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July 10, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, July 10, 1985
Vol. XCV, No. 27-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board

RORSa

Bah humbug
HIEF JUSTICE Warren Burger's remarks to the
Commission on Professionalism of the American Bar
Association that commercials for legal services are
"sheer shysterism" shows how blind the chief justice is
toward the idea of opening up legal services to the general
publ c. a
It is fortunate that the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that
lawyers could advertise their services. That decision has
stimulated competition among law firms and has opened
the way for low-cost legal services to the public.
According to a poll taken in 1983 by The American Bar
Association Journal, 13 percent of the nation's lawyers ad-
vertise.
Granted, some of the advertising has been sensational
and unprofessional. It has often played on the fears and
misfortunes of individuals. But the benefits of open com-
petition and low-cost legal services outweighs these costs.
The general public gained enormous benefits when the
profession was allowed to compete through advertising.
The law profession is a cloistered profession. Many low-
and moderate income individuals are afraid to talk to a
lawyer for fear it will cost them an arm and a leg in legal
fees. Sometimes it seems as if the law firms are more con-
cerned with fees than the welfare of the client.
Allowing law firms to advertise fees charged for con-
sultation, wills, and other services enables the general
public a chance to "compare prices."
Overall, commercials for legal services can only
promote the idea that legal advice should be available to
everyone.
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Simpso bll n exercise in ulity
policies that Simpson promises to mean nothing.
By Wayne Cornelius launch with his legislation. Moreover, it will be impossible to
An intensive three-year study by prove that employers "intentionally"
Each year that I witness the spec- the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies or "knowingly" accepted forged
acle of yet another attempt to pass of 177 urban-based California firms - documents. To be found legally liable,
he Simpson-Mazzoli - or Simpson- all firms that make extensive use of an employer would have to be caught
nobody - immigration bill, I am Mexican and other immigrant labor in the act of rehiring a worker who
truck by the Alice-in-Wonderland - reveals that the very concept of had previously been apprehended by
haracter of the debate. undocumented workers is a myth. the INS at the work site, under the
Despite the gargantuan efforts The majority of so-called un- same set of documents that the
nade to fine-tune the legislation and documented workers employed in worked had presented the first time
uild a majority coalition in support non-agricultural firms actually have he was hired
f it, nothing being debated as part of valid documents that they have The typical employer's scenario of
his bill is likely to have any borrowed from friends or relatives, or what would happen after passage of
ignificant impact on the real world: fraudulent documents which they an employer sanctions law is that
- the hiring of large numbers of un- have purchased. there will be an initial enforcement
locumented immigrants by a large And the majority of employers who effort, followed by a large number of
umber of U.S. businesses that have hire that so-called undocumented lawsuits and injunctions, after which
ome to depend on them: workers request proof of legal the situation will return to normalcy.
-the abundant supply of such residence, and record the applicant's In essence, virtually no one believes
workers so long as wage differentials identification numbers in their files. the law will be enforced in such a way
remain in the order of six to one even The new Simpson bill would not as to drive firms out of business -
between such border cities as San require them to do anything more something that can already be done
Diego and Tijuana; than they are already doing. under current laws.

-a growth rate of Mexico's labor Clearly, this means that any system
force well in excess of the creation of that does not rely on newly-issued,
new jobs in the Mexican economy; foolproof identification - and the
-the dwindling supply of young current bill does not - is an exercise
U.S.-born workers available and in futility. The Immigration and
willing to work at low-wage, insecure, Naturalization Service can expect a
tedious jobs. substantial level of voluntary com-
These are the enduring realities pliance with employer sanctions
and they are impervious to the because voluntary compliance will

Cornelius is director of the Cen-
terfor U.S.-Mexican Studies at the
University of California-San
Diego. He wrote this for Pacific
News Service.

BLOOM COUNTY
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