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Old 23rd July 2005, 11:59 AM   #1
Anita
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Arrow Should Businesses Sell to Illegal Immigrants?

With 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, businesses have caught on. They now see illegal immigrants as a lucrative market. It's both the big companies and small businesses that are cashing in.

I've posted information and links on the trend over here:
http://www.smallbusinesses.blogspot....lucrative.html

What do you think? Should businesses sell to illegal immigrants?

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Last edited by Anita; 23rd July 2005 at 11:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd July 2005, 03:27 PM   #2
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I can't imagine asking for an ID when someone makes a purchase. Other than for something like a credit application, I would think you might be accused of violating their civil rights.

You are not supposed to ask for an ID when someone presents a credit card that has been properly signed on the back, how could you ever justify asking for an ID for cash?

That picture of old George, Andrew or Ben is all the ID I require.

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Old 24th July 2005, 08:45 AM   #3
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Hi Pete,

Many businesses agree with your point.

Although over at Small Business Trends we've just heard from some people who feel "illegal is illegal."

One way or another, this topic has struck a chord with many....

Anita

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Old 24th July 2005, 09:49 AM   #4
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Please don't get the feeling that I am siding with the "illegals". I don't. And it's not a matter of thinking that any money is good money.

I just don't see being able to refuse to sell someone. Frankly, there are a lot of "legals" I'd just as soon avoid, but I can't imagine telling someone to take their money elsewhere and not have someone get offended to the point I would be facing a judge.

Now, as far as targeting illegals, I do think that is wrong, but everyone has to live with themselves and some folks and corporations have little, or no, standards.

I just can't imagine asking for documents before taking someone's money.

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Old 25th July 2005, 01:30 AM   #5
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It just sounds like basic niche marketing to me. What do you envision selling these folks?

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Old 25th July 2005, 07:41 AM   #6
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Question Does the end justify the means?

Hi Yellowwing,

In my business we don't have anything to sell that would appeal in large numbers to illegal immigrants.

I just thought it was a fascinating topic for discussion.

What makes this such a difficult issue is that these undocumented workers have committed one illegal act -- coming into the country illegally. Otherwise, they may be living law-abiding and productive lives.

Is this a situation where the end justifies the means?

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Old 25th July 2005, 08:01 AM   #7
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There was a column in yesterday's paper by George Will. I have spent the last 5 minutes looking for it on the net but have not found it and don't have all day.

What it boils down to, and I think the last line said it this way, was that "If America did not have illegal immigrants, it would invent them."

The gist of the column was that if corporations were not willing to exploit them, they would not come.

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Old 25th July 2005, 10:20 AM   #8
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Well, I never considered asking someone their legal status before selling them our services. I can't imagine anybody would. My personal view is that illegal immigration is an issue that the gov't must deal with, but its not my job to police every transaction for legal status. As long as its not illegal to sell to illegal immigrants we an and should feel free to do so.

On the flip side, it IS illegal to hire illegal immigrants (those without work visas, but then if they had a word visa they wouldn't be illegal!) and those who break the law should be dealt with accordingly.

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Old 25th July 2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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Many lifetimes ago as a roofing foreman, we had several Hondurans working on the crew. Some of their documentation looked like it was done in crayola or a photocopy that had been cloned a dozen times already.

One of the biggest items they did consume was international phone cards. I would imagine Asians workers would also buy them.

"Tarjetas Telefónicas Internacionales" has 126k page results, with only the top 5 showing obvious optimization.

It would be impractical for any business organization to exclude customers based on citizenship status. Even the oversight for online gambling has many holes in it.

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Old 25th July 2005, 10:38 PM   #10
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You are right about the phone cards. Within the mall where I have a business there are many for lack of a better term "foreigners", with any assortment of green cards, work permits and over-stayed visas. One thing they all have in common is a phone card.

You hit that nail square on the head!

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