Plan aims to stop hiring of illegal aliens
Fox wants to charge construction firms hiring illegal workers
Another official is taking aim at illegal aliens in Butler County.
Commissioner Michael Fox on Thursday proposed criminal charges against construction companies who employ undocumented workers, a proposal that drew opposition from the local home builders association.
His move comes days after county Sheriff Richard K. Jones earned national attention for his policy of billing the federal government to house suspected illegal aliens in the county jail.
Companies that hire undocumented workers, which Fox said is a common business practice, avoid paying health insurance and workers’ compensation for such employees.
“It’s not fair to the business that abides by the law when his competitors are able to put prices on the table and bids that he can’t possibly meet,” said Fox, who said hiring such workers is “an assault against the very national security of this country.”
Fox proposes that builders be required to sign a statement vowing to use no illegal labor — which also would apply to its subcontractors — on each building permit application. Also, the builder would certify no illegal aliens were employed on applications for a certificate of occupancy.
If a violation is found, Fox said, the builder could be charged with falsification, fined and referred to federal immigration officials in the department of Immigration and Naturalization Service or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Dan deStefano, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati, called Fox’s proposal “ludicrous” and “completely out of line.”
“It is the INS’ job — not a builder’s job — to enforce legal immigration. It should be taken care of at the border, not on a job lot. In no way, shape or form should an issue like this be tied to building permits,” said deStefano, who disputes that it’s common for builders to knowingly hire illegal aliens.
“We do not condone illegal immigrant workers,” he said. “But, we are not the police here.”
Commissioner Gregory Jolivette on Thursday said he supports Fox’s proposal, but that he does not want county building inspectors to become labor law enforcers.
“I’m concerned about the execution of this,” he said. “We may be moving (building inspectors) into labor enforcement laws — away from their main objective and mission.”
Fox suggested building inspectors complete random checks and follow complaints by reviewing builders’ employment records.
If the inspections require additional staff, Fox said, building permit fees could be raised.
A closed meeting with legal counsel is scheduled next week to discuss Fox’s proposal.
Commission President Charles Furmon suggested Fox send his proposal to the state to be included in Ohio building code changes expected in May.
Racism at its finest! Wheres the ACLU?!
They just come to do the jobs that Americans