICO doesn`t affect only Italian
crime, or even violent crime, it affects organized
crime. That`s what Tyson is accused of; making huge
amounts of money out of organized criminal activity]

who`ve crossed the border to take jobs that Americans
refuse to accept.
[Refuse to accept

at a given wage.

That`s the whole point. The US and Mexico have nearly
the largest

wage disparities

of any two contiguous countries in the world. Plus many
illegals don`t pay income tax – and their employers
don`t pay benefits.]

are in excess of 10 million illegal workers in the
United States,” says Tom Donohue, president of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.
[Who was


on September 7th that “The foreign worker,
both legal and illegal, has been an integral part of our
inflation-free economic growth, and must be valued as a
contributor to our strong economy.”
HINT: he

employers, not workers.
“If tomorrow we sent them all home, this economy would
stop. They`re hard workers, they`re important workers,
and we need to find a way to make them legal workers.”
The Washington Post

that “about 40% of the workers now
rebuilding the Pentagon are Hispanic, most of them
immigrants.” A union official told the paper that
construction “tends to be work, not unlike cleaning work
or domestic work, that immigrants will take.”
Guzzardi just did a two-part series (

on what immigration has done to construction workers.
Question: where are D.C.`s black construction workers?]

Bush Administration is partly to blame here. The RICO
suit against Tyson piggybacks on a Justice Department

of the company in December for allegedly

Mexican workers to man its poultry plants.
is using its own financial bludgeon in the case, a
“forfeiture” sanction normally reserved for drug

According to Tyson, the government offered to forgo the
indictment for $100 million. Tyson balked and was
subsequently indicted. If this scenario is true, it`s a
disturbingly broad and abusive application of forfeiture
law. As the nation`s largest meat company, Tyson employs
120,000 people at 130 sites in 35 states. Some 45,000 of
those are Hispanic, yet the indictment names just 15
illegal hires.
many times do you get to break the law? There`s a limit
to how many witnesses can be made to appear in court. Is
the WSJ Edit Page seriously suggesting
that out of 45,000 Hispanic workers, only 15 are

And the company was indicted despite cooperating with an
INS test program to discover illegals. No wonder a
federal judge recently threw out a similar case against
Nebraska Beef.

Attorney General John Ashcroft needs to explain to his
criminal division how its pursuit of a big payday is
playing out in the real economy.
opposed to Tyson`s pursuit of a big dividend day?]

The folks he might better worry about are the hijackers
who entered the U.S. legally in the case of the
September 11 attacks, not Mexicans working at chicken
plants in that notorious terror enclave of Shelbyville,

Thursday Mr. Ashcroft ordered the FBI and INS, among
other agencies, to begin sharing their databases and
coordinating their efforts to fight terrorism.
Information-sharing strikes us as exactly the right
place to be concentrating federal resources. And it`s
certainly more sensible than using courts to shake down
business for hiring diligent immigrants who help make
our economy the envy of the world.
[Gee, and we thought it was diligent Americans.]

18, 2002

[Final comment:
After September 11th, when the M-1 student
visa holders hit

the Twin Towers,

some immigration reformers were hopeful that America`s
immigration enthusiasts on Wall Street would see the
light, just as in the 1920`s after an

anarchist bomb hit the House of Morgan

at 23 Wall Street. But Norm Matloff knew better; he
wrote us a letter

pointing out


The problem
has been that the wishes of the populace have always
been trumped by the special interests, such as: the

ethnic-activist groups lobby
, the

educational lobby
, the

computer industry lobby
, the

manufacturing industry lobby
, the

farm lobby
, the

immigration lawyers` lobby
, the

(often funded by other lobbies), etc.,
etc., etc.,

You can add the
Journal Edit Page to that list.

The reason
Congress gives in to these lobbies, as fiscal
conservatives should understand, is this: green cards
buy votes but don`t come out of the budget. It costs
Congress nothing to amnesty a million illegals. The cost
will show up, in crime rates, welfare rates, and
political strife, down the road.

It`s a classic
case of the “preventable evil” that Enoch Powell

spoke of

in his epochal speech of April 20, 1968. Like him, we
still find people mistaking

“predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for
desiring troubles: “if only”, they love to think, “if
only people wouldn`t

talk about it
, it probably wouldn`t happen”. Perhaps
this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the
word and the thing, the name and the object, are

I think the Editorial Page of the Journal is
still a victim of this primitive belief. But maybe I`m
being kind.

April 19, 2002