Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Homeland Security is going to be the workplace police

According to the New York Times the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to their duties protecting us from terrorists, are going to start policing the workplace.
In a new effort to crack down on illegal immigrants, federal authorities are expected to announce tough rules this week that would require employers to fire workers who use false Social Security numbers.

Officials said the rules would be backed up by stepped-up raids on workplaces across the country that employ illegal immigrants.

The scuttlebutt I hear is that most “good” jobs (lasting longer than a few months and paying more than minimum wage) already require valid social security numbers. This means that many illegal immigrants are using the social security numbers of someone else. It appears that in most cases these are purchased rather than stolen identities and the buyers are careful not use the name for anything other than obtaining work – the buyer knows that if he/she runs up debts or committed crimes using the purchased identity the seller would blow the whistle on them.

Knowing this you can tell if they are really serious about cracking down on illegal immigrants in the workplace by whether or not they do anything to track down Social Security numbers being used by more than one person. If all they do is make announcements that employers (who are already not hiring anyone without a valid SSN) must fire all workers without valid numbers and stage a few well publicized raids then it is all for show.

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