OK, I'm no great fan of illegal immigration. It is a complicated issue and I know there are jobs in this country that, frankly, most Americans won't do. But I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do things and I agree that illegal immigrants (and the employers that hire them) take jobs away from Americans who desperately need them.
All that being said, this story from the North Carolina NewsObserver is simply appalling. According to the story, illegal immigrants were lured by the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement into a trap and arrested through the use of fake flyers that announced a mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration meeting. The flyer was printed in English and Spanish. It tells all contract workers to attend an OSHA briefing at the base theater and promises free coffee and doughnuts.
Seems to me it is hard enough to enforce safety regulations in companies that hire illegal workers without making the workers afraid of the very enforcement agencies set up to promote safe working environments. The N.C. Department of Labor was mighty upset at the Feds over this "sting" operation. According to the article the state has made an effort in recent years to reach out to the North Carolina's thousands of immigrant workers, especially those in construction, because they are among the most likely to be killed or injured at work.
"We are dealing with a population of workers who need to know about safety," said Allen McNeely, head of the state Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health division. "Now they're going to identify us as entrappers."
Those arrested were employees of private contractors doing roofing, electrical, masonry and other construction work on the base.