Lou Dobbs' Undocumented Worker Problem

The Nation has a feature article alleging Lou Dobbs employed undocumented workers.

Based on a yearlong investigation, including interviews with five immigrants who worked without papers on his properties, The Nation and the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute have found that Dobbs has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.

From The Nation's editorial: Make it Legal:

On any given day, we've all probably eaten fruit harvested by undocumented workers or meat they butchered. These workers also make possible the lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Americans like Dobbs and Whitman, with their estates and grounds and stables. How these millions of workers could be extracted from their jobs and deported without causing massive disruption not only to their lives but to the entire economy defies the imagination. Yet this is what Dobbs demands with his call for ever tougher enforcement.

The solution:[More...]

If immigrants had a straightforward path to legalization, they could step out of the shadows of the US economy and stand with American workers to demand decent treatment for all. That might make it slightly more expensive for Lou Dobbs to maintain his multimillion-dollar properties—but it's a price he ought to pay.

Lou Dobbs responds:

"The only person who would have been an illegal in any context would have been a landscaper who was working for the contractor working on my house in Florida. That may have happened," admits the former CNN anchor and fierce anti-illegal immigration crusader. Dobbs is a frequent critic of companies that hire illegal workers.

"But that isn't my employee nor is it the reason I would have contracted with that landscaper. And to suggest I hired the person who is illegal if, indeed she can document there was someone illegal, is an absurdity," said Dobbs. "I have hired no illegal immigrants, no company of mine has hired illegal immigrants and that is the essential fact."

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    The landscaper thing I can understand (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 11:27:07 AM EST
    he hired a landscape maintenance co and they, in turn, hired undoc'd workers and sent them to work on his (and the landscape co's other customers, I assume) properties.

    The horse care is a different thing, imo. From what I've seen people generally are really involved in their horses, especially, for example, champion show horses, and choose their horses' keepers very carefully...

    I live in an area of MD where there (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 11:56:09 AM EST
    are a lot of horse (and other) farms, and one of my daughters rode and showed for years; when we would do "A" cicuit shows, most of the big-time barns in the region had (mostly) Latino grooms working (I used to hear, "but WHY can't we have grooms, too?" to which I would reply, "uh, you're looking at your groom - it's me!"), and certainly, they are many also working the race tracks as grooms, exercise riders and hot walkers.

    There are lots of Latinos working at the local farms and barns - and I have no idea whether they are documented or not.  What I do know is that they are extremely hard-working, dependable and conscientious workers - and it's hard to find people willing to do the manual labor that is horse and farm work.

    At the level at which Dobbs' daughter is competing, it's hard to say how much Dobbs knows; he probably has a barn manager and other managerial staff before you even get to the  level of those who muck stalls and throw hay, manage the turn-out, and do general clean-up and repair.  I would be a little surprised if he really knows all of the people who work in his barn, especially if it's a reasonably good-sized operation.


    Well, there you go. (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:06:03 PM EST
    And google agrees with you:
    and he had sent word that Salinas could be hired on as a groom at the Vermont stable contracted to care for the Dobbs Group horses.
    The horse care is contracted out just like the landscaping.

    The horses are in VT Dobbs lives in NJ. (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:07:09 PM EST
    And dollars to doughnuts, he (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:34:04 PM EST
    moves the whole operation to Florida (or California) for the winter - these people show and train year-round, so you go where the shows are, and they aren't in Vermont in the winter!

    I spent a week with my daughter in Culpeper, VA, at a summer show, and never worked so hard in my life - from before the sun came up until well after dark - we all had a wonderful time, but it was brutal.


    Yup. (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:36:19 PM EST
    Every November, all five of The Dobbs Group's show-jumping horses must be transported from their summer stables in Vermont to their winter stables in Wellington, Florida.
    I know Culpepper, my MIL lives close by...

    Clean Hands of the Rich (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:29:37 PM EST
    How convenient for Lou.  I wonder how much investigative reporting he has done on others who hire undocumented workers.

    Disgusting. He is responsible, particularly considering that hiring undocumented workers is such a big issue for him.


    Info per Think Progress post (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:08:53 PM EST
    At one point during the investigation, Macdonald asked an undocumented worker she refers to under the psuedonym "Pedro Gomez" if he believes that the Dobbs family knew that many of the workers they were hiring were undocumented. Gomez replied that he believed at least Hillary Dobbs knew, and that the stable owner at the Dobbs estate definitely knew "that some people didn't have papers...and had even taken precautions to keep the workers away from the immigration agents who often patrol the areas around horse shows." ThinkProgress

    I think there's a better than even (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:28:54 PM EST
    chance that Hillary Dobbs had at least some idea about the immigration status of those with whom she was in close contact at her barn, especially those who were directly caring for the horses she's showing.

