Congressman: 'Huge gaping loopholes' allowing illegal immigrants to thrive
Reporter: Chad Mills
Posted: 10:39 PM Nov 13, 2011

About a week ago, the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed a federal indictment against a Columbia County man. He's charged with harboring illegal aliens. Some say the hiring of illegals is common, even here. We asked a local congressman what they're doing up in Washington to fix things.

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, November 13, 2011

EVANS, Ga. -- A week later, Hugo Diaz De La Fuente is still behind bars. He was the man living in the fancy Evans mansion the FBI raided last week. He's now facing 19 charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Four of those charges are for harboring illegal aliens.

"We're not just building houses. We're building a community," said an anonymous local subcontractor, who we'll call John.

"If you can get somebody that's willing to work 60 and 70 hours a week, and you don't have to pay them overtime, and you can pay them less than what everbody else is making, and he can do a fair job---you know, he's in," John told us.

He says it's a problem throughout the construction industry, and he wants Congress to change things.

"Well, nothing's being done on the Hill right now, and that's one of things I'm most frustrated with," said U.S. Congressman John Barrow (D - GA).

He says right now, enforcement is just too loose.

"Some of the regulations we got, actually invite non-compliance. They actually invite people to break the laws. We require, for example, for there to be some proof of some citizenship in order to hold any job in this country," he said.

But he says a lot of times, people like John get falsified documents and don't have a good way of really verifying them yet.

"The employer won't go to jail for accepting it," Barrow said.

Barrow says when illegal immigrants do get jobs here, it sinks the price of labor throughout the market.

"This is not a victimless crime. This is a serious social issue, and we need to address it," he told us.

Barrow has an answer he hopes Congress will draft into legislation soon.

"If we secured the border, we'd eliminate the opportunity for folks to come here. If we secured the jobs, we'd eliminate the motive for folks to come here," he said.

Congressman Barrow did say that the situation isn't entirely bad. He says the E-Verify system has been shown to work. He also says the area where we do patrol our border, that's also working. He just says states wouldn't be passing all these immigration reform bills if the federal government would act instead. ... 81753.html