But this begs another question: why don’t the employers who use illegal workers pressure Congressmen for reforms?
“Because ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” responds Appleby. Enforcement of existing laws against employment of illegals is so spotty beyond the border states that it constitutes only a nuisance. “Employers are not complaining that they can’t get the unskilled workers they need. Because they can,” he says.
Though the workforce is unreliable in terms of individuals, who may be arrested and deported at any time, it is steady in terms of a flow of manpower.
But though this works for employers, the bishops are saying, it is unjust to the workers and inhumane to their families.
“We are saying, we can’t have it both ways in a free and democratic society,” says Appleby. “We can’t have the workers we need on the one hand, and deny them basic human rights on the other.”