    It's hard work, and long hours, and unless someone really loves horses and has an independent source of income, it's not work a lot of people are willing to do for any dependable length of time.

    There's a reason why there's a saying that the way to make a small fortune in the horse business is to start out with a large one - it is incredibly, incredibly expensive - one reason why wages at the groom/stable worker level are very low.  And why most "Americans" don't want to do it.


    Bottom Rail on Top (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Rojas on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:51:32 PM EST

    "When Gomez worked for the Vermont-based stable contracted by Lou Dobbs, his wages were $500 per week, and he typically worked sixty-five hours, meaning he was earning only slightly above minimum wage. ......he says he was never paid overtime"

    "At the Vermont stable that cared for the Dobbs Group horses from spring through autumn while Gomez worked there, the workers lived right at the horse barn. ..... according to Gomez, their quarters--a two-bedroom apartment on the top floor of the barn--were extremely crowded. When Gomez lived there, nine workers were packed into the small apartment, and he had to share a bedroom with four of them"

    Course she does (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:43:15 PM EST
    If you are on any of those road shows, you know...we all know.

    We all know? (none / 0) (#41)
    by DaveCal on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:16:40 PM EST
    Wait, so now we ARE supposed to profile and presume they're illegal?

    If we investigate them or fire them, we violate the law and trample their civil rights.

    If we keep employing them, we're vilified and called hypocrites because "we all know"?  

    And how exactly is it exploiting them?  Even if the supposition I read in this thread about pay is true, they're getting about minimum wage.  How is that exploitation?

    Heck Meg Whitman paid $23/hour.  At that rate I only have one question: "Where do I sign up to exploited?"  



    The hypocrisy is in being (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:41:27 PM EST
    publicly opposed to the employment of the undocumented, and publicly calling for the punishment of those who employ undocumented workers, and then - oops! - it comes to light that the person him- or herself employs undocumented workers.

    It's do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do that is the hypocrisy.

    And the employer is supposed to be responsible for verifying the resident status of the employees, so it doesn't violate any law that I'm aware of to either not hire, or fire, someone who is found to be undocumented.  In the Whitman situation, no one has said that Whitman should not have fired her employee, but the fact that she was undocumented did not give Whitman the right not to honor the contract with the employee when she was working for her.

    And for the last time, Whitman paid for 15 hours a week, regardless of how many more hours her employee worked, so that $23/hour drops lower for every hour over 15; is that fair?

    As for the minimum wage in this country - it's not a living wage, regardless of one's status; but that's another subject.


    Oh please (none / 0) (#43)
    by DaveCal on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:51:56 PM EST
    He didn't hire them, his contractor did.  

    So I'll ask you the question that never seems to get answered... "What would you like people to do?"

    Do you want the illegal workers deported?  
    Do you want them unemployed?
    Do you want them working?

    And what should Lou and Meg have done?

    They employed contractors and agencies so the contractors and agencies would do the background/documentation work.

    If the contractor/agency gets it wrong, or the workers commit fraud and perjury, what have Lou and Meg done wrong?


    I can't believe that someone who (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 05:12:39 PM EST
    thinks he is as smart as you do can't figure out the answer: if you are going to be a public figure, and sit in judgment of the actions and behavior of others, it's usually a good idea to make sure that you can't be tarred with the same brush you're using on others.  You know, kind of like not preaching family values if you've got mistresses on the side, or not advocating against homosexuality if you're having hot gay love - this is the same thing.


    So, if you're a Meg Whitman, you do the actual due diligence - and then some - on the agencies you contract with, and on the potential employees that agency sends you - you don't plead ignorance - the same kind of ignorance you publicly do not believe others should be able to claim.

    Sound like more work that way?  Well, then maybe that means our immigration policy sucks, and maybe instead of fostering wholesale xenophobia among the masses while employing undocumented workers themselves, the Meg Whitmans and the rest of the brown-people-are-bad crowd could apply their energies to granting these employees enough respect to help them become, if not citizens, then fully documented residents: if they're willing to hire them, and willing to pay them, they should be willing to go the rest of the way.


