Blame the Immigrant, Protect the Capitalist

Plausible deniability and the further criminalization of the Latino worker. That’s a credible and accurate way to describe the recent legislation signed into law by Mississippi Republican Governor Hayley Barbour. It represents, in the words of alternative journalist David Bacon, “the farthest-reaching employer sanctions law of any on the books in the US.”

At its heart what the legislation does is force employers to verify their worker’s legality using a system called “E Verify,” an untested system which is not even a complete database of the needed information. Of course, had the State required the use of the Social Security System records (which federal law uses) they would have required the use of a system with provable errors and inconsistencies.

The tragic thing is, employers are free from sanction if they use this flawed system but the employee, if found to be working without documentation, can now be charged with a felony.

See David Bacon’s thoughtful piece here.

Plausible deniability. That’s what this law provides employers. While, at the same time, it protects their interests to hire undocumented workers and shifts the blame from them and their desired manipulation of people’s precarious legal status to maximize profits to the worker, struggling for survival.

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