Undocumented immigrants get used and abused by unregulated businessmen

The other day I was looking for a story to use as a source for the legal blog I was writing for work. I wanted to find something about construction injuries in New York City so I could write about why you might need an attorney if you’ve been injured in a construction accident. Then I came across this story in the New York Times, which I didn’t use because it didn’t quite fit. However, it did make me think about SoL immigrants.

Here’s what I read, and my thoughts on it.

Construction in NYC is booming, and some people are taking advantage of the excess of demand for buildings, the plethora of undocumented immigrants needing work, and the shortage of inspectors to completely ignore safety regulations. Hundreds of violations are occurring and it seems as if no one ever follows up on them.

As a result, men are plummeting to their deaths. Things are falling on them in trenches. They aren’t receiving OSHA-required safety training. They aren’t wearing safety equipment. No hard hats! No harnesses! This is basic stuff that costs less than the minimal fines these companies occasionally get slapped with if they’re “unlucky” enough to get noticed (usually because people have been injured or died).

There are always going to be people out there who take advantage of those who aren’t authorized to work here because, let’s face it, who’s going to penalize them? Not the injured workers who are afraid of our legal system and being deported, and probably not the undocumented families of those who are killed through the negligence of their employers.

We all know that problems such as these won’t be “fixed” by electing one person or another as POTUS. But, since it’s become such a major platform issue, I hope voters will think seriously and practically about the implications of the statements each candidate makes regarding immigration.

In my opinion – which I have researched and given a lot of thought to, so this is an (at least somewhat) educated opinion – candidates who favor developing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants seem to be touting the least expensive, the safest, and the most practical route to safety for all of us. Should it be easy to become a U.S. citizen? Maybe not. Should it be possible? I believe so.

On another note, I also believe a bit more oversight wouldn’t hurt. Why have laws if you aren’t going to enforce them? Unfortunately, it sounds as if there’s corruption and maybe a lack of funding causing some of the problems in NYC.

When so many problems contribute to a death (or multiple deaths), it can be hard to sort through them all and find any kind of solution. In this case, I think better regulation (bigger government and more oversight) is part of the answer.

If you’re against having undocumented immigrants in the country, you might want to think about how bigger government would make it more difficult for them to work here. Personally, I’m more worried about the people (human beings, just like the rest of us) who die here doing jobs that are too dangerous to be done by those lucky enough to be born here.

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