    Again... (none / 0) (#65)
    by DaveCal on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 03:46:31 PM EST
    What are they supposed to do?  Honestly.

    Meg used an agency that got all the government required documents form "Nicky".  Driver's License, Social Security Card.  Nicky committed fraud and perjury.  And you want to indict Meg for not doing due diligence?  

    So do you want employers to be able to investigate people MORE with respect to their legal/illegal status?  I thought that was profiling and bad?  

    Honestly, I'm trying to get a straight answer here.  


    What I want is a better (none / 0) (#66)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 03:59:42 PM EST
    immigration policy - I thought that was clear.

    But I also want those in high-profile positions to stop saying one thing and doing another, as if it is only other people who should have to be accountable for their actions; the excuses that people like Whitman and Dobbs don't accept from others should not be their own safe haven from accountability, should they?

    What don't you understand about that?


    Better Policy? (none / 0) (#67)
    by DaveCal on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 01:26:15 PM EST
    Ok.  And until that "better" policy comes along, please answer my question and tell me what exactly Meg should have done?  

    Meg followed the law (whether you think its a good policy or not, it is the law).  Nicky committed fraud and perjury to make it appear she was legally entitled to work in the US.  

    What should Meg have done?  

    Should she accept the fraudulent documents, since BY LAW she's not allowed to do more investigation?

    Should she violate the law and do more investigation anyway (you said "due diligence")?  Wouldn't that be profiling?  

    If she shouldn't accept the fraudulent docs alone (not enough "due diligence"), and she shouldn't violate the law by doing further investigation, should she simply not hire Nicky in the first place?  

    If she follows the law, accepts the docs as presented, Nicky gets hired and gets to work.  But you don't seem to like that scenario.

    If she violates the law, and does more investigation, what then?  If she realizes Nicky lied and isn't legal, then Nicky doesn't get hired and doesn't have work. Is that the result you want?  

    I'm trying to understand what result you would have liked in this situation.

    I understand that you want to rail on Meg because you don't like her politics.  But what exactly did she do wrong?  What exactly should she have done?  What should have been the result?  

    I think you like to point fingers and call names, but you don't have answers.  At least you haven't given me one.  



    Poor, poor Meg. How she manages to (none / 0) (#68)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    bear up under the crushing burden of hiring household help is hard to imagine.

    My problem with Meg is that she has very publicly excoriated others for the hiring of undocumented workers under the exact same scenario in which she hired Nicky.  My problem is that she doesn't accept as an excuse from anyone else that they trusted their agency, or thought the paperwork looked valid - and yet, that's the first thing she squawked about when this whole mess broke: "I didn't know!  The agency was supposed to check all that out!"

    Boo-hoo just doesn't cut it - sorry.  

    There have been numerous plans and ideas for providing a path to - if not citizenship - documented residence, but all people like Whitman want to do is build walls and round people up and send them back where they came from, separate parents from children, punish children who had no control over where they lived, which are not only not viable alternatives, but do little more than foster suspicion, paranoia and xenophobia.

    What should Meg have done?  She should have put her money where her mouth is, and hired an American - I mean, isn't that part of her whole shtick?  That "illegals" are taking jobs away from Americans who want to work?  So, why didn't she hire an American who wanted to work instead of someone whose status she could only home was documented?

    I'm pretty sure you will take that to mean that I am anti-immigrant, but you would be wrong; I'm coming at this from your question, telling you what the anti-immigrant Meg Whitman should have done if she didn't want to be branded as just another do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do wannabe politician.

    It's not exactly rocket science: if Whitman wasn't a public figure, if she didn't have well-known anti-immigrant views, no one would even know - or care - and Nicky would probably still have a job.


    ughhhh --- dodging again (none / 0) (#69)
    by DaveCal on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 03:34:23 PM EST
    I wasn't asking what you think Meg should have done just to avoid being seen as hypocritical in your eyes.

    I was asking what YOU would like to have seen done in this case.    

    Besides, even the answer you gave was BS.  Hire an "American"?  Are you saying she should discriminate and only hire people who can prove their citizenship?  Or are you saying she should have avoided any hispanic candidates, and simply hired a caucasion?  Yeah, I'm sure you would have found those approaches completely acceptable.  Give me a break.  

    What I was asking, and what you dodged, was what result YOU would like to have seen in this case.  

    What are law abiding citizens supposed to do in the case, like Meg, where they ask for the proper documents, and get forged/fraudulent docs?  

