- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2006

House Republicans called on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prosecute businesses shut down yesterday by their illegal alien employees who took the day off to participate in protests of immigration legislation.

“Too often, we presume that fault lies with the illegal migrant worker, but we need to recognize that the employer broke the law by hiring the illegal alien,” wrote Republican Reps. Jack Kingston of Georgia and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. “We believe the federal government has an obligation to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and must actively investigate any and all instances where it is apparent industries have knowingly and willingly hired those who entered this country illegally.”

In a letter to ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, Mr. Kingston and Mrs. Blackburn noted “the multiple reports in the news media today regarding companies which have been forced to halt operations because large numbers of their employees appear to be in the United States illegally and are participating in the protest rallies.”

“ICE has an obligation to use this public information to enforce immigration laws,” they wrote. “We respectfully request that you look into this matter and report back to us on your findings.”

Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, meanwhile, observed that the “Day Without Immigrants” would have been a “boon” for taxpayers if they could have taken the day off from paying all the costs associated with the illegal alien community.

“The activist protesters are trying to confuse the American public by lumping legal immigrants with illegal aliens,” Mr. Tancredo said. “A day without legal immigrants would be a day without almost all Americans. A day without illegal aliens, on the other hand, would be a boon to the American taxpayer.”

He said the government pays out more than $10 billion annually in health care, education and incarceration costs for illegal aliens. He also said the government may be forgoing as much as $35 billion in lost tax revenue to the underground labor market.

“Americans don’t respond well to illegal aliens who demand amnesty. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t play well in Peoria,” Mr. Tancredo said. “Every time illegal aliens and their supporters take to the streets, it drives home the point to most Americans that illegal immigration is a problem in their hometowns, and that we urgently need to get control of our borders.”

In the Senate, Republicans introduced a resolution affirming that statements of “national unity” such as the national anthem should be recited or sung in English.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and author of the resolution, said the protesters’ message gets “lost in translation” when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is rewritten in Spanish.

“Ours is a diverse nation, but diversity is not our greatest accomplishment,” he said. “Jerusalem is diverse. The Balkans are diverse. Iraq is diverse. What makes America unique is that we have taken all that magnificent diversity and turned it into one nation.”

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