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Tejada to Participate in Protest Against Arlington Company

by ARLnow.com — January 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm 4,042 209 Comments

Re-elected County Board member Walter Tejada at Arlington Democrats 2011 election victory party(Updated at 11:00 p.m.) Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada will participate in a protest against an Arlington-based company Tuesday morning.

The demonstration, organized in part by the Laborers International Union of North America, will protest the “use of immigration status against workers” by Corinthian Contractors, Inc. Arlington residents and local immigration groups are expected to protest outside the company’s Shirlington-area headquarters.

Tejada will “stop by the event,” according to a spokeswoman.

In a press advisory, protest organizers accused Corinthian Contractors of threatening laborers with deportation after they complained about not receiving a fair wage.

On December 2, a group of workers sent a letter to their employer, Corinthian Contractors, Inc., asking to be paid the legally required minimum wages for their work on a DC Water project. On December 6, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested the workers at their usual meeting spot as they waited for their ride to work. Two bystanders were also arrested.

Following their arrest, Corinthian Contractors continued to threaten the workforce with immigration enforcement. Finally, on December 31, 2012, Corinthian Contractors announced that it suddenly discovered that the I-9s of the entire workforce needed to be immediately “re-verified.” Corinthian took the opportunity during the “re-verification” process to fire almost half of the workers working on DC Water projects. The vast majority of those fired had signed a letter complaining of Corinthian’s failure to pay the legally required wages.

These workers have had their lives torn apart. Some have been deported. Others who remain have seen family members deported. All are still awaiting a determination of their status. And all of this turmoil to is due to the ruthlessness of a contractor who was offended that workers would try to hold him accountable to pay legally required wages.

On Tuesday, these workers will tell Corinthian Contractors that they cannot be intimidated out of their rights and will request the public and public officials to join them in demanding justice for Corinthian’s workers!

The protest is scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday at 3126 S. Abingdon Street.

In 2010, Corinthian Contractors completed work on a $1.5 million contract for the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, according to its website. The company has not responded to a call seeking comment.

  • drax

    I just don’t get it.

    The idea that they have some kind of right to come here and work here and demand wages when they are not allowed by law to even be here boggles the mind.

    And what about the citizens and authorized workers who could be working those jobs but can’t? Don’t they count? Shouldn’t they have decent wages?

    • CW

      dr, KKev, and n-s all share a big group hug…

      • drax

        Why don’t you take a shot at explaining why we should make laws and then just ignore them when someone gets really mad about it, CW. Nobody else has managed.

        • CW

          No, no, I’m not arguing against you at all on the actual issue. I was just stepping back to admire a point of agreement.

          • drax

            Well…okay. But I’m not hugging Kev.

          • KalashniKEV

            How come? Afraid you’ll catch some common sense? It’s not contagious…

            ;)

          • drax

            Common sense, says the guy who wants to cut the county budget by 2/3rds across the board.

        • Josh S

          Unfortunately, neither side is in compliance with the law.
          So, it’s hard to get indignant.
          However, when choosing between workers and their corporate employers, I’ll side with the workers just about every time…..These guys showed up for work every day, put in an honest day’s labor – just pay em their lousy $7.75 an hour. It’s hard to get righteous about their immigration status after you hired them in the first place….

          • Quoth the Raven

            How do you know they were good workers? Maybe they were terrible, consistently late, and dishonest! You have no idea whether they were good or not.

          • drax

            This isn’t about workers vs. employers. It’s about complying with the law. You are siding with workers who shouldn’t have ever been hired in the first place.

          • Rory

            They should not have been hired, but they were. So the owners broke the law too.

          • Josh S

            drax, what kind of rabbit hole are you down, anyway?

            We’re through the looking glass here, people!

    • AL

      Although you bring up some good points, it’s still manipulation by Corinthian Contractors, Inc. and very two-faced. How can you hire these guys knowing full well that they are illegal and pay them less than minimum wage, and at the same time extort them into accepting these below-minimum wage rates by threatening prosecution?

      • drax

        “Extort?” They knowingly violated the law in applying for the jobs. They have no right to have the job, let alone demand higher wages. If they don’t like how they are treated, they should comply with the law and quit their jobs.

        • Josh S

          I believe you may have a blind spot on this issue. AL makes valid points that you ignore.
          Also, do they not have a right to a job? Says who? Seems to me a matter of basic human dignity to be able to work for an honest wage. (Not that the minimum wage is that…..)

          • KalashniKEV

            It’s called a Work Visa.

            Citizens have rights. Criminal Aliens are not citizens of the United States of America.

          • drax

            Let’s clarify that non-citizens, even illegals, have Constitutional rights, even if they lack all legal ones. Not relevant here though.

        • AL

          Corinthian Contractors, Inc. violated the law by giving them the jobs! They clearly know that they are illegal–why else would they refer them to immigration agents?

          I’m not saying that these illegal aliens are in the right, but what Corinthian Contractors, Inc. is doing is unethical, immoral and disgusting on just about every level.

      • DCBuff

        Isn’t it possible that Corinthian was caught by ICE violating employment laws and is now “cooperating” with ICE to save themselves?

      • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

        We’re now being told that “minimum wage” in the press release refers to something other than the federal minimum wage.

