Council to investigate BPD/ICE cooperation in case of man turned in by allegedly cheap boss

The City Council agreed today to hold a hearing to look into the specific case of an immigrant construction worker whose boss allegedly reported him to ICE, which then arrested him with the help of Boston Police, after the worker was injured on the job and applied for worker's comp.

City Councilor Josh Zakim, who authored a 2014 ordinance that bans Boston Police from turning anybody over to ICE without a criminal warrant, called for the hearing. He cited the "really troubling claims" in a lawsuit filed against the Tara Construction for the alleged snitching - by the federal Department of Labor. He noted it's pretty bad when a Trump-administration department thinks a company went too far in turning in a worker rather than help him get care for a job-related injury.

Zakim added that beyond the Tara case, he wants to look at ways to improve the Boston Trust Act that he proposed, the council passed unanimously and Mayor Walsh signed. He said that Boston Police have "done an outstanding job implementing the letter of the act," but that after five years, it's time to look at ways to improve it.

He added that the act "makes us all safer," because if immigrants feel they can trust local police, they are more likely to talk to them in investigations into crimes.



Free tagging: 

PDF icon Zakim's request for a hearing111.41 KB


Thanks for reporting on this, Adam

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and my condolences on the shitshow of anon comments you’re about to be deluged with. Oh, and for Roman. Looking forward to him explaining that ICE agents are merely gut deutsch.


That's right

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Let's have a liberal democracy with generous tax-payer funded benefits for all...and invite the whole world in. Idiot.

Did you know that the Nazis had electrical codes and parking regulations too?

I await your reasoned argument for why it's immoral to require GFI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms and why parking meters are The Man's way of keeping the underprivileged down.


News flash!

The Nazis also had running water and flush toilets!

WTF is your point?


Same as always

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That "Nazis did border enforcement" is not a reason for why border enforcement is bad.

Nazis also did border expansion at the point of a gun and ethnic cleansing in the extreme. But that was bad because it was bad, not because the Nazis did it.



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This doesn't seem to be a case of border enforcement so your point is irrelevant.


Let's remember where we started:

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... for Roman. Looking forward to him explaining that ICE agents are merely gut deutsch.

ICE agents apprehend illegal border crossers. That seems to be the act that draws comparison to being Good Germans. Now you say this isn't about border enforcement. How exactly does apprehending illegal border crossers after they've crossed have nothing to do with enforcing a border?


Extraordinary powers

ICE has extraordinary legal powers within 100 miles of any national border. The Atlantic coast is such a border. More than 80% of Americans live within 100 miles of the border (you, for instance). The ICE powers of arrest and detention are generally controlled by the ICE agents' beliefs. If they believe a person is likely to be undocumented, they can act against the person. This has led to the deportation of a large number of US citizens, both naturalized and natural-born.


Like you would be

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If you came here as a refugee now?

Roman is President and CEO of the I GOT MINE SO FUCK YOU Club of Boston.

Roman is not the president, but a member of the

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We Waited in Line, Asked for Permission to Enter, and Then Presented Our Entry Visa to Immigration When We Got Off The Plane Club of America.

But I'll gladly be the president of the FOLLOWING THE LAW IS NOT TOO MUCH TOO ASK Club of The World.

What you are obtusely

What you are obtusely refusing to acknowledge, is that in every society, there is the written law, and then there is the law as actually applied.

For many decades, the USA made it abundantly clear to the rest of the world, that we wanted the cheap labor, and that if you came here on a tourist visa, overstayed, got a job, paid your taxes, and didn't get in trouble, you were welcome irrespective of the fact that your presence here was in violation of the written law.

Now I don't happen to think that's a good thing: I think we ought to only enact laws that we mean to enforce, and that we ought to enforce the laws that we enact. But that's neither here nor there: the reality is that the unofficial rule was that being here illegally, so long as you worked and didn't commit crimes, was entirely OK. (remember that Congress chose not to make it a crime to be here illegally.)

