Page 15


card back to him! Further, the Internal Revenue is charged with the collection of social security taxes from employers. These taxes are paid so routinely by such an overwhelming percentage of employers that I.R.S. has become flabby in its enforcement of this law. \(But if Adam Clayton Powell misses a talked with scores of illegal entrants who had been caught by the I.N.S. Of these illegals, all of whom were working when caught or who had worked on previous visits to the U.S., only 21.3% had social security cards. How could an employer pay social security taxes if the worker had no card? Since the worker and the employer are both known to the government, it would seem logical to assume that prosecution of the employer would follow, but that is not the logic of the border. There is no procedure by which these virtually fool proof enforcement leads change hands, and I could detect no interest in the subject among responsible officials in either I.N.S. or I.R.S. Similarly the Labor Department’s own Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions makes no efforts to use I.N.S. data on wages paid to illegals \(generally efforts. Also, the Wage-Hour officials should pay more attention to their own statistics which show that ‘Fair Labor Standards Act violations are found in border counties much more frequently than the law of averages would suggest. Despite these figures, the agency has not staffed these areas adequately, and it is only in recent years that it has started to hire chicano investigators. THE LIST IS endless. The Post Office Department will rent its boxes to Mexican residents so that they may collect unemployment insurance \(by supplying the so that they may receive income tax refunds. On the other hand, the I.R.S. cannot cross the border to check on the returns filed by Mexican residents, nor will the I.N.S. stop a suspected tax evader from crossing the border daily to and from his American job. Similarly, although green card commuters, U.S. citizens living in Mexico, and even illegals, if they stay here long required to register for the draft, the Selective Service Commission never tries to enforce the law. \(But if a draft age student we found that only 45.3% of the male green card commuters between the ages of 18 and 44 possessed draft cards, but virtually all of them had discharged their military duty in Mexico \(which consists of weekly drilling on Sunday afternoons for a The point of all this is not that we should support a substantial part of the war in Vietnam with money and men drawn from the commuters. The point is that almost every government agency along the border follows policies which assure the continued flow of cheap labor from Mexico and guarantees lower wages and fewer job opportunities for U.S. residents. \(Most of the Americans hurt by this process, incidentally, are of Mexican descent, and most of those who profit are If green card commuters_ faced a real prospect of going to Vietnam, and if their incomes were as subject to taxation as those of U.S. residents, and if they had to comply with American drivers’ license and auto insurance regulations . . . then perhaps they would not be quite so eager to cross the border to take jobs from U.S. residents. Even more significantly, if every exploitive employer of an illegal knew that he faced difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service and the Wage-Hour authorities, even if he remained immune, as he is now, to direct prosecution for harboring an illegal entrant, he might think twice before hiring another illegal. In short, if both non-resident workers and their employers had to live by the economic rules set by Congress, a substantial part of the evils created by the Immigration Service’s loose border policies could be held in check. Of course, a complete revision of the immigration laws, and their interpretation, would be very significant, but that. is another story. Footnote: One happy precedent. The Nixon Labor Department, when George Shultz was secretary and Arnold Weber was assistant secretary for manpower, totally revised the rules regarding foreign temporary workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, protecting their rights and those of the permanent residents of the islands. Close to half of the work force there had been staying there on temporary visas and had little, if any, bargaining power. This forward step, for the working poor in a distant place, showed a refreshing point of view by the departed Shultz-Weber team, now in the president’s new super budget agency. The parallels with the border labor scene are significant if hidden from the casual observer. #rilu t z’ Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 Nov. 13, 1970 9 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 LES MEC 24e4 Saa Area& Ideated lade to Ilse Puler 7exea 06defudeet Aiwa 472-2746