AUGUST 29, 2006
So many businesses hiring illegal immigrants simply claim, “We didn’t know.” The availability of Basic Pilot, a web-based report program that conducts quick background checks on potential hires, makes that a moot excuse. Basic Pilot is an easy, quick way for any business to determine the status of their employees without disrupting the hiring process or their current staffing status. On August 24, 2006, Judicial Watch attended a briefing, hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, that detailed the government’s activities and plans related to the Basic Pilot.
Over 10,000 businesses are now participating in Basic Pilot, which checks the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of new hires. Basic Pilot is able to process 80 percent of all queries in approximately three seconds. Any unusual cases that arise are usually resolved within four days.
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration are using Basic Pilot and new participants continue to roll in. Colorado and Georgia have made the program mandatory. Dunkin’ Brands, which includes Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, have joined. And an outreach program to large employers, such as McDonalds and Walmart should begin in the near future.
Making the now-voluntary system of employee verification mandatory is one of the few areas of agreement between the competing House and Senate immigration bills. The nine-year old program will expire in two years unless Congress formalizes its continuation through legislation. When Congress reaches an agreement on immigration legislation the new law could make “Basic Pilot” mandatory for all employers.
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