Now if we want to change the rules, and say that we're going to start enforcing the laws that are on the books, and that it's no longer OK to come here and work in violation of our immigration laws, I'd be entirely OK with that, and I'd be OK with announcing the change and starting to deporting anyone who arrives after the announced change and remains illegally.

But what we're doing now is changing the rules retroactively and deporting the people to whom we loudly and clearly said that it was OK to immigrate without official permission.

So how do you get from here to there without

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traversing the space in between?

If you set a magic cutoff date, and said anyone caught having entered after June 1 2019 is subject to summary deportation, what prevents several million people from marching across the border between now and then?

What prevents the fine people at the ACLU from filing lawsuits on behalf of the 100,000 people who are caught between June 1 2019 and June 30 2019 claiming that they really came across on May 31, and should be released pending the adjudication of their claims for asylum?

More to the point, if the government makes a mistake in its enforcement, you're still liable. If you underpay your taxes for years and get away with it, do you get to claim when you're audited that because audits of private citizens are rare, the audit is retroactive application of the tax code that was understood to be a wink-wink tax code at the time?

This was not a "mistake in enforcement"

More to the point, if the government makes a mistake in its enforcement, you're still liable.

Our historical posture on illegal immigration was not a mistake in enforcement, it was conscious, deliberate policy.

I'm opposed to punishing people who were following what were clearly communicated as having been the rules at the time.


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That's kind of a strong word for the Council's powers. They're inviting people to appear at a hearing. They generally don't come up with anything more than the press already reported.


Even far-left WBUR couldn't figure out illegal's name

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"Pirez told OSHA investigators that he was confused by Paz's
multiple middle and last names, which is why he reached out to Seoane."

Naturally, far-left WBUR seems hostile to the employer for going to police when he believed the illegal immigrant was using multiple names. Then, at the end of the piece, WBUR sheepishly admits they couldn't figure out his name either. Hopefully both the illegal and the employer are punished for the crimes both committed. Councilor Zakim uses some twisted logic by suggesting (illegal) immigrants should feel confident in a police department that looks the other way on some crimes but will thoroughly pursue other, more politically correct investigations.

Editor's Note: In WBUR's previous coverage, we refer to the employee as Jose Flores. To keep consistency with Wednesday's court documents, we have written out the employee's full name and referred to him by his surname Paz on all subsequent references.



You mean the name of the OSHA violation that led to the fall?

Or the name of the employment violation that led to the denial of benefits?

Your hate is illegal.


Please don't

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There are ways to refute somebody's argument without resorting to lame penis references.


Nah. This kinda person

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Nah. This kinda person probably isn’t receiving the kind of real life ball busting they deserve. I have no sympathy for people who can’t see a man as a man and need to label them as “illegal”


Sometimes on here it seems

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Sometimes on here it seems that the longer the post the more the post just means "I hate brown people."

Bigotry is super trendy these days

How petty and empty one's life must be to chase fleeting popularity and attention from strangers on the internet through xenophobia and bigotry.

As Cardi B says on "Clout":

Saying anything to get a response
I know that mean they traffic is low

Public opinions from private accounts
You not a check, then you gotta bounce

Do anything for clout (Anything)
They do anything for clout (Anything)


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Really shitty way to mitigate a WC claim...

From Tara Construction's home page:

"As Pedro Pietz likes to say, "Put your company's business in our hands and we will treat it as if it were our own,"

Seems like Tara's recruitment brand messaging should be:

"Put your career and personal safety in our hands and we will provide you with ICE when you injure those hands"


You're being willfully ignorant

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Tell us, Fishy, from the vast depths of your knowledge as a former BOSTON POLICE OFFICER: is it the job of BPD to enforce civil immigration violations? If so, did you also enforce regulations on ingredient labeling on potato chip bags?

Waiting on your expertise...