        According to a spokeswoman for LiUNA: “It’s not the federal minimum wage. Wages for publicly funded construction work are set by a federal formula and vary by job category. A more accurate general phrasing is the legally mandated wage, which for some of these workers was $5-10 per hour more than what Corinthian was paying them.”

        • WeiQiang

          so, in addition to extorting work from them under threat of “re-verifying” immigration papers, are they also trying to fraudulently obtain the the legally mandated wage?

        • Josh S

          Davis Bacon? More like a livable wage, then, right?

        • KalashniKEV

          DBA wages.

        • http://www.theadstoredc.com Tina

          Maybe Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada can get these guys a gig at the new ill conceived pool project?

          • KalashniKEV

            I’m sure he’s breaking ground on several new ill conceived projects before then.

            Public Pool just isn’t going to happen. It’s Gross!

    • Ballston Resident

      The article state: The demonstration, organized in part by the Laborers International Union of North America, will protest the “use of immigration status against workers” by Corinthian Contractors, Inc. Arlington residents and local immigration groups are expected to protest outside the company’s Shirlington-area headquarters.

      If Corinthian Contractors, Inc. is using illegal workers knowingly, they should be shut down by Arlington County. If illegal workers are working for Corinthian Contractors, Inc., they have no right to do this.

      The county needs to clean this up. I think Walter is out of line and also think illegal workers are out of line on this protest. Main problem is that Corinthian Contractors, Inc. hires illegals to cut their costs and help them get low bid cost for work with Arlington and other agencies in our county. This is wrong.

      Children born to illegals in Arlington who are now adults have to be taken care of by Arlington county. They are as American as any one. But Arlington residents cannot continue to cover the high cost of illegals who pay no taxes, have no intention of doing do, and expect the good citizens of Arlington to bail them out. Can the illegal alien community put up anything better than the dream act that the long time Arlington residents could support? I would sure like to hear what the ‘illegal’ community considers fair. We should be working together on this as a team, without either side thinking they are snookering the other.

      Respectfully

    • Michael

      Drax, your precious citizens and authorized workers did not step up to do the jobs Corinthian made available. I see plenty of Arlington citizens begging on street corners because they are too lazy to actually work. It has nothing to do with laws. It has everything to do with citizens sense of entitlement. You love it when immigrants make your life easier and then use it as a crutch for when you want to belly ache. In fact, why don’t you go try a hand at working for Corinthian if your so worried about jobs for AMERICAN’s only.

      • KalashniKEV

        Michael- did you read the article? Wages were below minimum. Corinthian bid the jobs lower than anyone else because they chose to use a labor pool of ineligible workers. The contracting authority probably said, WOW… low fee bidder! The fee was likely the same, the cost of labor factored into the price was lower. Criminal Aliens pervert the labor market by working at below minimum with no benefits- that’s another reason why they have to go for the sake of fixing America.

        • drax

          Glad you have sympathy for Americans’ pay and benefits.

        • WeiQiang

          “criminal aliens” … oh lord. a new Fred Luntz term. my lord. wait until you start paying the real price for stuff once you have gotten rid of the ‘llegals.

          • KalashniKEV

            Bring it! I’ll have way more money to do it with once we slash spending and cut taxes DEEP.

        • Josh S

          Wait, you’re blaming the *workers* for getting paid less than the law requires? Are you standing upside while you type that?

          • Quoth the Raven

            He’s not blaming the workers (at least I think he’s not). I think he’s just describing the result of that kind of activity.

          • KalashniKEV

            They have no legal right to access any wages at all. Of course they’re going to take what they can get. It creates a perversion of the market that is incredibly destructive in it’s effect.

          • drax

            The law requires employers to pay zero to those who are ineligible to work.

        • Id

          Why do they have a pool of these ineligible workers? Because ICE and this Administration does not want to enforce immigration laws. Thus, you have a group of undocumented people desperate to try to make a wage, and employers exploiting the situation to their benefit. The law of unintended consequences.

    • deeBunker

      What is Mr. Tejada’s immigration status? Is he in the country legally?

    • ljp

      Drax is right on…..

    • Your Mom

      Tejada is a turd.

  • Louise

    Good for Tejada. Makes me proud to consider him an ally and a strong representative of Arlington values.

    • drax

      Can you explain it to me, Louse? Why should someone who is by law not even supposed to be here, and not legally allowed to hold the job he holds, demand more in wages or complain about being no longer allowed to work, or deported?

      That’s the law.

      • arachne

        Because it’s not about the victim, it’s about the crime (if indeed there was one – not passing any judgement on that.) If you picked up a brick and bashed someone on the head, the crime will have been committed no matter the legal status of the victim. Extortion, withholding a legally required minimum wage – crimes no matter who was the victim.

        • Quoth the Raven

          In your scenario, if the police knew the victim was an illegal immigrant, would they not deport him? They can’t just let him go. So yes, he’s a victim, but yes, he’s breaking the law as well and should be held accountable.

        • drax

          So you think crimes should be punished?

          Good. The contractor AND the undocumented workers both committed crimes. Punish them both.

