Today, the Washington Post broke the news that a Cleaning Service that was used by Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, may be guilty of hiring unauthorized immigrants. Its looking like the realities of our broken immigration system are hitting home for Chertoff, literally. I think that this response from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights sums it up nicely:
Chertoff joins a long line of public figures who preen about upholding the rule of law, yet benefit from the hard work of undocumented immigrant laborers, including former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former New York City police chief and onetime DHS Secretary nominee Bernard Kerik. Last week, federal authorities arrested the Boston port director for US Customs and Border Protection, part of DHS, for hiring undocumented workers. Here in Illinois we witnessed the spectacle of perennial candidate Jim Oberweis running hard against “illegals” while his ice cream stores were being cleaned by undocumented workers.
Rather than hypocritical posturing by our public officials, our country needs genuine, humane immigration reform that allows hardworking immigrants to earn legal status. We need laws that are realistic and enforceable, that reward work, keep families together, meet our labor needs, and uphold our values as a nation. As we wave farewell to Chertoff and his anti-immigrant reign of terror and usher in a new administration, ICIRR intends to hold President-elect Obama to his promise of real immigration reform and a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
Hat-tip to our partners at ICIRR for hitting the nail on the head!