    Do you want them to accept the docs and hire the worker?  That's what Meg did, and Nicky had work.  But you apparently find that unacceptable.  

    Do you want them to assume the docs are fake, and do more investigation (you said more 'due diligence')?  That violates the law. And people would be screaming that it's profiling.  Are you saying you find that acceptable?  Is that the proper result?  

    If they do more due diligence, and find out the docs are fake/improper, do you want them to avoid hiring the worker?  Ok so now all the Megs are violating the law, and all the Nickys are not finding work.  Is that what you want to happen?    

    Your disdain for Meg is palpable, but what does ANNE think is the proper result for all the Megs and Nickys out there?  



    Not playing anymore. (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 06:01:43 PM EST
    I have a low tolerance for intentionally dense people, for concern trolls and people just looking for a fight.

    I've covered the issue to my satisfaction, stated the perils of saying one thing and doing another; I have no sympathy for Meg Whitman having backed herself into a corner.



    I'm not talking about firing them (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 10:01:12 AM EST
    or deporting them, how silly.  What I'm talking about is dropping my baloney story about how these people aren't in my life, just exercising my dogs.

    Ya know... (none / 0) (#44)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    the word hypocrisy is thrown around a lot, but I'm not sure it's always being used properly...

    Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.
    iow, if he believes those who employ illegal workers are doing wrong, or whatever, and says so, but also (knowingly or unknowingly) employs illegal workers himself, I don't think that being a hypocrite.

    For him to be a hypocrite he must say that hiring illegal workers is wrong, or whatever, but not really believe it's wrong.


    Ah, playing at parsing (none / 0) (#46)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 10:35:08 PM EST
    Dobbs and Whiman are hypocrites. Or, as Anne so aptly put it, saying one thing and doing another. We all know what that means. And, it isn't good.

    Not so much parsing, actually.. (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    And it's a point I bring up every now and again, regardless of who's ox is being gored...

    I call bull on the unknowingly (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 10:01:45 AM EST
    Fine by me. Whether knowingly (none / 0) (#51)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 12:09:09 PM EST
    or unknowingly, it doesn't change the meaning of the word "hypocrisy."

    From wiki:

    Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. Samuel Johnson made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of "hypocrisy" in Rambler No. 14:

    Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.[1]

    Hypocrisy is basically lying about your beliefs.

    iow if you say "I believe doing (whatever) is wrong" but in fact don't believe it is wrong, that is hypocrisy.

    But if you say "I believe doing (whatever) is wrong." and in fact do believe it, despite having desires yourself to do (whatever) and/or whether or not you act on those desires, that is not hypocrisy.


    Samuel Johnson (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 12:49:36 PM EST
    The quote which you cited, suo, focuses on one who "expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice...." Again, I would posit that Whitman and Dobbs APPEAR to have displayed hypocritizal behavior (as hypocrites do) because they have gone significant steps beyond merely not meeting, as it were,  the goals and beliefs they espouse. Also: Their behaviors have been publicly revealed to strikingly deviate from a simple "...and may honestly recommend to others." In that regard, these two individuals have stridently addressed others/disparaged others about particular behaviors from which they themselves not only deviate but actually act in opposition.

    Look, you make some fascinating arguments. I find philosophy and the intricacies thereof and attendant belief systems compelling as well. But, my honest belief is that you are cornering yourself with wordplay. This type of situation--undoubtedly painful to those on the receiving end of Dobbs' & Whitman's activist polemic--is about much more than wikipedia or other shorthand evaluation. (Actually, a central part of hypocritical actions--whether the exegesis is found in literature such as The Scarlet Letter or philosophy such as the works of John Paul Sartre or The Bible with lessons about "removing the mote in one's own eye" etc.--explicitly stress the ACTIONS as evidence of hypocrisy. Psychological evaluations or conscience evaluations represent something else entirely.)


    I don't really think it's merely wordplay, (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 05:27:48 PM EST
    and wordplay is certainly not my intent, but more of understanding the English language and using it correctly. And I'm still working my way through this one, like you say, it's not a cut and dried issue.

    But, words do matter, see "illegal aliens" vs. "undocumented workers."

    That said, I'm liking the thought of someone's actions being hypocritical more than accusing that person straight-up of being a hypocrite.

    Basically, like jondee points out below, you just don't know what another person really believes, so how can you know that person is in fact a hypocrite?

    That person's actions, however, are for all the world to see. If they be hypocritical, then they be hypocritical.