Semantics aside this could be an easy fix

If the company was worried about this workers identity and whether some fraud could have been happening (was this person using someone else's name, SS#, DOB, etc for what ever reason), is the Boston police the correct agency to ask to confirm this information (using Registry databases, CP clear, or other databases available to Private investigators even)?

Maybe next time companies can just call the department in charge of workers comp fraud, and they can figure out the true identity of the individual.

I guess there are bigger questions: Should this company get in trouble for hiring this person in the first place if they new he couldn't work legally for them? Is this worker entitled to workers comp if he fraudulently attained the job?

Don't Make This Complicated

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Tara likely knew their employee was undocumented from day one, but only called ICE AFTER he got hurt on the job because they didn't want to pay workers comp. It's a win-win for them, aside from the fact that they will now no longer have to pay worker's comp for this gentleman, all the other unregistered immigrants working for Tara won't dare to file for compensation in the future.


No they probably didn't know the employee was undocumented..

And yes, it is complicated. How and why would they agree to hire someone who is undocumented and on the books at the same time? And the workers comp is not much for a company like this, but they didn't even have it, so legally they might actually be off the hook. I'm just asking, but you can't say it isn't complicated if this guy actually committed fraud in getting a job.

And I didn't see a link to the complaint either. (The company said they did'n't have workers comp insurance, so I'm assuming they don't have to, which means this person wouldn't get benefits anyway, so why would they file?)

His legality didn't mean anything when they hired him.

The problem is that they missed a workers comp bill, so now the money comes out of their own pocket. I don't think how he was hired has anything to do with the issue at hand. (I should say the second link indicateds that the company did not pay workers comp, so that makes things a little more clear).

Again, I'm asking questions. How can the guy file for workers comp if they didn't have workers comp?

Missing the Point

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They shouldn't have called ICE on him to avoid paying for his injuries, which they are liable for whether the company had workers comp or not. Simple. Problem solved.

I'm not talking about your point.

I'm asking questions. Was their fraud? If there was, this is a different issue than some company calling the BPD and then ICE about citizenship. Two different issues.

You say they called ICE, the article says they called a Boston detective who then notified an ICE liasion within the BPD.

And are you telling me the company is liable for this workers pay if the worker stole some dead mans SS number? Or if he used someone else's name and SS who isn't working or has another job?

Yes, they should be liable

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They only cared about the alleged fraud after he got hurt, hence the retaliation lawsuit. Weird how you keep focusing on the assumed crimes of the injured party and not on the shady business practices right out in the open.

I'm focusing on the unknown...

How is that weird? I don't need to focus or waste anytime writing about my thoughts on why Tara Construction is run by a bunch of scumbags, because I don't want to or need to. Why are you focusing on what I'm trying to focus on? That is weird.

Nailed it

And that is precisely why many employers are entirely happy with the immigration status quo. Illegal immigrants work for less money, don't complain about harassment or workplace safety violations, and can be disposed of instantly when their continued presence becomes inconvenient for whatever reason.

As far as your last point goes

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It's not looking good for them that they "suddenly" decided to verify the immigration status of an employee. Frankly, I would say that DHS should be looking into them right now.

It's sad how messed up the system goes. Sectors of the economy mock our immigration laws by employing people that should be allowed to work in the country, then hold their immigration status as a cudgel over them. Of course, it also saddens me that the federal government has not taken a holistic approach to our current immigration policy, but that's politics for you.

Traffic Violation

BPD would have us believe a traffic violation led to turning this man over to ICE. A traffic violation in Boston. The ever vigilant BPD rescues us again from the scourge of foreign traffic violators. I'm being sarcastic BTW.


How many other Departments

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Have officers assigned to ICE? Sounds crazy but does MSP and MBTA have officers assigned to ICE?

They aren't assigned, but are liaisons.

