Illegals busted working at O’Hare

posted at 9:06 am on November 8, 2007 by Bryan

The story is moving fast, with over 100 arrests so far.

Nearly two dozen illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday, accused of using fake security badges to work in critical areas of O’Hare International Airport, including the tarmac, authorities said.

The 23 illegal workers were employed by Ideal Staffing Solutions Inc., whose corporate secretary and office manager also were arrested after an eight-month investigation that involved federal, state and Chicago authorities.

The company contracted work for carriers including United Airlines, KLM and Qantas, said Elissa A. Brown, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent…

Much of the investigation centered on the airport security badges issued by the Department of Aviation, said U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Agents found that 110 of the 134 badges issued to Ideal Staffing workers did not match the individuals who carried them, he said.

Those busted face criminal charges and deportation. Which means most of them will be back on some job, if not that one, shortly.

So there’s the security issue with illegal immigration. There’s also the voting issue. It’s not just a scare story. Thanks to Motor Voter and thanks to mostly liberal cities and towns, illegal immigrants are voting in local elections. They have been for years.

Should non-citizens be allowed to vote? Officials in Takoma Park, Md., think so. The city, a liberal enclave near the nation’s capital, is one of a few local jurisdictions that encourage non-citizens to vote. Since Takoma Park does not ask for proof of legal residence, it is possible that illegal immigrants were casting ballots this week.

In a few other small cities in Maryland, all residents are allowed to participate in local elections, regardless of citizenship status. Chicago allows non-citizens to vote in school board elections and New York City is considering a proposal to give voting rights to legal immigrants. New York City allowed non-citizens to vote in school board elections for more than three decades, until 2003…

As in the broader illegal immigration issue, we get tiresome conflation between legal and illegal immigrants as though they’re one and the same.

About a dozen other cities, including Portland, Maine, and Madison, Wis., are considering similar proposals, said Ron Hayduk, co-founder of the Immigrant Voting Project, a non-profit group that supports voting rights for non-citizens.

Hayduk said that non-citizens are paying taxes, working, and in some cases, revitalizing entire neighborhoods and, therefore, should have a say in the future of their communities.

“These people are stake holders,” he said. “They have vested interests. They are non-citizen citizens.”

Among immigration watchers this has been an issue for years, but it’s just now piercing into mainstream concern. Better late than never.


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