    Gotta say, there are dozens, probably, of hypocritical acts I do every day.

    For example, speeding is dangerous and we should not do it, I do truly believe. I encourage everyone I know to drive slowly and carefully. However, I speed probably every single day. 'Cause the stuff I need to get done is so very important, doncha' know...

    Anyway, I'm not a hypocrite on speeding - I'm not lying when I espouse that others drive safely by driving slowly and carefully.

    However, for me, it is a constant, daily, minute-by-minute, battle with myself to slow the heck down when I drive, and I often fail at doing it.

    Somebody much smarter than me said something like: "Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes." Contradiction do not, I think, make one a hypocrite.


    You make some good points, (none / 0) (#60)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 06:05:48 PM EST
    and I don't disagree with the examples you'e raised, but bringing in jondee's point that we can never truly know what others are thinking, or what they truly believe, we're left with only being able to take what people say, on the one hand, with what they do, on the other.

    Which, if we can't definitively know if they meet the definition of "hypocrite," does seem to make them members of the "do as I say, and not as I do" school, when one does not comport with the other.  

    If it's any comsolation, I hate that almost no one knows how to correctly use the word "comprise;" on the bright side, this love of words comes in very handy when doing crossword puzzles...I'm pretty sure that one day, I will have full-blown dementia, but still be able to whip the Sunday NYT crossword, in ink...


    Me too, Anne...on the crossword puzzles. (none / 0) (#62)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 09:05:59 PM EST
    Thanks Anne. (none / 0) (#63)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:50:48 AM EST
    I'll now go google the subtleties of the word "comprise"...

    There is agreement (none / 0) (#61)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 06:47:36 PM EST
    Yes, I can and will definitely agree with your characterization of "hypocritical acts." And, I agree very much with your appreciation about the power of words (and the example you give.)

    The discussion you open about our little daily hypocrisies is one that I appreciate also. Where the line should be drawn between the more neutral-sounding contradictions (or conflicts, I suspect, depends upon the circumstances. While trying to stay away from theological discussions in this venue, I did smile at the concept--and reality--about degrees. Speeding vis-a-vis ??? (robbery, identity theft, calumny, avarice, you-name-it.) For me, there is no internal conflict in recognizing that not all actions-- e.g., torts or crimes--are the same. In a spiritual sense--e.g., in the Catholic Church--there is a recognition of the importance of a small wrong or sin (venial) and a large wrong or sin (mortal.) The point: Law, religion, and other human institutions recognize key distinctions. (And, even theologically, there are recognized occasions where the situation defines the definition.)

    That being said..."hypocritical acts" is really a good compromise term.


    Thanks christinep, (none / 0) (#64)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:52:53 AM EST
    fwiw, I spent 12 years in Catholic school...

    Can anyone ever definitively (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 01:23:25 PM EST
    know whether what another person professes to 'believe' is what they truly believe?

    A lot of people's mouths seem to believe one thing, while their feet and hands believe something else entirely..



    Correction, it's not that others (none / 0) (#26)
    by Radix on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:11:23 PM EST
    wont do the work, they just wont do it for the wages offered. Hence the need to find undocumented workers, so the wealthy can have their little luxuries.

    Not All of It (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:17:19 PM EST
    Also, many people both rich and rich enough, feel better about ordering around someone who is clearly of a much lower social status, preferably a status that will never change in a generation.

    Undocumented workers fit the bill.


    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Radix on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:32:48 PM EST
    I'm not sure I ever saw as much (none / 0) (#31)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:52:24 PM EST
    entitlement-type behavior on exhibit as I did when my daughter was doing the horse shows; while there were many horse owners and riders who were participating in the work that goes along with showing, it would not be at all unusual to see children ordering grooms around, teenagers with their feet up watching others work and adults engaged in both.  

    I just could never understand that mindset, and I'm sure, if I had asked why these people treated their employees so badly, I would have gotten the "but we think of them just like family!" line.  I suppose the response to that would be an expression of sympathy for the family...

    On the other hand, I've met some people of considerable means who treated their employees with respect, who pitched in when needed, and who required their children to participate in all phases of equestrian life instead of watching others do it for them.  It doesn't mean those people only employed documented workers, though, just that they didn't use social status as an excuse to treat people badly.

    I have no idea how involved Lou Dobbs is in his horse operation, but I've seen enough in my own experience in the equestrian world to think there's half a chance he didn't get down into those details, and when he was in the barn, the lowly workers were more or less invisible to him.

