Like Trump, Oz hypocrisy on immigrants underscores reality that undocumented workers are essential to America
Washington, DC – On Sunday, Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz tweeted, “As your United States Senator, I will fight to end illegal immigration and soft-on-crime policies that release dangerous, undocumented criminals into sanctuary cities.” Earlier tweets, op-eds, and Fox News appearances by Dr. Oz included a host of false depictions of undocumented immigrants as threats, while at an Oz rally in May, Donald Trump railed against the immigrant “invasion” in an extended and ugly riff.
Yet as Business Insider reports, “Dr. Oz says he’ll fight to end illegal immigration. A business owned by his family, in which he is a shareholder, faced the largest fine in ICE history for hiring unauthorized workers:”
“[H]is wife’s business faced the largest fine in ICE history for hiring unauthorized workers … The tree-pruning company Asplundh Tree Experts Co., a business for which Oz is listed as a shareholder on regulatory documents, settled with US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in 2017 after a six-year investigation and audit revealed a systemic effort to hire unauthorized workers.
…The company, which has donated $12,000 to Oz’s Senate campaign, was sentenced to pay forfeiture in the amount of $80 million and an additional $15 million ‘to satisfy civil claims arising out of their failure to comply with immigration law,’ an amount that represented the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case,” [according to an ICE press release].
Like similar revelations about Donald Trump and his family’s businesses, the news about Dr. Oz not only is an example of political hypocrisy, but also a reminder of how undocumented immigrants are essential to America’s economic success – including for businesses owned by some of the most prominent Republican voices who demonize immigrants as threats.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“We’ve seen this movie before. A rich blowhard from New Jersey who profits off the work of undocumented immigrants finds it politically profitable to bash them at the same time. Dr. Oz is following in Trump’s footsteps in more ways than one. Loyal to a fault, Oz is demonizing and dehumanizing the essential work done by immigrants in America today.
The American economy is reliant on immigrant labor – both undocumented and documented. Yet the relentless Republican effort to shrink channels for legal immigration and block needed immigration reforms needlessly dampens our country’s economic potential. It tells immigrants who are Americans in all but paperwork that they don’t belong in the nation they keep fed and safe.”