Tuesday, March 28, 2006

All Workers To Need Federal OK

Fundamental to all the debate about immigration reforms is one underlying theme - which political party can collect the most votes during the 2006 election. A candidate wants to appeal to those opposed to making illegal immigrants felons, unless they want to appeal to voters who want more criminalization for illegals. And new immigrants and first and second generation immigrants are eyeing which party supports them and which does not. To paraphrase, it's about the voters, stupid. Not about reform.

And for all the hoopla around loving or hating the proposed bill from last year in the House, I see little discussion about a fundamental change affecting every worker and would-be worker in the nation. The bill would demand a federal database of all potential workers and demand employers use that database or risk federal anger. Everyone would have to obtain, in essence, a federal "permission slip" to obtain a job, immigrant or not.

Or to put it another way:

The legislation would create a sea-change in federal employment rules by requiring all workers in the country to obtain a federal agencyƂ’s permission to work. All employers would be required to participate in a national employment eligibility verification program in an expansion of the faulty but voluntary "Basic Pilot" program in current law. Like Basic Pilot, the new program would use an Internet-based system to check the names and social security numbers of all employees -- citizens and non-citizen alike -- against a Department of Homeland Security database.

The ACLU said that such a move would place a huge burden on both employers and workers. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office reported that conservative estimates of implementing such a system would cost at least $11.7 billion annually, a large share of which would be shouldered by businesses. Also, even assuming a near-perfect accuracy rate in the program, millions of legal, eligible American workers could still have their right to work seriously delayed or denied --fighting bureaucratic red tape to keep a job and pay bills. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations have expressed strong reservations with the employment verification provisions."

Read the bill here. And remember, it's addressing Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration. ( and the unspoken federal approval to be a worker in the U.S.)


  1. carpenterjd5:42 PM

    Gutentag, Herr Powell! May I see your papers?

  2. We are not too far from scan chips under our skin!

    I am not voting for any dems or repugs all indes for me. I want to be lied to by some fresh faces!