    And, sadly, whether someone is or isn't documented wouldn't make them more visible to people like that - but it would empower them in a way that they aren't now, and would take away the unfair advantage employers currently have over them.


    Entitlement behavior (none / 0) (#57)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 01:50:43 PM EST
    I suppose it depends on your point of view. From my perspective the general state of things appear as Senator's Son politics.

    You're entitled if you are a CPA but not if you're a brick mason. You're entitled if you work for the EPA but not if you built the bridges that are the very spine of our transportation infrastructure. Hell, even the UAW has a two tiered wage structure, one for those who are entitled and another for the others who are not.

    I have a real hard time distinguishing the entitlement behavior you attribute to spoiled teenagers than the "so-called progressives" that spend a damn good portion of their work day blaming everyone but themselves.


    At the dog shows (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 12:41:39 PM EST
    We have all sorts of fancy motorhomes and temporary fenced yards, and we have a lot of Latinos traveling on the road with the dog show gypsies too that clean up those little yards every second something nasty falls to the ground, and bathing and brushing.  And in the evenings they all get on bikes and ride around the show area with dogs on leashes exercising all these dogs that live on the road.  I don't think they are making the big bucks.

    He may not have known much... (none / 0) (#36)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 02:55:59 PM EST
    BUT, for Lou Dobbs, knowledge or lack of knowledge has not seemed to influence his harsh judgment of others. The times that I am not so positive as one might think are the times the preachers of the right-- the loud flailers of the poorest paid--are involved. Once in awhile I heard Dobbs' tirades about hiring "illegals." (Of course, just last week, we had the wannabe Whitman of California caught in her own righteous net as well.)

    There is surely a reason for adages like "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" or "Don't talk about the mote in your neighbor's eye before you remove the one in your own" or .... I wish the Dobbs of the world would take a lesson of empathy or compassion for others caught in situations not so straightforward. (In any event, he might want to consider Sartre's approach to judgments.)


    NAFTA limited the number of visas to Mexican (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 09:19:36 AM EST
    "Professionals" to 5500, but we placed no such limit on those from Canada. It's a conundrum. Was it the result of Clinton's hatred of "Brown People"?

    Is Dobbs a hypocrite, perhaps, but I really don't think he is the problem. The fact is we have a structural system in place in which federal employees, people employed in certain regulated industries, the managerial and professional class are protected from wage competition from the developing and third world.

    Of course those in the so-called "creative class" that have benefited from this one sided immigration policy would have everyone believe their four and six year degrees provide them with a commodity not available from abroad. These self deluded hypocrites really need to get out more.


    Well, since I emanated from the coal fields of PA (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 01:11:43 PM EST
    from a family that worked in the coal mines and since almost all numberous family members either were or are union members in good standing and since I grew up proudly raised by a father who could not complete high school because he had to go to work in the mines as boy and since that same father, who read the dictionary and works of history, etc. each night or when he wasn't working to educate himself, and since that very father ensured by his devotion and long hours of work that his two daughters would have a college education, I do believe that I understand some of your argument,Rojas. Even though my life has been fortunate enough (in large part because of my family) to be in what-some-would-call "the creative class" if that means being a professional field with a good economic situation. (Personally, I disavow the term even tho I know some people who would think they fit the snotty classification.)  
    Still: I believe that the Dobbs & the Whitmans of this country have a significantly negative impact on the whole immigration dilemma that you reference. Dobbs, particularly, has been feeding the frenzy to foster a kind of crazed response to a straightforward humane issue and yet a complex policy question. They stoke hatred...and are revealed to be hypocrites in doing so. And, what does that do in the broader context? To begin with, it has kept and keeps our country from having any kind of any semi-non-emotional discussion about how to move forward on the immigration issue.

    We like to stay away from discussions (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 01:31:51 PM EST
    of "structural" or systemic corruption and class interest here..

    Better to vent about the odd, individual, bogeymen in isolation and focus on the short-term psychological benefits of identity politics.


    is mr. dobbs (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:36:28 AM EST
    running for elective office? no? i didn't think so. sure, he's d bag, so what else is new? yeah, he's a hypocrite. again, so what else is new?

    the bottom line: he's in no position to legislate, so what he says or does, absent some evidence that he has direct influence on those who do legislate, is kind of irrelevant.

    He's a public figure with a huge audience. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:32:53 AM EST
    And he even recently made an appearance on The Good Wife television show.  He's stated publicly that he's given thought to running for office.  So, what he says or does is worthy of discussion -and scrutiny, IMO.  

