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Missing In Action: The Pro-Business Republican

Feb
11
2006

After three days of observing the Conservative Political Action Conference, I have to ask: whatever happened to the pro-Business Republican?
Most of the issues on the agenda in the conference’s 32nd year have nothing to do with one of the core reasons I am a Republican. Gays, drug policy, and abortion “discussions” at the conference ran counter to the federalist, states-rights messages which I thought Conservatives believed in.
And then there’s the immigration debate. I’ve written about the issue a lot—and not everyone agrees with me—but what strikes me as odd is that the line that gets the greatest applause talks about how we need to “crack down on businesses” who are giving jobs to illegal immigrants.
But businesses are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to employing illegal immigrants. Thanks to your friends at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an employer is very limited in what they can ask. Basically, a businessman can, and should, ask if someone has the legal ability to work in the United States and then you take them at their word. Now, if someone lied to get into the country—breaking the laws to come here illegally—do you doubt that they might also get creative in trying to get a job?
But not so fast! The Federal Government has recently implemented a Social Security verification system—which if used should do a lot to keep businesses from erroneously hiring new illegal immigrants. But if you have an illegal immigrant on the payroll already, well, you’re screwed.
That’s because not being allowed to work in the United States is not an acceptable grounds for dismissal under EEOC rules. I kid you not. If you found out today that someone working for you was here illegally and fired them, you could be slapped with fines or lawsuit for discriminating against them.
It’s happened, too, to a member of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, where I worked three jobs ago. We went to Washington and told our Congressmen about it, but neither Republican nor Democrat would dare suggest changing Equal Employment Opportunity laws.
But isn’t it kind of important that before we crack down on businesses who employ illegal immigrants, that we make it possible for them to fire them?!?
In the debate over immigration, it looks like the Democrats will have to be the ones to take a pro-Business position…but somehow I doubt they have it in their DNA to do that. But with all the wedge issues, like immigration, abortion and gay-bashing, that get “Conservatives” riled up, it’s kind of lonely being a pro-business Republican.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 9:51 AM | Permalink

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