          • Bald1

            Neither you nor I can say the contractor committed any crime. I have had vast experience with Form I-9. It is like ordering Chinese carry-out, one from column A or 1 from column B and column C. I could not ask to see specific documents, it was the applicants choice. The certification of the I-9 was that I had seen the documents and they looked genuine. I did go one step further, and make copies of the documents presented and attached them to the I-9. Basically, the applicant is stating that they meet the standards to be employed and have submitted the verifying documents; and that the employer has reviewed these documents and certify that they look genuine. There was no such thing as E-Verify when I was handling I-9′s. Although, I do not know how accurate it is anyway, when it can not verify the Presidents Social Security number or a Congressman’s illegal immigrant Interns status.

            http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

          • drax

            Bald1:

            Okay, whatever. My point is that one party committing a crime, if it did, doesn’t excuse the other party’s crime.

    • DCBuff

      “Arlington values” are to violate Federal laws? I don’t need representing, thanks.

    • novasteve

      To hell with arlington r ules then. i refuse to obey them since they selective obey federal law.

      • Dezlboy

        novasteve…okay put your money where you mouth is. Stop obeying these Arlington rules. Don’t feed parking meters, don’t buy county sticker, don’t pay county tax, break county noise ordinance. I’m sure you can think of more county rules. And don’t try to claim that rules aren’t laws and vice versa. Let us know how you make out.

        • KalashniKEV

          I think if we could get enough people to “opt out” of all of the above the County Board might start to clean up their act.

          • drax

            When is the UPRISING, Kev?

          • KalashniKEV

            You’re forgetting the first rule…

      • Steven Joel

        Once again, misses the issue made in the article. (You could keep your word and leave Arlington to avoid all the rules that you dream about ignoring.)

      • Rory

        Can you also refuse to comment on this website?

    • Id

      Arligton values? What, did the county become a nation over night? Was there a memo?

  • UA

    Good for ICE, millions more to go.

  • Arlingtonian

    I guess the better question is how were they hired in the first place? Aren’t employers supposed to check and verify the legal status of any potential employees? They should be deported, and the company punished in accordance with the law for hiring illegal immigrants.

    • JohnB

      Companies will accept info on I9s they know to be false so they can exploit their workers. Corinthian Contractors should be punished both for knowingly employing undocumented workers and failing to follow the Federal Fair Labor Act.

    • arachne

      Not all employers are required to use e-Verify, although I imagine that will comes to pass some time. Just don’t count on it being 100% accurate – as a citizen, I ‘failed’ the e-Verify check because one department’s systems didn’t talk to another at the time I became a citizen.

    • Frank Abagnale Jr

      It’s called ID theft.

  • A-Town

    The ICE hotline is: (855) 448-6903.

    Remember, if you see something, say something.

  • DCBuff

    Workers have already been deported? I have some doubt about that. The deportation process, by all accounts, is fairly slow and wouldn’t move so fast as to deport within a month. Then again, the law is the law.

    • drax

      Well, a record number of deportations have happened in the Obama administration, so maybe it’s faster now.

    • Jose

      deported from Arlington to Fairfax county

  • Feeding their families

    Yes, shame on the immigrants who left their home countries to come here and dig our ditches, clean our houses, and do the work that Americans will not do (I know from experience). Shame on you immigrants for agreeing to a deal and making the company you did the work for hold up their end of the agreement.
    Do you think that the people that ICE scoops up have decided that they would rather be here to dig ditches than with their own families? They have come here to provide a better life for their families. A decision I would make in a second if I couldn’t feed my kids. They come here and in my experience send a staggering percentage of their wages to the people in their home country. So you people sit up on your high horses and say what you will but I would rather have any one of the people that just got arrested over to dinner at my house than you Drax or you UA.

    • drax

      Again, I just don’t get it.

      By law, they shouldn’t be here. Nobody is shaming them for wanting to dig our ditches or have a better life, just for breaking the law, and for taking jobs that legal workers should have.

      I don’t consider following the law and expecting others to to be on a high horse. And it doesn’t mean I don’t have sympathy for them, and maybe even relax our immigration laws a bit. But for them to get all outraged because we refuse to ignore our own laws for their benefit is too much to ask. And the same goes for your outrage.

      • malaka

        is this the continuing of Dr@x’s “Ironic Posting in the manner of N-S”? or is something more sinister afoot? Has anyone checked N-S’s basement?

      • Josh S

        What makes this violation of the law so terrible that it taints these folks for you so much?
        What makes you think this violation of the law leaves these people somehow as deserving less than other people?
        What legal workers have been denied work because of the workers in question?

        • drax

          So Josh, can we just pick certain laws to ignore because it’s not, in your mind, “so terrible?”

          What I really object to is the outrage they display at being treated the way the law calls for. How dare the government enforce the law!

          • Josh S

            Unfortunately, no one really has a leg to stand on when it comes to making the “can we just pick certain laws to ignore” argument? All of us have knowingly violated one law or another at some point. And you can see why “oh, well, it’s just jaywalking, that’s a minor law” is completely inconsistent with your position stated here. (I.e., who are you to decide what is a “minor” law?)

            The outrage is certainly inspired in part by Corinthian’s own inconsistent, hypocritical, and abusive behavior. And, as I have pointed out elsewhere, the ongoing fact that in this dispute, it remains highly unlikely that anyone at Corinthian will suffer personally, making it likely that they would continue their practices in the future.

