Guest Column: Don’t hire illegals to assist flood victims

Note: The following letter was sent to U.S. Rep. Manzullo, Ill. State Sen. Dave Syverson, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and Rockford Ald. Nancy Johnson the week of Sept. 11. Sylvia Pagel received a reply from Syverson last Saturday.

Before any tax dollars are disbursed in the Rockford area to assist the flood victims, a system should be set up locally to assure that the contractors who will receive the payments do not hire illegals! With a verification system in place, there should no longer be any excuse for employers to be hiring illegals. Those employers are well aware that they are committing a felony, and it should not be condoned by our public officials. Those employers should be prosecuted, not rewarded with federal dollars from the public trough.

I realize it would be difficult to prevent private citizens from spending their own dollars with businesses that hire illegals, but it should be relatively simple to assure that public money is not spent that way. A clearinghouse system should be set up immediately for those businesses that plan to be involved in restoration in the flooded area. The system should be able to prove that every one of their workers is in this country legally.

We’ve all heard about the disgraceful situation that occurred after Hurricane Katrina when thousands of illegals were trucked in and paid with federal dollars through unethical employers. Nobody knows who these people were or where they are now. We do NOT want that to be allowed to happen here. Also, we are well aware that there is a huge black market pool of illegals already here in Winnebago County. It’s time for all our public officials to take action to END this abuse of tax dollars.

I hope that you will make it clear to all those who plan to get any of the tax-funded flood assistance that NO public money will go to those who hire illegals.

Sylvia Pagel is an activist in Winnebago County.

From the Oct. 11-17, 2006, issue

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