So when ICE says they are going to arrest some guy who is in the country illegally on charges that he smuggled guns from NH to MA, and the Boston Police know the guy because he has a history of gun charges and gun issues in Boston, ICE and Boston share this info with each other before taking action.

That’s the Chance You Take When You Break the Law

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So the man broke the law and stayed here illegally, worked under the table and paid no taxes, and no he complains that he was turned in and the police did their job because his boss was cheap? That’s the chance you take when you jump the border.

You know him?

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How do you know that he paid no taxes?

As for your job, well, break a leg!

Sounds like a good system

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If someone breaks one law, people should definitely be free to take any action against them they want, even that action would otherwise be illegal! I'm glad you're encouraging people to start breaking headlights if someone parks in the bike lane - that's what they get for breaking the law, right?

Just Come Here Legally

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A man robs a bank, gets caught, and we have a hearing on the fact that the teller didn’t move fast enough in handing over the money as the reason the man got caught. Why not just come here legally and avoid all of this nonsense?

A man robs a bank...

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and anyone who sees it should be able to burn his house down, right? That's what he gets for robbing a bank, after all. This is definitely a good idea and not something we got rid of decades ago because we realized that extending legal protections even to people who've committed crimes was the moral thing to do (and better to make sure crimes actually got solved).

For obvious reasons if you've been anywhere close to the system.

Why not just come here legally and avoid all of this nonsense?

Because we've made it unreasonably difficult to come here legally. Not just specifically through legislation, but through a million petty bureaucratic actions.

You often can't make an appointment to talk to consular officials, so you need to take a day off from work, travel to where the consulate is, and if they don't see you that day, then you need to travel home, take another day off from work, and try again.

You can't show up, take a number, and then go around the corner and sit on the park bench until it's your turn to be seen. You need to stand in line. In the rain.

When you show up, if one of your documents is not in order, they send you away. "Q: Can you at least look at the rest of my documents and tell me everything that's wrong, so that I can get them all fixed before I come back?" "A: No."


This is full of truth, and it's even more arbitrary than that. Even if all of your supporting documents are letter-perfect, the person taking them (who is often not an American, either) can reject your application out of hand. They are sometimes directed to reject all applications that day, and they don't have to give a reason. You have no recourse. American friends of yours have little power to help, even if they appeal to their Congresspersons. The power to issue visas is wholly granted to the State Department, which is Constitutionally independent from Congressional influence. The exception to that is, as usual, if your American friends are sufficiently wealthy. Boeing has always been able to get visas granted to Chinese engineers and scientists they wanted to hire, even when no other Chinese were being granted visas. (Washington Senator Henry Jackson was widely referred to as "the Senator from Boeing" for his many services to the company, including expedition of visas.)

No taxes?

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Except for Social Security and Medicare and any other withholding, none of which he gets back. Plus sales tax.

That's the Soviet way

... enact a bunch of restrictive laws that nobody complains about because they're never enforced, to the point that at any given moment, any given ordinary person is in violation of 28 laws, and then, once you decide you don't like someone, arrest and prosecute him.

Please tell the class

How much you pay in taxes.

I have a hunch that you are getting money out of the system, and at least some of that is paid in by people who pay taxes but can't claim the refunds.

Here's a MAJOR Newsflash: UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS PAY LOTS AND LOTS OF TAXES! At the very least, you don't get any break on sales taxes!!!!!!! Duh!


Sorry to bother your trite ignorant brain with facts and reality ...


A better analogy

That’s like knowingly cheating on your taxes, then blaming it on the fact that you have a shitty accountant.

A better analogy would be buying a bottle of Scotch at the New Hampshire State Liquor store on the way back from your skiing trip, and then complaining when you get thrown in jail for interstate liquor smuggling.


But this company didn't even have workers comp. So I would assume they have to pay him for lost wages. But if the guy committed fraud (from what the company is alleging), then I don't know.

Tough call...

That would seem difficult if he wasn't working under a legit soc security number but not an arty here.