Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Illegal alien crackdown via the federal government

A lot of people are still hot and bothered over the amnesty bill that died over a month ago in the Senate. They wanted security and enforcement. While this bears patient waiting to see if they're serious, it's worth noting. K-Lo at the Corner picks up this story from the AP's report in the IHT:

Employers across the U.S. are preparing to fire workers with questionable Social Security government identification numbers to avoid getting snagged in a Bush administration crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make public soon new rules for employers notified when their worker's name or Social Security number was flagged by the Social Security Administration.

The rule, as initially drafted, requires employers to fire people who cannot be verified as a legal worker and cannot resolve within 60 days why the name or Social Security number on their W-2 doesn't match the government's database.

Employers who do not comply could face fines of $250 to $10,000 (€180 to €7,300) per illegal worker and incident. ...

... The Social Security Administration has sent "no match" letters to workers and their employers notifying them of the information discrepancies for years. Its goal has been to make sure money withheld from a person's paycheck is credited to the correct worker. ...

... Although employers are prohibited by law from hiring illegal workers, their responsibilities with the letters have generally ended with notifying the workers of the discrepancies and leaving it to them to deal with it.

Many employers have been warned by attorneys to be careful not to fire a worker because they got a letter, because the no match could be the result of a typo in a name or number, a computer error, a name change that was not reported after marriage or other reasons.

But those who do not comply with the new rule could be deemed as knowingly hiring an illegal worker.

The Homeland Security Department says the new rule provides guidance to employers on how to deal with workers who receive no match letters and give those who comply "safe harbor" if illegal workers are found at their business in an investigation or raid, said Russ Knocke, Homeland Security department spokesman.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Homeland Security Department, "is going to be tough and aggressive in the enforcement of the law," Knocke said. "You are going to see more work site cases. And no more excuses."

This is a wait-and-see moment for the public. The government heard us loud and clear over the immigration bill, and they heard us say two things that they hadn't been serious about in decades: Security AND enforcement. This nation can't continue to deal with open borders, and no repercussions for employers or those who knowingly and directly violate our laws. It's asinine that we, as Americans, have to abide by other nation's laws when we visit them, but they don't have to abide by ours when they come here.

If the government is serious about this, and they do carry out these raids -- abiding by ICE's statement above of "no more excuses" -- then we are looking at a chance to see if the speculation regarding the "self-deporting" argument will pan out. In theory, if employers are going to be facing fines, and hefty ones at that per head caught, then they'll be less apt to hire these people. If they have no job, they should self-deport themselves. We'll see. I still contend that many will try to stay as long as possible, and might even keep defrauding the welfare system until they have no choice but to return home.

Like I said, this is a wait-and-see moment for the nation. I know we're not buying it completely until we do see some seriousness from the federal government. This is their issue to deal with, and they'd better start doing it, lest the nation gets upset again.

Publius II


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