Filling Farmworker Gap

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"A Bust, And a Blow To a Business" [October 1] is another frustrating example of our government's poor use of taxpayers' money.

Is arresting illegal immigrants working legal jobs that few citizens want to work helping to save taxpayers' money? Working jobs that many refuse to do regardless of pay, illegal immigrants enable folks like dairy owners Lee and Mike Zimmerman to develop businesses that contribute to the tax coffers of this country.

Joanne Merrill

Leesburg, Fla.  

Your article on employers who hire illegal immigrants based on false identification documents asks, "What else could the Zimmermans do?" The Zimmermans and other employers who want to verify the work eligibility of their new hires can participate in E-Verify, a free, voluntary system operated by the Department of Homeland Security that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. If every business in America used E-Verify, the use of stolen Social Security numbers might drastically decline. Of course, then employers would have no excuse for hiring illegals based on documents the employers believed to be valid.

Beverly Chaney

Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.  

Zimmerman and other employers who hire illegal immigrants are not victims. The 21-year-old Simpson-Mazzoli Act is clear and specific that all employers are responsible for verifying that their new hires are either citizens or legal aliens. And the penalties for not doing this are explicitly stated.

James M. Eaneman

San Ramon, Calif.  

It is no wonder that dairy owner Zimmerman doesn't get applications from local people. Since World War II, our government has had a "cheap food" policy. If farmers would use the food they produce to ask for a better living, Zimmerman's family would not be having to take care of all the animals themselves! I'm not blaming government, since the Capper-Volstead Act in our country allows agriculture producers to join together and price the product being produced. Too many farmers insist on trying to go it alone and forget that they are just hurting themselves and each neighbor producing that same product.

Virginia Koopmeiners

Dairy farm owner/operator
Burtrum, Minn.  

A plan for an unskilled, labor-intensive business without researching the availability of legal workers in the geographical area is inexcusable. How many of the workers were offered $30,000 per year, free housing, and medical benefits? What were the medical benefits and type/quality of housing offered? If Zimmerman's claims are valid, willing legal workers could have been recruited from many areas in the United States without resorting to illegal Mexicans. We hear the same excuses every day from businesses that have either planned poorly or are trying to "game" the system, or both.

Emil Wirth

Vale, Ore.