Video: Illegal aliens sue Wendy's

msnbc.com
updated 10/10/2006 2:58:34 PM ET 2006-10-10T18:58:34
COMMENTARY

A group of illegal aliens are suing Wendy’s. The company fired them after it missed a deadline for a federal program that would have helped them become legal U.S. citizens. But who's to blame?  The company or the workers who came here illegally in the first place? 

Fernando Mateo, president of Hispanics Across America thinks illegal aliens ought to be allowed to sue their American employers. His argument stems in part from chutzpah but in part from a lawsuit filed against the Wendy’s hamburger chain by a group of former employees — all of whom are in this country illegally. They’ve snuck in. 

A spokesman for Wendy’s admits that the company may have slipped up but said there is no getting around the law. The federal law that says you can’t hire illegal aliens.

Sorry, it’s not allowed, it’s against the law. 

So if you are following the law, doing what the law requires and you are somehow sued by a group of people who has no standing to be in this country in the first place and a judge takes it seriously, sufficient that it stays in court, then it is a sign that your country is crumbling even as you watch. It’s all falling apart if that's allowed. Truly.

Tucker Carlson discussed this with Stan Broome, an attorney representing the illegal immigrants.This is a transcript of their conversation:

CARLSON:  Is it my imagination or is this kind of the definition of chutzpah?

STAN BROOME, ATTORNEY SUING WENDY’S: No.

CARLSON:  You sneak into a country, an employer gives you a job, then is forced by federal law to fire you because you are illegal and you sue? That’s chutzpah.  

BROOME:  Unfortunately, you’re wrong on your facts Tucker. The problem is that you can’t distinguish between illegal immigration and legal immigration which I hope you would agree has made this a wonderful country and a better country. My clients did everything that Congress asked them to do to become legal citizens and permanent residents of this country and but for the fact that a Wendy’s company and the lawyers that they hired missed a filing deadline, right now today they would be as legally in this country as you and I.  

CARLSON:  Wait, what do you mean? Talk about spin.  What do you mean they did everything Congress asked them to do? Did they come in legally, did they wait in a line for three years outside the consulate in some foreign country? No. They snuck in, didn’t they?

BROOME:  Congress decided that they could become part of an employer sponsored way, a method to become a legal resident of this country. And that’s what they took advantage of.  

CARLSON:  You dodged my question though, did they sneak into this country illegally or not? 

BROOME:  I did not. All of my clients entered this country under various different means.  But what they have in common is the fact that they took advantage of a government process that allowed them to fill out an application to pay their money and to become legal, legally residing in this country. And the only reason that they are not right now as legally in this country as you and I is because a company and the lawyers they hired simply missed a filing deadline. If they had received the paperwork and processed it the way that they were supposed to, they would all be here as legally as you and I would. 

CARLSON:  I got that and I put that in the opening script. Our viewers are fully aware of that. It doesn’t change anything though. The implication of what you’re saying is that Wendy’s somehow has an obligation, a moral and apparently a legal obligation to help illegals who sneak into this country illegally, become citizens. How does that work exactly?

BROOME:  I did not say that. Wendy’s decided voluntarily, and it was actually a Wendy’s company called Cafe Express, decided voluntarily that they would go to their employees and they would sponsor them to become residents of this country.  Once they took on that duty themselves, they had a duty to do it correctly and they missed the deadline.  

CARLSON:  They have a duty to illegal aliens to make them legal citizens.  

BROOME:  A duty to their workers.  

CARLSON:  That’s Wendy’s duty?

BROOME:  A duty to their workers.

CARLSON: To illegal alien workers. 

BROOME:  These were workers that Wendy’s was benefiting from their work every day and they decided to sponsor them. The company decided to sponsor them and once the company took that duty on they should have done it correctly. And when you hire a lawyer, don’t you expect him not to miss a deadline? 

CARLSON:  You know if I sneak into somebody else’s country and get all the benefits of it and really in the end pose a burden to that country, it’s hard to imagine suing an employer in that country for not making me a legal citizen. But quickly, how much are you asking, how much does Wendy’s owe these people? 

BROOME:  That’s a question for the jury to decide.  But let me pose the question to you.  How much is your U.S. citizenship worth to you? 

CARLSON:  They are not U.S. citizens.  

BROOME:  I’ll answer it this way.  I’ll tell you this, my U.S. citizenship is worth a lot to me and if I lived in this country for five years, which my clients did and I woke up one day and someone knocked on my door and told me that I was not going to be a U.S. citizen any more...

CARLSON:  If you want to come here legally, you should wait in line like everyone else.

BROOME:  Which they did.

CARLSON:  No they didn’t, they snuck in.  Thank you. I appreciate your joining us.

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