          • drax

            Yes, nobody has a leg to stand on, Josh. Including you. To say that breaking a law is okay because everyone breaks laws here and there isn’t defensible. I wouldn’t try it in court, would you? More important, I sure as hell wouldn’t be outraged that someone else is breaking the law by paying me low wages if I were breaking the law by having that job in the first place. That’s kinda like going to the cops to complain that a customer shorted you in a drug deal. No leg to stand on, as you said.

          • BBMS

            “the ongoing fact that in this dispute, it remains highly unlikely that anyone at Corinthian will suffer personally, making it likely that they would continue their practices in the future.”
            Not even sure what that means. Ongoing fact and highly unlikely probably don’t belong in the same sentence.

            And frankly, nobody here knows exactly what Corinthian has done. You don’t know what the wage scales were in the contracts, you don’t know what positions any of these people are claiming they held, so you don’t know what compensation they were entitled to based on their job performance. It sounds like a lot of gray area that people are finding outrage in.

      • haydiosmio

        I’m sure by law your ancestors weren’t allowed here either. Yet they overcame and now you crap on their memory.

        • Quoth the Raven

          No, that’s actually untrue. While I suppose there was “illegal” immigration when my ancestors came here, mine came through Ellis Island, just like thousands and thousands of others.

    • drug dealer & pimp

      I’m just feeding my family too.

      • Josh S

        Are you not capable of seeing a difference? Or just taking advantage of internet anonymity to make an absurd argument?

        • drax

          What’s the difference? Both are illegal acts. But it’s okay when you’re trying to feed your family, right?

          • Rory

            “What’s the difference”???? A pimp and drug dealer vs a day laborer?

            Are you just having a laugh, Drax??

          • Josh S

            drax, you’re veering into novasteve territory here.

          • drax

            Nope. I asked what the difference is when it comes to defending an illegal way of making money by saying “I’m just trying to feed my family.”

            Tell me, what’s the difference?

          • Rory

            One difference is that the pimp or drug dealer is harming others and harming the society.

            A day laborer is performing unskilled labor at a low wage, doing jobs most americans won’t do and allowing goods to be sold at lower prices. He is not ruining anyone’s life

          • drax

            An illegal day laborer is taking the job of a legal one.

            There’s a reason they are illegal.

    • Quoth the Raven

      The people on their “high horse” are only saying that when folks break the law, they pay the price. That’s all. No need to make value judgements about whether or not these are good or bad people. They broke the law and should be held accountable. If the company broke the law, they too should be held accountable. That’s how it works.

    • Hee-Haw

      What a load of crap. Americans have always done this type of work, your argument is a cop-out. I’m fine with them wanting to provide for their families, but do it legally…like we all do. Furthermore, you say they send their $ to their home country…guess what ? That means they are also not paying taxes or stimulating our economy.

      • Josh S

        Americans have always done this type of work. But who does it now? Are there a bunch of Yorktown graduates lining up at construcftion sites, hotel housecleaning offices, etc looking for jobs? Not so much.

        • Id

          College grads due to the lack of jobs

      • Feeding their families

        But they don’t and they aren’t doing this work. Are you seeing white house cleaners are you seeing out there? I know people that do manual labor everyday. There is NO ‘American’ labor force for digging ditches. They don’t exist, only Latinos. And of course they pay taxes, no one in this county can get by without paying taxes in a day.

        • drax

          We don’t know that no Americans will do this work.

          But in the meantime, it’s not our choice. The law says they can’t. Fix the law if it’s a problem.

          • yobo

            I know first hand of an “Illegal Immigrant” collecting $13,000 in income tax. Meanwhile, I am working my butt off to pay student loans and had to pay out $2,300 in income tax last year. How is that not getting away?

          • Babby

            Yobo: what are you trying to say? How does a person collect “income tax” — that makes no sense?

          • Quoth the Raven

            “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

        • Hee-Haw

          Yes they are, you just need to open your eyes. 15 years ago when I was in high school, it was high school kids who did these jobs, not illegal aliens. And you’re INSANE if you think illegal aliens are paying taxes. Why would they? They are undocumented !! And you said yourself, “they are sending most of their $ back to their home country”. Enough of this “Americans don’t do manual labor jobs”.

          • Rory

            Sales tax, property tax (through rent), even SS and Medicare if their company takes out those wages automatically.

            People with as low income as day laborers wouldnt pay any income tax anyone, most likely

          • Hee-Haw

            When they are paid straight cash, nothing is taken out automatically. Hence, they dont pay taxes.

          • Feeding their families

            That would be a great argument Hee-Haw if it was true in any way, which it is not. I work with manual laborers almost evey day. When was the last time I ran across someone from Arlington that was doing manual labor? November 2003, an old black man, not a high school kid. How is a high school kid supposed to come to work at 11am on a Tuesday. He isn’t he is supposed to be in school. Get an argument that has some truthfulness to it.

          • Rory

            They do pay sales tax and property tax though,

            To say they don’t pay taxes is absurd.

