Hiring illegals confers unfair advantage


July 17, 2008|By Dean Danielson

In several letters to the editor after the recent raid on an Annapolis painting company, the people who were arrested for being in the country illegally are portrayed as the victims. When are people going to understand that illegal immigrants do a disservice to every legal citizen of the United States by their being in the country illegally?

The painting company allegedly employed illegal workers and even provided them housing. As a small-business owner myself, how am I supposed to compete against a contractor who has the advantage of not paying taxes on workers he is underpaying? As for the workers, they are not being taken advantage of; they know that they are here illegally, and that is why they are paid less. The lower wages they receive in the United States are much better than they would receive in their homeland, and that is why they made the choice to cross the border illegally.

The fact that illegal immigrants choose to have children while in this country does not make law enforcement the "bad guy" when mom and dad are arrested for being in the country illegally. The parents put their children in that position, not law enforcement. The arguments that these are good people who are only looking for work and only take jobs that others won't do rings hollow. How do you think the painting contractors who had to bid on jobs against the Annapolis painting company feel? Illegal immigrants take lots of jobs that other workers would take if given the chance.

But they don't get that chance because of companies that are willing to break the law by hiring workers who chose to break the law when they entered this country.

There is a tremendous cost that comes with allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country. These costs are borne by the local governments across the country in higher health care costs, additional teachers to teach English, as well as increased classroom sizes, all to be paid by local taxpayers. With the economy in the tank, I for one can no longer afford to give a free ride to those who want to come here illegally.

When Arizona instituted a program to go after employers that hire illegal workers, they found that illegal immigrants started leaving. What is wrong with securing the border first? Go after the companies that hire illegal workers as well as the illegal workers themselves, and when we know illegal border crossings are no longer possible, then we talk about comprehensive immigration reform.


Dean Danielson, a resident of Caroline County, owns a small office furniture installation company. He is a member of the Denton Planning and Zoning Commission

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