Thursday, September 30, 2010

How do I know beyond any doubt that Meg Whitman is lying?

I have been practicing Immigration Law for 20 years.
When the Social Security Administration started sending "no-match" letters like the one Meg Whitman received, my phone started ringing off the hook. I am talking LITERALLY 15-20 calls a day. We were fielding so many calls at that time that my colleague even wrote a book and created a Website ( to educate the public about the consequences of the no match letter.

The first paragraph of that site, which was created circa 2006 (three years after the Whitman's received their letter) states, "If your company has received a letter from the Social Security Administration or the IRS stating that the Social Security number for one of your employees does not match their records, you need immediate legal advice. Any Human Resources Manager who has received a Social Security Administration No-match letter should insist upon an Internal I-9 Audit. Potential fines for non-compliance for the entire staff of the Human Resources department, not to mention possible criminal prosecution for knowingly employing illegal workers, are simply too severe to risk."

And who was calling us? Everyone. Company owners with 50 employees, housewives with a maid, celebrities worried about their personal assistants, gardeners with a couple of crews. You name it. And what advice did they get? If your employee is not authorized to work, the law requires that you cease to employ them. It turns out a lot of the employees were eligible for other things, but after April 30, 2001 unless the alien employee had already applied for something, there was nothing at all an employer could do to help.

So, you tell me, why did thousands of other employers who got a no-match letters consult with counsel? Because the letter was intended to put employers on notice that their employee or employees may not be authorized to work. When someone else's social security number is used for the payment of wages, who is responsible for the taxes on those earnings? The poor shmuck whose number was used. The letter was intended to help our citizen, not to flush out illegal aliens. But Meg Whitman didn't care any more about the citizen she was hurting than she does about the woman she described as being "like a member of our family." (I count my blessings that I'm not from THAT family.)

If someone sent a letter to your home telling you that your new roommate was an axe-murderer, would you give that letter to your roommate and say, "Hey, take care of this?" Well, we might say, there's a difference between being an axe-murderer and accepting employment without authorization. A big, big difference. But in the end analysis notice is notice and you are either a criminal and a liar or you are not. Whitman should not pretend that neither she nor her highly educated husband did not understand the intent of the no-match letter. Farmers and mechanics and gardeners understood it. If they didn't understand the letter, they are unspeakably stupid. If they did understand it, which I know they did, then they are liars and criminals. End of Story.

In either event, these are not the people who should be running the State.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Let me explain Meg Whitman's explanations based on (1) her position taken at the debate; (2) the allegations made by Ms. Santillan; and (3) Ms. Whitman's response to those allegations...

First, Ms. Whitman says that she does not support a path to citizenship. Rather, she wants to build "two good walls" and equip those walls with hi-tech military stuff, kind of like the Berlin Wall used to be. She says part of the solution to get rid of all of the illegals is TO HOLD THE EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBLE by enforcing the laws already on the books, which, incidentally, includes fines of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail. Under the laws already on the books that Ms. Whitman wants enforced, SHE IS A CRIMINAL. In fact, she is even more of a criminal than her undocumented nanny who has committed no crime.

Second, Ms. Santillan has called her bluff by saying, "Hey, Meggy, you hired an illegal. Time to pay the piper for your free ride!" Hiring an illegal was good business sense. You didn't have to pay her as much, you didn't have to pay her overtime, you didn't have to reimburse her mileage. That's a good business mind. If you can't outsource the job, to Mexico, harbor an illegal Mexican to do it under the table. Oh by the way, did you just IGNORE the Social Security mismatch letter that is sent to EMPLOYERS? Have you NO respect for the law at all?? Rule of law my ass. So,

Third, BLAME EVERYONE ELSE. Meg cannot deny that she knew her slave was undocumented. She got the mismatch letter. "Oh, but I ignored it because... because... oh because someone else told me she was legal." You don't have a work permit? You can't travel out of the country? Your social security number doesn't match your name? Clearly proof that you are a houseplant and its not illegal to hire a houseplant. After all, houseplants don't need documents to be permitted to work. PUH-LEASE. So, I guess what Meg was really saying at the debate was, "don't sanction the employers who are SMART ENOUGH TO LIE and PRETEND TO BE OBSCENELY STUPID. Only sanction the stupid honest ones, not the smart, dishonest ones like me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who's the sucker now?

I was thinking about some cousins of mine who are staunch Republicans. They are extremely wealthy and thus I have never blamed them for being staunch Republicans. They do no believe in overturning Roe v. Wade. They do not believe that this is a Christian nation. They couldn't give two hoots about the second amendment. All they care about is taxes and Israel and thus they are Republicans.

I have always wondered why wage earners, low income people, social security recipients, and the like are often staunch republican even though cuts to social services, tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate monopolization of major industries such as health care are specifically of benefit to them. Why do they vote for politicians who promise only to diminish their quality of life while improving that of the super wealthy? The answer has always been that they have been suckered into the party because, "Republicans won't take our guns; Republicans will stop baby murder; Republicans will bring prayer back to school." Suckered, I say, because Republicans have never, ever had any real interest in doing any of these things-- its never been more than just talk. Talk to get people, suckers, to vote against their own interests. Carly Fiorina fits this mold. We know that she is only seeking office to protect her corporate cronies. Her anti-abortion stance is just a gambit to bring in some extra "sucker" votes. It is not to be taken seriously.

Now, however, it seems the suckers are in charge. All throughout the country, we have American Taliban, Christian fundamentalists who want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of the country, winning Republican primaries. People like Sharon Angle and Christine McDonnell, and Dan Webster have no clue about or interest in the effects of raising and lowering taxes. They merely spout the "lower taxes" mantra to get the votes of the Super Rich-- the ones who used to be in charge of the party.

Will the wealthiest Americans hand power over to the religious zealots to save on taxes? Are they really willing to return to the days of Barefoot and Pregnant and coat hangar abortions? Are they really ready willing and able to say that they will sacrifice history and science for their own financial gain by permitting the religious fundamentalists to rewrite textbooks and teach that "intelligent design" is science?

Or are the wealthy in this country going to wake up and understand that there is a price we pay for our freedoms and sometimes that price is money. Like tax money.

That is a far lower price to pay for freedom than our founding fathers were willing to pay.

And they were all very, very rich.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Comedy Writing: the Republican "Pledge to America"

I took a brief look at the Republican, "Pledge to America" and was literally shocked by the hypocrisy and ingenuity. I cannot believe this is document that one of our two major parties thinks will impress an American voter.

But the one thing that nearly floored me was this gem on page 43: "We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain."

To quote John Stewart, "wh... wh... whaaaaaat?"

The pledge is nearly 100% an effort to use national crises for political gain. Virtually everything in the pledge is reactionary either to the republican powered economic collapse or to 9/11.

For instance, on page 39, they pledge "To stop terrorists like Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber,we will require the Department of Homeland Security to review all visa applications at high-risk consular posts ..." Are they (falsely) suggesting that no one's reviewing those applications now?

Then there's the promise to spend trillions of dollars to defend ourselves against a missile attack from Iran on the same page; which would be great if there were any reason to believe that Iran (or anyone else besides Russia) had intercontinental missile capability. And just when Russia was getting to be our friend, like by refusing to sell nuclear technology to Iran.

Oy Vey!