Friday, October 01, 2010

Gloria Allred throwing a client under the bus to score political points

I just don't get why we're supposed to be so upset about the story of Meg Whitman's housekeeper. The story, as I understand it, is that they went to an employment agency to hire her and were assured that she was a citizen with as Social Security card. Then later on they receive this letter from the Social Security Agency which is sometimes called a "red-flag" letter. However, looking at the form letter as Allahpundit has posted at Hot Air, the letter states that there is a discrepancy between the number and the name submitted of their employee. The letter suggests four reasons why this might be and they all refer to innocent errors such as something left incomplete on the form or a name change. It explicitly states that the employer cannot use the letter to lay off, suspend, fire, or discriminate against the employee. If the employer does use the letter for such action he or she would be violating federal or state law. Note this phrase from the letter, "Moreover, this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status." Some red flag. All the employer is supposed to do is ask the employee to give him or her the name and SSN as it appears on the card but the employee doesn't have to actually show the card. So what did the Whitmans do? Apparently, Meg Whitman's husband scrawled a note on it and told Nicky to look into it. As Allahpundit writes,
That’s where I get confused, though: Did they match? Allred redacted the form for privacy reasons so we can’t tell if the number blacked out above matches the one on the bogus Social Security card that Diaz presented to the Whitmans. The whole point of a letter like this in the immigration context, I thought, is to tell the employer that the number being used by their employee is assigned to a different name in the SSA database. That’s why it’s known as a red-flag letter, yes? But without knowing what the database says — and there’s nothing about that on the form, as far as I see — there’s nothing for Whitman or her husband to compare Diaz’s information to. Essentially, they’re forced to compare Diaz’s false documents to Diaz’s recitation of the numbers on those false documents, which is moronic. Is that right, or have I misread something here?
So I'm not impressed with the production of this letter.

So what we're really supposed to be upset about is that, when Nicky told Meg Whitman and her husband that she was here illegally, they fired her. What were they supposed to do? That's the law. Were they supposed to keep her on in violation of the law? Is that why we're supposed to be upset?

So why did Gloria Allred come forward with this whole story and hold two press conferences and go on all sorts of talk shows to talk more about it? If you can stand it, listen to her interview on the Mark Levin show. Levin presses her on what her complaint is against Meg Whitman. And it's basically that she wasn't reimbursed for her mileage when she was asked to drive. And that they treated her poorly when she told them she was illegal. Somehow she feels abused at her treatment in a job where she was paid $23 an hour.

And this is worth Gloria Allred making a public announcement of her client's law-breaking as being here illegally and falsely using a relative's Social Security number. Why expose her client to that legal jeopardy or is the assumption that, in Obama's America, no one would do anything about someone who admits coming here illegally and using a false SSN?

As William Jacobson points out, the upshot of Allred's attack is that Whitman didn't fire the housekeeper earlier.
Allred may be right that the employer (in this case Whitman and her husband) should not have left it up to the housekeeper to clear up the problem, and should have been more suspicious. Had Whitman or her husband followed up, the housekeeper would have been fired several years ago.

Call Allred a strict constructionist when it comes to the immigration laws, just like the people who are excoriated by the left as racists for seeking enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The message Allred is sending is that if you are going to hire an immigrant, not only must you dot every federal immigration law "i" and cross every federal immigration law "t", you also must not trust the immigrant if a problem arises. At least not if you want to run for public office.

So why isn't the left excoriating Allred? Why isn't Allred being called the most vile names usually reserved for Tea Party supporters or Republicans?

....The other interesting aspect, quite apart from politics, is Allred's willingness to expose her client to legal harm even though the client does not have any meaningful legal claim. This is not a case where Allred's client is a crime victim who comes forward to the police. There does not appear to be a violation of any law by Whitman, but there does appear to be both immigration and possibly criminal violations by Allred's client, who filed false documents with the government. By going public as she has, Allred has exposed her client to significant legal jeopardy in order to score publicity and political points for Allred.
So why expose her client to such legal jeopardy?

Ah, the reason becomes quite clear with this story.
An SEIU-backed independent expenditure campaign, Cambiando California, is launching a new Spanish-language TV ad hitting California GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman for attacking undocumented immigrants -- but then employing one for nine years.

Here's the script (translated to English):
Meg Whitman says she's a different kind of Republican…
But Pete Wilson is in charge of her campaign.
Whitman attacks undocumented workers to win votes, but an undocumented woman worked in her home for nine years.
She says she'll create jobs - but wants to eliminate forty-thousand state jobs, including teachers and nurses.
Whitman says one thing in Spanish --- and something different in English.
The real Meg Whitman has no shame.
She's a two-faced woman
Yup. That's why Allred threw her client under the legal bus. So that liberal groups could then hammer Meg Whitman among Latino voters. They can twist the story and pretend that Whitman and her husband absolutely knew that the housekeeper was illegal all along. Who cares what the SSA letter really said? Who cares that the housekeeper admits that she waited until 2009 to tell them she was illegal and that they let her go? Who cares that Allred has held two press conferences to publicize her client's illegal status?

And what will be the upshot of this sorry episode. Employers now know that, if they have an employee who seems legitimate, they must still question that employee's immigration status and doubt protestations otherwise. If there is some discrepancy, they must toss out innocent explanations and, despite laws otherwise, find some way to get rid of the employee. People will be even more suspicious of hiring immigrants just so they don't have this hassle. But hey, it is all worth it if we can get Jerry Brown back as governor of California.