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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, December 01, 2006

"Aw geez"

I think we were better off when Mitt wasn't here. Then he could blissfully have his estate and that of his son manicured by illegal immigrants and he wasn't messing with the Commonwealth he long ago put into his rear view mirror.

The message for politicians on the issue of undocumented workers really is a simple one: open your mouth and make a proclamation about how how its wrong to allow people into the country without papers -- even for the jobs everyone else shuns -- and you are subject to closer scrutiny. Speak out against employers who hire undocumented workers and you are definitely fair game for the "gotcha" of hypocrisy.

You ought to be able to come up with something more than "aw geez" when confronted though.

But here's the kicker for me:

The one legal Guatemalan immigrant interviewed by the Globe, who has done work at the Romney property numerous times, has been a constant presence at the landscaping company. But he said Saenz regularly hired illegal workers to work alongside him. He said exchanges with the governor on the property are rare.

"The one who talks to us is the wife," said the legal immigrant. "She asks how we are."

Another compassionate conservative?


Blogger phil_in_ny said...

He's a sitting duck who does absolutely nothing. Things will get rolling for you guys come January.

December 01, 2006 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to say everyone else "shuns" these jobs. I'd be willing to do them if they paid a reasonable wage for the amount of physically debilitating work involved instead of just wanting to exploit the hell out of a captive population who can't complain regardless of what they're given. Mitt is typical of these doofuses who respond to this wedge issue though. It's like, how dare these illegal immigrants come here and expect to be able to go to the emergency room when they slice off an arm doing our meatpacking--hey, wait a second, $5 for one orange? $100 for a steak? $14,000 for a computer? What changed?

December 01, 2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Anon: You are absolutely right to say the jobs would be worthwhile if they paid a reasonable wage. That's been at the heart of the national debate that Kerry Healey imported here. Of course, she is paid exactly what she was worth. Mitt too. :-)

December 01, 2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a stupid newspaper story --to imply that Romeny should have checked the immigration status of employees of a gardening company. Or that it is relevant to his own views on the subject. Come on!

December 02, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Wave Maker said...

What is the standard for a politician-homeowner's duty to make certain that his contractor is obeying the law?

One might posit that it is a proper standard to not question one's business invitees' committment to the rule of law without some objective reason to do so. And having employees that "look hispanic" would not, at least in the liberal's book, be a legitimate reason to say "are you sure they're legal??" Would it?

After all, we don't want to limit our suspicion of terrorists to just "swarthy-looking" people, do we? We don't limit our suspicion of gang violence to just urban black males in gangsta clothing, do we?That would constitute racial profiling, right?

Wouldn't the same hold true if one's landscape contractor employed hispanic-looking people?

What is it that would impose the "duty" on Romney to inquire? Does it just arise because some of the employees "look" foreign? Or do we require that he ask ANY service vendor, before he enters the property? Is that the kind of public leaders you want to have?

This reminds me of Inspector Javert in Les Miserables. The law is the law!! There are no exceptions!!

And what is the duty? To just ask the question, "are all your employees in this country legally"? Can we not have respect for our leaders thay they would give their fellow citizens the benefit of the doubt that they are not criminals (immigration fraud is a crime, yes?)?

Really, I think your exacting standard is rather extreme -- and by the way, there is no reason why this standard of yours should apply differently to any other public official, regardless of his stance on immigration, law and order, minimum wage or any other issue. Why does it apply to someone who supports tougher immigration laws?

Shouldn't the Globe look into the employees working for the contractors and subcontractors who are building Deval Patrick's mountain retreat?

If not, why not?

Shall they wait for "a tip?"

December 02, 2006 5:59 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

The issue here is hypocrisy -- saying one thing and doing another. His latest agreement to have State Police check identities makes that crystal clear. To me the issue is practice what you preach. Mitt does not.

December 03, 2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Wave Maker said...

Lib -- whay do you mean "say one thing and do another?" That is of course the definition of hypocrisy -- but what is Mitt saying -- that we have to have stricter controls over people coming into the country illegally and we need to send illegals back to their countries.

So explain to me how he has "done another" here. He hired a landscape contractor who is a legal alien.

Seems to me you're saying that if you favor deporting all illegal aliens, you have an obligation to suspect every person who "looks foreign" of being an illegal.

I thought liberals were against such bigotry.

December 03, 2006 6:03 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Wave -- Romney is of the school that expects employers to check the credentials of their employees (not a bad idea, by the way). That's not the same of "profiling" or bigotry.

It follows that people who vociferously advocate this course of action should shun employers who don't do as they say. I suppose we can withhold final judgment on Mitt here until we see how he deals with the contractor.

But I can't help but being suspicious about Mitt's motives. His "aw geez" response alone sounds like the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld that "stuff happens." Mitt got caught and didn't know what to say.

It's not just a "conservative" problem. Obviously a number of Clinton types were caught with undocumented nannies. They paid a political price in terms of lost appointments.

Average people who try to get through life on a daily basis can be cut some slack for a mistake, even documented contractors who hire undocumented workers.

Pandering politicians, left or right, cannot.

December 04, 2006 5:08 AM  

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