AUGUST 03, 2007
The U.S. government has finally decided to end the decades-long practice of illegal immigrants using fake Social Security numbers to work by actually holding those who hire them accountable.
The Department of Homeland Security is on the verge of officially issuing rules that businesses must follow when there are discrepancies in an employee’s tax records. Under the new provisions, workers who cannot verify their legal status must be terminated or the business will be heavily fined.
For years, millions of illegal aliens have presented false documents to hold jobs in the U.S. and the federal government has simply looked the other way, even when there was potential evidence of fraud.
In fact, the Social Security Administration has sent employers millions of letters over the years notifying them of information discrepancies among workers and businesses usually ignored the notice and the government rarely followed up or punished them.
In 2005, the latest year that figures are available, the Social Security Administration sent 8.1 million letters requiring a resolution of inconsistencies between information that the agency had on file and the employer’s tax form. Most of the notices were ignored by employers without any further consequences.
A voluntary employer verification program operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, indicates nearly 20 million inconsistencies–possible fraud or identity theft–on the part of illegal immigrants to obtain jobs. The agency seldom follows through but under the new rules it will investigate and fine businesses that violate the law by hiring illegal aliens.
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