          • Hee-Haw

            @rory, how do you know they taxes when they receive cash ? Even “Feeding” said they send the majority of their $ to their home country.
            @feeding, it is true. To say only illegals perform manual labor is just stupid.

          • Josh S

            Sending the majority of their money to the home country has absolutely nothing to do with whether they are paying taxes.

          • Feeding their families

            Hee Haw, I didn’t say that only illegals do manual labor. What I said was that I work with manual labors almost every day and the last time I worked with an American by birth was 11/03. And of course they pay taxes, the live here, they eat here, they drive here, etc. 10% of every pay check goes to taxes even if it isn’t SS or Income (which they would most likely be exempt from anyway…) Base your argument in some, even a little truth and you will get more traction.

          • Hee-Haw

            @josh s, do you really think illegal aliens pay taxes ? What does your gut tell you ?
            @feeding, so when those day workers are paid cash for their time on a certain day, you really think they pay tax on that? I’m using common sense, by the way. Just to be clear, you have no problem with illegal immigrants ??

    • newty25

      Oh the irony of doing something illegal and then demanding that someone else doing something illegal not do something illegal.

      I wish I could I feel bad for these people, but I have no patience for ignorance. Seems like they got exactly what was coming to them.

      • arachne

        Ouch! I’m glad our justice system isn’t based on your personal system of selective compassion.

        • drax

          How is he being selective? Seems like you are.

    • Westover

      I am all for immigration. Immigrants built this country, and now maintain it. But the law is the law. It needs to be changed, but folks need to follow them until they are. This is not a civil rights issue, because those folks are not our citizens and not even our legal guests. Corinthian Contractors is in the wrong, the workers are too.

      • The law is the law

        Because laws are never wrong or wrong headed. Negros and whites should never co mingle, Jews shouldn’t own property, women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Yes the law is… The law no matter how wrong or unjust it is.

        • Hee-Haw

          But its the law NOW. Should we let anyone in this country at anytime they want ?

      • Bald

        Why does it need to be changed? We have immigration laws for a reason…to control immigration. Otherwise, we would have open borders and ANYONE could just stroll across. I have several friends that recently went through legal immigration, it is a long and expensive process. How do you think they feel waiting for years to get a visa and going through background checks and paying fees? I am a firmly believe that no child born in the US become a Citizen unless both parents are natural born or naturalized Citizens.

        • Josh S

          Bald, what country would they be citizens of, then?
          It makes no sense.
          It’s unworkable.

        • Westover

          Unless BOTH parents are citizens? Are you freaking serious? So my kids should not be citizens since my legal immigrant wife just became a citizen? Half of the white european decendent families here would be illegal. You should think before you type next time.

          It is rediculous how long and expensivve it is to legally immigrate here. If we made it easier, folks could register, come work, then go home. We could save billions that we waste on going after housekeepers, when we could spend a fraction of it going after real crimminals.

    • confused

      “A decision I would make in a second if I couldn’t feed my kids”
      If you can’t afford to feed your kids, WHY are you having kids!!??

      • Juanita de Talmas

        Because the representative of Christ on earth over in Rome is telling them birth control is a sin.

        • Lo-co-motive

          Then just play “train” and pull out on time. Then it would just be “woops, slipies”

      • Josh S

        Because no one who had kids ever lost their job, got divorced, got sick, got in a car accident, etc, etc, etc, etc.
        Confused is right.

        • drax

          It’s not about divorce or sicknes, Josh. It’s just plain poverty. Jobs are scarce south of the boarder, and those that they can get suck.

          But confused, are you saying millions of people should just never have kids because they live in poor countries? That’s a little harsh.

    • Clarendon

      It remains to be seen whether Americans would do the dirty jobs if the pay was high enough. Digging ditches and cleaning are jobs that cannot be offshored so if there was a shortage of labor in this country, wages would rise, except that there is an influx of desperate people willing to work for much less … at least until now I guess.

  • BBMS

    Why didn’t the workers take their grievance to the Labor Dept? That is who is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage.

    Writing that kind of accusatory and challenging letter to your employer usually will result in you getting fired. No surprise there.

    • CW

      Agreed. It seems like the contractor should be the one getting in trouble here. I mean, if the workers were breaking the law, then yes they were breaking the law, but the contractor company seemed to be doing something that was an order of magnitude higher on the crime scale.

      • drax

        BOTH should be in trouble.

      • drax

        Oh, and does this mean you agree that undocumented workers shouldn’t be working, like the law says?

      • Westover

        Seems both are doing some monumental law breaking.

        • BBMS

          It does seem that way, although you would have to actually make the case in court, with evidence, that Corinthian was engaged in purposely hiring illegal workers.

          On second glance, this protest might just be a way to keep the spotlight on Corinthian so Labor follows up. Neither group really has a leg to stand on here.

      • Bald1

        There is something more to this story. First I consider the source and organizer of the protest. Secondly, years ago, my son worked for a roofing contractor here in Virginia, they were working on a government job in Washington, DC. After, the job was completed, an audit was conducted as part of the closing of the contract and final payment. It was discovered that the wages/benefits were “not in line” with the prevailing rate. The GAO sent my son a check for the difference under the Davis-Bacon Act. It seems awful funny that since they were working on a DC sewer project, that the GAO would not have caught this. It has me wondering.

