A dark side to open borders? Undocumented workers susceptible to wage theft (letter) | VailDaily.com

A dark side to open borders? Undocumented workers susceptible to wage theft (letter)

A dark side to open borders?

I am an infrequent reader of the Vail Daily. Despite having a residence for many years, I have too often found the editorial slant to be a bit too left for my leanings. I can find movie times online, so what good are you?

But today, I noticed your headline and discovered that "wage theft" was something I hadn't heard before ("Wage theft is a growing Vail Valley problem," Tuesday, Aug. 21). Intrigued, I picked it up and read the piece. Imagine my shock when I read and discovered that unscrupulous employers were not paying employees.

Though the article seemed to downplay the notion that the principal victims are undocumented immigrants, the thought occurred to me that that group, in all likelihood, is exactly the main victim.

By definition, if Catholic Charities is your only arbiter, then other agencies with real teeth are unlikely to be available for your cause. Despite being a devout Catholic, that's not where I would head if I were being swindled.

I am strictly opposed to the open-border platform articulated by some on the far left. Aside from the fact that it is against the current law to enter this country (or any country, for that matter) without authorization, the idea that employers can take unreasonable advantage of people is not only unscrupulous, unethical and un-American, it also seems that it's against the law in Colorado. Recourse? Catholic Charities? Good luck.

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In my view, this is one of many important reasons that immigration law must be enforced and it must be enhanced. This is the responsibility of the U.S. Congress. It is not the responsibility of the judiciary, the states or local governments. It is the responsibility of lawmakers, not law enforcers. National borders are a federal responsibility.

We, as a country, want and need immigrants. We need temporary workers, full-time workers and people who wish to become citizens and work. Of course, it needs to be accomplished lawfully.

The cases you intimate in the article reflect a sorry state of affairs. I'd guess there are 10 cases or 20 cases for every one case that is reported. I've experienced it myself. I've hired a guy to help with some chore. He hires other guys to help him. I find out later the helper's helpers haven't been paid or have been shorted from the quoted numbers. So I'm a good guy and make it up.

That there are vendors in the valley who treat employees in this manner is discouraging. I've always known that there is one price if you live in Eagle and another in Beaver Creek. But a paycheck if you're "privileged " and none if you're "non-privileged," well, that's just beyond the pale. So there is a dark side to open borders, just one of many.

Hard to imagine.

Geof Kirsch

Cordillera