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Corruption Chronicles

Illegal Immigrants Face Tougher Employment Screening

A few months ago we reported the results of a congressional study that revealed negligence among federal officials in enforcing laws that require employers hire only legal residents. The report, produced by the General Accountability Office, also said that rampant identity fraud tremendously hinders employers’ efforts to verify immigration status.

This week the Department of Homeland Security announced that help is finally on the way via a new program that will help employers verify immigration or citizenship status of new hires (AZ Central Arizona online news service).

Homeland Security also plans to expand the use of an internet-based system called Basic Pilot Project, which allows employers to use information provided by a job applicant to quickly verify the person’s immigration or citizenship status. Only about 5,000 of the nation’s approximately 7 million employers use Basic Pilot, probably because few of them face fines or criminal charges for hiring illegal immigrants.

During a press conference (link to the transcript) to announce the new program, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was joined by other top immigration officials to talk about other secure border initiatives and specific statistics about apprehensions this fiscal year, a new expedited removal program and the increase in border patrol agents.

President George W. Bush’s proposed guest worker program was also discussed and, according to Common Sense America, of the 11,024 people who have so far voted in an MSNBC poll, 77% are against the program.


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