    • Arlingtonian

      And with unemployment still up around where it is, percentage-wise, it’s a false argument that we need illegal immigrants to do these jobs.

      They roll the dice by sneaking across the border illegally and then living here in the shadows. They shouldn’t expect any sympathy when they are busted for their flagrant law-breaking.

      • right2work

        Whoa, now this I disagree with…
        How many unemployed, legal US citizens are holding out for the “perfect job”?

      • Josh S

        Well, certainly the unemployment rate in Arlington remains pretty low. And even if you are talking nationwide, I wonder how many people are knocking on the landscaping company’s doors, or the meat packer’s doors, or the cleaning company’s doors, etc looking for work?

        • BBMS

          The answer to your question has to be either, “nobody”, “everybody”, or “some number in between”. What do you think it is?

      • Feeding their families

        Have you looked at the unemployment rate in Arlington recently? 3.1 Nov. 2012 down .2 % from the year before. That rate is extremely low! So no it isn’t a false argument and yes we need them around here. You can turn in your card at the door too.

        • drax

          Nobody is under the impression that only Arlingtonians work in Arlington.

          • Feeding their families

            Fine unemployment in all of Nova for 2012 was 4.2, still well below the National average.

        • Id

          Arlington is an exception. Most here are Federal employees which is immune to market factors. It spends everyone else’s money.

      • Westover

        We need immigrant labor, not illegal immigrant labor. More unskilled labor visas! 10K a year CAN NOT cut it!

  • VaGurl

    And…why is Tejada wasting county time on this? Seems to me that Corinthian saw that they were getting reported for something that would have probably got them looked into and had that happened the fact they were illegally here would come out and they would get in trouble was what prompted the “reporting to authorities”. They were covering their butts. This is like complaining that the stolen car the car thief sold you had a flat tire. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And you should be legal before you start complaining to authorities, otherwise, its just gonna make problems for the complainer.

    • newty25

      No, this is like stealing a car and then demanding that the gov’t enforce fair compensation from the chopshop, only to have the chopshop turn you in for stealing the car.

      • VaGurl

        lol much better analogy :)

    • DCBuff

      Even though we are getting only one side to this issue, I believe VaGurl is accurate. This is Corinthian doing a CYA after being caught by ICE.

    • Westover

      I love how Tejada thinks this should be a local issue with Arlington County supporting the illegal workers, but when locals in Arizona and Alabama wanted to enforce the laws, and there was talk in Richmond about enforceing the rules, Tejada thought it was wrong and that only the Feds should be able to enforce such laws.

  • JamesE

    Real Corinthian leather?

    • Ricardo Montablan

      “Fine”, not “Real.” Thank you.

      • Ricardo Montalbán

        Ricardo “Montalbán,” not “Montablan.” Thank you.

      • Tattoo

        Dang, you beat me to it.

      • novasteve

        It’s “rich corinthian leather”

        “Kirk, you’re still alive, my old friend”

        • George

          “Despite the exotic origin suggested by the name “Corinthian leather”, much of the leather used in Chrysler vehicles during the era originated from a supplier located outside Newark, New Jersey.”

          • Josh S

            Well, yeah. I mean, prior to that ad campaign, had anyone ever heard of “Corinthian” leather? Is it even a thing? Since the ad campaign, has anyone, anywhere, ever referred to “Corinthian” leather?
            Marketing BS.

        • Josh S

          I saw that again recently and 1) it holds up remarkably well and 2) I couldn’t stop freaking out about how young and slim Kirstie Alley was.

          • novasteve

            Remember the kid from the witch mountain movies was in it? He was the one that scottie had some connection with. I’m told there’s a deleted scene that he was scottie’s nephew or something, but they took it out of the movie.

          • novasteve

            By the book!

  • Becoming Indifferent

    Thank you Walter Tejada for providing more evidence that you are a living, breathing bobble head doll.

    • Pinnocchio

      You sound as if you think there’s something wrong with that. What are you, some sort of marionette-ist?

  • novasteve

    Do County Board members take an oath of office to defend the constitution and laws of the country as well as the county? he’s advocating lawbreaking. He’s protesting against a company fufilling it’s legal obligation. And we elect this guy to office?

    • Steven Joel

      It’s not lawbreaking to ask an employer to pay its employees for work already done.

      • novasteve

        It is when it’s illegal for you to be present in the country and working is illegal. Or do you think you can go to the police or the court system to enforce a contract that is illegal like a drug deal? Think before you stalk, I mean post.

        • Of note

          It is not illegal to be in the county. Look it up.

          • Hee-Haw

            It is if you come here illegally.

    • bobbytiger

      “WE elected this guy”? I don’t thing so.

  • novasteve

    If Tejada defends breaking the law, then he needs to be removed from office.

    • DCBuff

      I’m sure he checked with the county attorney first and as long as he discloses, he is okay.

    • Zimmerman

      Whaaaat

    • Steven Joel

      What “law” do you recommend for removing him from office? The voters keep electing him notwithstanding your opposition. Maybe elections should trump your personal views.

      • drax

        He didn’t say anything about a law removing him.

        He’s simply expressing his personal views and hoping others will agree, like everyone here.