    OK, thanks (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 10:03:43 AM EST
    I had not seen or heard about him in months. Did not realize he was still so popular.

    I watch The Good Wife and he was on this past (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 10:38:44 AM EST
    Tuesday's episode.  I cringed when I saw him because I just don't like the guy, think he's a pious, self-righteous know-it-all.  As far as I'm cncerned he's open to all the criticism that he gets, after all, he was dishing it out almost every night on CNN.  Tables have turned....  

    Mr Dobbs, (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 11:29:25 AM EST
    Meet your own petard.

    really? you think so? (none / 0) (#29)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:34:41 PM EST
    He's a public figure with a huge audience.

    aside from this, when's the last time anyone gave two nanny-goat sh*ts about him? thinking about running for public office, is he? him, and 90,000,000 million other people.

    oh wait, maybe fred thompson will rise from the grave (yeah, i know, technically he isn't actually dead..........), and the two of them will run, for something, maybe.

    and maybe monkeys and unicorns will come flying out of my butt. i'm betting on the unicorns.


    Unicorns would hurt (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:55:25 PM EST
    That horn, and all.

    Yes, really, I think so. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 02:53:32 PM EST
    Lots of people LOVE what he has to say and hang onto his every word.  Sure, his audience is smaller now that he's not on CNN, but he still has a following.  And he was just featured as a special guest on one of the top rated (#18 for it's first season last year, according to wiki) shows this past week, furthering his public profile. Whether or not you like him - and I don't - he's still a public figure.  Why the hate?

    I was wondering along the same lines (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:08:01 AM EST
    Where is he advocating whatever he is advocating, sinne he left CNN? Does he still have a radio show?

    Mr. Dobbs (none / 0) (#3)
    by dead dancer on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:09:48 AM EST
    may be considering a run in 2012 for the presidency or the senate. This according to Wikipedia.

    The man does have his following, and these days that can get you almost any position; possibly a republican VP nomination (2010 style).


    Personally, I could care less ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:21:15 AM EST
    ... what he thinks, but he's a public figure with a national radio show and the ability to influence his listeners and legislators.  He's also suggested he may run for the NJ Senate in 2012.

    Another solution (none / 0) (#4)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:13:08 AM EST
    prosecute those, like Dobbs, who employ illegal immigrants and pay illegal wages.  See how quickly the "problem" of illegal immigration is solved, without expensive walls and armed troops guarding our borders.

    If labor and minimum wage laws were enforced there would be no economic benefit for exploiters like Dobbs in hiring undocumented workers.  At the same time, US workers would be paid the pitiful amounts our soceiety calls a living wage for work that needs to be done.

    And it is pure BS that these workers are doing work Americans don't want to do.  Nobody wants to pick crops in the blazing heat, shovel manure, scrub latrines etc.  And I say that as someone who has done all the above to make money.  The fact is some Americans, like Dobbs, do not want to pay the wages and taxes prescribed by law.  

    And those Americans, like all other lawbreakers, ought to be prosecuted.

    Dobbs on illegal employers (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:28:43 AM EST
    "I've said for some time that the only rational actor in this entire immigration crisis, illegal immigration crisis, is the illegal alien, trying to benefit himself, herself and better their lives. But illegal employer is acting against the national interests, acting against the law in every respect. How can we get to the employer who is so shamelessly exploiting the illegal alien and so shamelessly flaunting U.S. law?" LouDobbs

    The way to get around hiring undocumented workers and still get the benefits they provide is to hire a contractor who is documented but hires workers who are not. That seems to be what Dobbs has done.


    Don't ask don't tell (none / 0) (#34)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 02:31:31 PM EST
    I get the sentiment... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:49:13 AM EST
    who doesn't feel the urge to kick an exploiter in the junk?  But not all employers of the undocumented are exploiters...when I was doing the day labor thang back in the day I worked alongside the undocumented, and some days a decent guy picked you up and paid/trested you right, other days you had to fight to keep from getting stiffed...but they certainly all weren't bastards looking to get over, many if not most just needed last minute hands for a job and where else you gonna find 'em but the mock up?

    The answer isn't more chains, the answer is taking the chains out of the employment equation...let everybody work legally and fight for better working conditions legally.  Not perfect, but better than the same old tired chain and cage response imo.  Spread our supposed free market principles to the labor market.


