Rich Tucker

If there’s one thing upstate New York needs, it’s some private industry jobs. Back in 2000, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton promised to help create 200,000 new jobs in the region. Not quite.

The region’s problems predate Hillary, and they’ll still exist when she’s running for president. All told, a mere 38,300 new private sector jobs were created upstate between 1990 and 2005. All other new jobs there, according to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, were taxpayer-financed jobs.

In fact, 200,000 people a year leave the state to live elsewhere. And some 30 percent of those listed as “new residents” aren’t happy to be there -- they’re prisoners. Luckily, though, I’ve got an idea to create jobs upstate: a cigar-rolling plant.

In 1890 there were scores of cigar plants in the region. They employed 5,000 people in Binghamton, N.Y., alone. And cigars have only increased in popularity in recent years. Oh, and to make the enterprise profitable, I’ll sell the cigars without paying the required federal and state taxes. So: When the feds raid my plant, who will go to jail? The workers making the tax-free cigars, or the plant owner (me)?

Well, of course, the owner would. You can’t expect the government to goof around when tax revenues are involved. Clearly the person in charge of the criminal enterprise has to be punished.

Yet, while nobody doubts the government is serious about collecting taxes, there’s little evidence it’s serious about cracking down on something equally important -- illegal immigration. Consider the recent raids at Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Denver. More than 1,300 alleged illegal aliens were arrested -- but the company that employed them escaped unscathed. No managers were detained.

This makes no sense.

If the United States wants to get serious about stopping illegal immigration, we need to crack down on the corporations (and their CEOs) that make money on the backs of illegal alien labor.

This isn’t rocket science. Illegal aliens basically do five types of jobs: janitorial, construction, food service, dangerous manufacturing and landscaping. So we know where they are.

It’s illegal to hire them, yet they’re somehow still getting hired. If we really cracked down on their bosses – which would mean giving serious jail time to CEOs whose companies hire illegals -- corporations would quickly get the message and stop hiring illegals. Once that happened, most illegals (since they’re here to work) would leave the country.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for