        Unfortunately, he’s really really really bad at that.

    • Dezlboy

      @novasteve, What if Tejada was breaking the law by chaining himself to the White House gate to protest apartheid in S. Africa? Should he be removed from office? Are you against peaceful civil disobedience, a mainstay of American history? Are you for apartheid in S. Africa?

      • novasteve

        He’s protesting basically in favor of violating OUR laws, not the law of another country, and it hurts Americans workers because it drives down wages because illegals get paid less and take jobs. Dont’ you dare tell me that illegals only work jobs that americand don’t want to work. When did construction suddenly become like lettuce picking? perhaps it was the drop in wages due to illegals taking the jobs?

  • Holistic Approach?

    It seems to me the steps to take with respect to each party are pretty straight forward.

    1. Make Corinthian pay them for work performed. They earned it. Make sure any required taxes are collected/paid.
    2. Re-verify I-9s immediately. Take appropriate action depending on what you find, up to and including deportation, if called for by the law.
    3. If a significant number of illegals are discovered, open investigation into Corinthian’s past and present hiring/ ID verification processes.

    Why the debate?

    Curious, will ICE be present at this protest?

    • Ballston Resident

      Holistic Approach,

      Response to your three comments:

      1. All workers should be paid the same, that i fair. However, I suspect illegals are paid in cash and will never expect taxes to be collected/paid – they would not work the job if this was so.
      2. Re-verifying I-9s is not going to happen.
      3. You don’t get it. It does not work like this.

      Respectfully

  • César Chávez

    Does Tejada know that I marched to the Mexican border to oppose illegals taking U.S. citizens’ jobs, and turned in illegals to the INS? Yet he’ll probably invoke my name at the rally.

  • JohnB2

    The company should be fined/etc for employing the undocumented workers in the first place.
    With that said, I feel bad for the workers but they should know the risks they face on a daily basis. Drawing attention to themselves by sending a letter to the company was not smart.

  • SomeGuy

    And all of this turmoil to is due to the ruthlessness of a contractor…

    100% of “this turmoil” is due to the contractor?? Maybe there’s a party to this issue that the protesters are forgetting.

  • Jim

    See Tejada activiely supports companies like this when they break US immigration laws by employing illegal aliens. He would be opposed to the company being fined for employing them I believe.

  • MK

    Can we ask ICE to deport Walter Tejada, as well?

    Only in the parallel universe that is the Arlington County Board is it regarded as proper for a county official to protest a private business based in the same county on behalf of illegal aliens who aren’t even lawful residents. Earth to Walter!

    • novasteve

      Blame the voters, not him. The people here keep voting for him and anyone else with a (D) after their name. And they act shocked if they start doing whacky things?

      • novasteve

        how about you get your own moniker, pal? To the moderator, this sociopath is trying as best as he can to reveal my personal information.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Wait – there’s a fake novasteve on here? Will the true novasteve please stand up!

      • drax

        Steve, stop insulting everyone who disagrees with you. That’s lame.

        And calling everyone who disagrees with you an idiot is not a path to convincing them to think like you. Just FYI.

  • novasteve

    The only reason why “americans won’t do this work” is because illegal aliens have been driving down the wages paid in those fields for decades now. I’m curious what happens when the illegals currently here get legalized?The employers won’t be able to pay them low wages, so they will no longer get work, will go on welfare and the new crop of illegals will continue the low wages in those fields.

    • Josh S

      Yes, steve, the illegals show up and say “please pay me $5.00 less per hour than you would pay anyone else.”
      Methinks it is the employers who insist on paying the lower wages. And like it that way. Should all illegals be deported tomorrow, wages would indeed go up. The business community generally stays out of the illegal immigrants debate, don’t they?

      • drax

        If we didn’t have so many people here willing to work for such low wages, maybe the employers would RAISE the wages, Josh.

    • Dezlboy

      @novasteve. You are wrong. This past year Alabama passed very restrictive employment laws to the point that illegals could not be hired. Farmers could not find “americans” (as you put it) to do the work at “white” wages (as you would call them), as the “americans” found the work too strenuous. Thus crops wilted in the fields. The “american” farm owners lost a bundle. So, are you for “american” farmers going bankrupt and the price of food skyrocketing due to scarcity? As usual, no facts to back up your diatribe.

      • Rory

        +1

        Facts don’t factor into his analysis

    • jackson

      Ah, the glory days, when only buxom white women cleaned your toilet and made $15 an hour doing it!

  • callie

    What part of illegal immigration does Mr. Tejada not understand? If anything, he should be protesting to Corinthian for hiring illegals in the first instance. Someone needs to tell Mr. Tejada that this move is too cute by far. This is not a normal labor action, it’s a protest on behalf of illegal immigrants. Mr. Tejada would never have my vote in any election and this illustrates why.

  • Ricardo

    So… it’s okay for one group to break the law but not another group?

  • Say Que?

    I think that it is important for our elected leaders to support non-voting, non-taxing paying, non-citizens. I am also wondering if sarcasm translates well when written as a comment to a website? Perhaps…

  • mickey_

    It appears that the contractor realized that it had to clean up its act once the illegals it had hired began their protest which would have brought daylight to their operation. They are now complying with the law. It is amazing that the illegals protest when they are knowingly breaking the law. THEN the stupid union gets involved? You just can’t make jokes like this up!