    That's not the answer (none / 0) (#33)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 02:30:27 PM EST
    even if you legalized every undocumented alien answer there will still be an incentive to pay less than legal compensation if no one enforces the labor and wage laws.  And exploiters will exploit unencumbered by any fear of ever having to answer for it. Hire a citizen or legal immigrant and you must pay minimum wage and adhere to other labor laws.  So if you want to pay less than legal wages you're in the market for an undocumented, illegal alien.  Dry up the market by reducing employer demand for workers willing and able to accept less than legal compensation by throwing some of these guys in jail.

    So even your solution requires strict enforcement of labor and minimum wage laws.  With such enforcement the mock up would be populated by citizens and legal workers who would have to be paid a fair, legal wage.


    Fair enough... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 03:23:30 PM EST
    when I was doing the mock up thang, the going rate was more than min. wage...far more.  75 a day or so.  I made less through the legal day labor outfits that required a SS card.  

    I could see where stable hands, maids, & dishwashers might have a harder time getting min. wage without docs...but landscaping and construction, at least here in the Northeast, the black market labor rate already far exceeds min wage.  OSHA & Workers Comp insurance stuff is another story...you're on your own to refuse dangerous working conditions or if you get hurt.

    Couldn't we scrap the docs to work requirement and keep the other protections for workers?


    The only protection for workers (none / 0) (#53)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    worth having in this country would be the removal the legal impediments to the ability of labor to EFFECTIVELY organize.

    We need to start thinking about the importance of class interest checks and balances here; or carry on with the sh*t canning the concept of democracy and the idea of the unique, grand experiment.      


    it does matter (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdm251 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 09:03:17 AM EST
    even though Lou Dobbs is not a politician he has considerable influence and the fact that he hired illegals shows that he is really just an actor saying what people want to hear.  like any rich guy he will do whatever it takes to save a buck, including lying.

    People like Lou Dobbs grab the (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 09:59:07 AM EST
    big headlines, but this isn't just Lou Dobbs' "problem."

    I don't mean to suggest that Dobbs doesn't have some obligation to put his money where his mouth is, and live up to the advice and opinions he has doled out on the employment of undocumented workers - he probably has a higher obligation because of his high-profile status - but "investigations" like this just highlight how badly we need to provide a path to citizenship for the millions of people who have been living and working here, paying taxes and doing jobs that need to be done.

    Maybe the more high-profile people get caught in the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do trap, it will highlight just how unrealistic it is to build a wall around the country and spend billions on deportation and incarceration of people who, for the most part, just want to work for a better life - and maybe that provides some impetus for some positive action on this front.

    I'm not confident, or particularly hopeful, that conservatives and Republicans will want to give up one of their signature issues, or that Democrats won't continue to disappoint, but I would love to be surprised.

    mr. dobb's audience, (none / 0) (#30)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 01:41:35 PM EST
    like beck's & limbaugh's, is dying off. heck, half of them might not even still be alive, for the 2012 election. check out his demographic, it isn't a particularly young crowd, and it isn't getting larger.

    yes, he's not a likeable fellow, and clearly a hypocrite (again, so what else is new?), but in terms of employer's of undocumented immigrants, he doesn't even register on that scope.

    a far more cost effective use, of scarce allocable taxpayer dollars, would be to go after the large, abusive employers, and then fix the damn system!

    I watched (none / 0) (#38)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 03:26:22 PM EST
    an interview with Dobbs and Ms. Macdonald, his accuser.

    I must say that all she had to say was that she talked to people who claimed to have worked for Dobbs while being illegal.

    She named no names.

    I am no fan of Dobbs, mostly because of his cheerleading for the war in Iraq, but Macdonald just seemed to be slinging mud in a McCarthy-like fashion. (Shades of "I hold in my hand this list of Communists in the State Department...")

    If the workers who are the ones alleging this behavior on the part of Dobbs can not or will not do so publicly, I find myself siding with Dobbs - not an entirely agreeable sensation.

    But his accuser presented no evidence.

    I did not read the article in the Nation.
    Maybe there is some documentation there.
    But at least in the interview I saw, all she kept repeating is that she talked to people whom she would not name.

    And (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 03:29:42 PM EST
    I would add, no only did she not name names, she didn't even present any direct quotations from the people she claims to have interviewed.

    This kind of reportage makes me very uneasy - especially from someone of the left side of the ledger.


    No documentation in The Nation that I saw. (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 03:29:58 PM EST