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 agencyÂs 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."