  • novasteve

    So why should I obey arlington tax laws?

    • Rory

      Put your money where your mouth is. You hate this place so much but don’t leave and don’t even make any real protest.

      Put up or shut up

  • Que what

    I am all reformation of our immigration laws. We should just set up a ellis island south and be done with it. I feel no ill will toward people that are trying to come to America to improve their lot in life like my great-grandparents and are prevented simply because my great-grandparents got here first.

    But….there is no report by any one that Corinthian did anything wrong. There is an allegation by a labor union saying they did something wrong…gee..does that make it a fact. INS stops by the labor pit stops all the time.

    As for Tejada, showing up there…holy cow does that smell inappropriate. But, when you have another board member getting paid by a private company to push their agenda to build a trolley car…I guess anything goes now.

  • KalashniKEV

    There’s only one path for a Criminal Alien- Pursuit –> Detention –> Deportation.

  • DeeBunker

    I’ve always wondered about Mr. Tejada’s immigration status.

    • Ice Ice Baby

      From his bio:

      “Born in El Salvador, Mr. Tejada moved to the United States at the age of 13.”

      Notice it doesn’t say “immigrated” but “moved”.

      • bobbytiger

        Oops.

      • drax

        Seriously?

      • anchor babies

        He’s married to a citizen. He may even have anchor babies.

    • Can’t hlep it

      Why, because of his skin color? His bio is up on the county web-site. What is your baisis for questioning his immigration status?

      • deeBunker

        Because he always places the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the US citizen taxpayers in Arlington County.

        • Marie Antoinette

          @deeBunker +10

  • Libby

    NIMBY Tejada

  • novasteve
  • njch

    Throw Tejada out!

  • PurosPendejos

    How do you fail to see that this company is engaging in modern day form of slavery?

    Let’s see, they attract people that don’t belong here with the promise of a better tomorrow, check. They use them and abuse them and don’t give them a thing or bare minimum – check. once they revolt, take their lives away – check.

    ALL IN THE NAME OF PROFITS.

    THESE ARE HUMANS. Just because they break the law, doesn’t mean this company is off the hook. IT IS THESE COMPANIES THAT CAUSE THE PROBLEM. This company prevented americans from getting these jobs (the other legit bidders). This company falsely gives hope to other that they can come here and make a living, which instigates them to break our laws.

    THIS COMPANY IS 100% AT FAULT AND THEY MUST PAY FOR THERE MODERN DAY SLAVERY.

    • PequenoPentejo

      Maybe as a real authentic legal resident i feel like a slave when all of my tax dollars
      pay for all of the emergency room visits, welfare, lost taxes, very high incarceration rates,
      and the list goes on.

      You are trying to score cheap points with your refusal to take responsibility for the actions of illegals and painting them as victims.

      I support having some real dialogue regarding immigration but you seem to overlook
      and conveniently omit some ugly facts that go along with your “poor victim” logic.

      - Illegal immigrants account for a disproportionate amount of gang activity
      - They also account for a disproportionate amount of illegitimate children
      - They choose not to make themselves competitive in their host, yes host, country
      by generally refusing to educate themselves and prefer to “celebrate” instead

      What the US should do is to keep score of all of the lost monies due to illegal immigrant activities, and levy that against their country of origin. We could collect this in the form of tariffs, and put the costs where they belong.

      Until we pass legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for illegals that are not criminally oriented, and are willing to assimilate or at least play the game, the law is the law.

      And yes, the contracting company is guilty as well. But they fall well short of slavery.
      And to the author of above comment — what is your country of origin’s policy with respect to how illegal immigrants are dealt with? Please disclose your country of origin so we can compare victims.

      • Rory

        “They choose not to make themselves competitive in their host, yes host, country
        by generally refusing to educate themselves and prefer to “celebrate” instead”

        What? So they chose to go on a torturous, very dangerous long journey to the US, come here and live 5 to a room and work hard labour?

        If they had better options they would have stayed with their family, with their culture, with their roots, and never left their hometown.

    • drax

      See, this is why you are not taken seriously, even by “liberals like me.

      People sneak into this country, go sign up for a job and get paid for it, all voluntarily — and you call them slaves.

      What a pathetic insult to real slaves. And a pathetic insult to those workers who are responsible for their actions.

      • novasteve

        I see you are finally waking up drax. People like that often twist language and hijack terms all the time.

        Right now if you think immigration laws should be enforced against illegal aliens, you are “anti immigrant” because they lump legal and illegal immigration together.

  • novasteve

    Laborers International Union of North America

    -

    They couldn’t pick a more communist sounding name if they tried, it even does the anti nationalism thing by just using a geographic area, like how the Comincom recommended. Wow.

    • drax

      Enough, Steve.

  • Motumbo

    OHH i’m comment #200! Are we done playing “I can solve the world’s problems on the internet”.

  • Westover245

    Some deeper reporting is provided by the Washington Post here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/wages-disputed-in-dc-water-project/2013/01/15/67d006cc-5f4d-11e2-a389-ee565c81c565_story.html

    What say you now, Mr. Tejada?

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