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Complicit acts regarding illegal aliens erode rule of law

One the one hand, a Louisiana Member of Congress is taking action against what almost certainly is fraudulent transfer of taxpayer money to illegal aliens. On the other hand, state government inaction and local government and special interest actions in the New Orleans area do nothing to discourage, if not actually aid and abet, the very activities that lead to this taxpayer fraud in the billions of dollars – all against the backdrop of illegal behavior encouraged by the strange bedfellows of business and “social justice” special interests that threatens the rule of law.

As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Rep. Charles Boustany contacted the Internal Revenue Service concerning a disturbing report issued by the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of the Treasury (which oversees the IRS). It revealed just in 2011 a series of suspicious requests for Taxpayer Identification Numbers, which may be used to receive benefits and refunds from the federal and some state governments, as well as suspicious tax refund requests that were paid out. Worse, the information was easily noticeable and, worst of all, procedures that could have spotted it were deliberately discouraged by some IRS employees for a decade.

While the TIN program has a legitimate rationale, to aid people not in the Social Security system with financial transactions with the federal government, the deliberate laxity in its operation probably has resulted in a large number of illegal aliens allowed to exploit the system and obtain taxpayer dollars illegally. The agency claims new procedures will prevent this, but what of the potentially millions of illegal aliens already allowed into the system?

Meanwhile, on this issue last year Gretna decided to aid lawbreakers as well. For years, a place of congregation for day laborers – most of whom probably are illegal aliens – was creating traffic and other problems. So, instead of vigilant enforcement and alerting federal authorities that employers might be picking up for work illegal aliens at this location, eventually the city decided to build, at taxpayer expense, an area where they could congregate to solicit their labor. What’s next, creating a red light district as a “safety zone” for prostitutes and their customers?

The state might have been able to do something about this had the Legislature had the foresight to pass in 2010 a bill that would have allowed verification of identities of those seeking employment and penalties to those transporting aliens and employing them without due diligence in determining their citizenship status. Instead, the bill never made it past its first committee hearing.

And this attitude is encouraged by special interests that support lawlessness. One such group, the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, defends 32 illegal aliens scheduled for deportation, who allege that’s because they blew the whistle on employers underpaying or not paying them at all. So what? The employers need to be prosecuted by the law, and the illegal aliens deported according to and not protected from the law. To do otherwise is to subvert the rule of law, even if that is encouraged on this issue from the Pres. Barack Obama White House on down by his deliberate selective bending of the rules. Distressingly, instead of condemnation of this attitude among cultural and government elites, it is the subject of hagiography.

It’s understandable, if exasperating, why policy-makers facilitate the problem. Even as many citizens, many of whom vote, excoriate government for tolerance of lawbreaking, some businesses, who may donate large sums to local campaigns and who generate significant tax revenues locally, become selectively ethical and hire illegal aliens because of cheaper labor costs, including not paying government taxes (and over-taxation and regulation certainly contribute to this). But then if these government and business elites get outraged at the conduct revealed to Boustany, they need only look at themselves to understand how they contribute to the process, joining with special interests to erode the rule of law that will come back to haunt them from the societal deterioration it will cause.

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