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.
My reaction is along the lines of "I'll believe it when I see it". Our political masters are not keen to stop the use of illegal alien labor. They've pretended to get tough in the past. Immigration has become such a huge political issue that their pretending is getting hard to do.
After first proposing the rules last year, Department of Homeland Security officials said they held off finishing them to await the outcome of the debate in Congress over a sweeping immigration bill. That measure, which was supported by President Bush, died in the Senate in June.
Now administration officials are signaling that they intend to clamp down on employers of illegal immigrants even without a new immigration law to offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the workforce.
The popular winds are blowing so hard for real immigration law enforcement that even Senator John McCain is supporting enforcement-only changes in immigration policy.
Farmers are starting to feel the effects of tougher immigration law enforcement. Necessity being a mother, tougher policies against illegal aliens have led to the use of prisoners as farm labor.
The ongoing debate over illegal immigration in the U.S. is having some strange and unintended consequences in the West, where farmers facing acres of unpicked crops are replacing immigrants with inmates.
In Colorado, which last year passed some of the strictest immigration laws in the country, a new program aims to stem a severe labor shortage by using prisoners to work fields once farmed by migrant workers. In Arizona and Idaho, farmers are begging for the expansion of existing prison labor programs as states begin to target employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Great. Make people who are a financial drain on the rest of us do work that at least partially pays for the costs of their criminality.
But farmers who can't afford to pay market rates for labor should either get out of farming or automate their operations or switch to crops that require less labor. We are going to see a lot more farm automation as a result of vigorous immigration law enforcement.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 August 07 11:28 PM Immigration Law Enforcement|