Illegal Immigration in the News

19 11 2006

Cross Posted by Morning Coffee

Branson effort against illegal immigration uncovers murder suspect 

Immigration agents in Springfield on Wednesday found that Isaias Diaz-Gutierrez, 26, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, is wanted in York County, S.C., on charges murder, armed robbery, and three counts of forgery. The discovery was made after agents ran the man’s fingerprints through a database.

I guess not all of those who come here illegally came to pick lettuce. The same article goes on to describe an illegal labor scheme by Midwest Hotel Management Corp.

In another immigration case involving Branson, a federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four Russian natives and a Polish woman for allegedly submitting false documents to obtain foreign labor visas for hundreds of area employees.

The defendants were charged in a 17-count indictment returned in Kansas City, the U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.

Midwest allegedly submitted 15 foreign labor visa applications containing numerous false statements to obtain about 300 foreign labor visas, including corporate employees of the company.

In Beufort County SC the Beufort Gazette reports on the GAO criticism of the Basic Pilot Program. The article is in reference to this proposed county ordinance. Proposed Ordinance approved by County Council on second reading November 13, 2006

A critical component of a proposed county ordinance that aims to eliminate illegal immigrants’ job opportunities in the county has significant shortcomings, according to a federal report, though the ordinance’s chief proponent is undeterred.

Here is how the Basic Pilot program is supposed to work, from the Center for Immigration Studies.

How Basic Pilot Works.  Participating employers must electronically verify the status of all newly-hired workers within three days of hire, using information that a new hire is already required to provide on the Form I-9.  Employers key data into a simple form accessible on the DHS web site and transmit it to DHS.  DHS then transmits the information to SSA, which checks the validity of the Social Security number, name, date of birth, and citizenship provided by the worker.  The data on non-citizens is confirmed by SSA, and then referred back to DHS to verify work authorization according to that agency’s immigration records.  Most employers receive verification within 24 hours.  If DHS cannot immediately verify status, the query is referred to other DHS offices in the field that process immigration applications, in case the non-citizen has very recently been approved to work.

 If neither agency can confirm work authorization on the individual within 24 hours, the employer receives a tentative non-confirmation response.  The employer is supposed to check the accuracy of the information it submitted (e.g. for misspellings or transposed numbers) and either resubmit to DHS or ask the employee to resolve the problem with SSA or DHS.  If workers do not contest or resolve the non-confirmation finding within 10 days, Basic Pilot issues a final non-confirmation notice, and employers are required to either immediately terminate the employee or notify DHS that they are continuing to employ the person (possibly inviting an investigation and sanctions). 

And the Criticism of the GAO mentioned in the article:

  • The program cannot detect identity fraud;
  • It doesn’t anything to prevent car thefts either…

  • Data entry delays at the Department of Homeland Security lengthen the verification process; and
  • Doing absolutely nothing to verify the legal status of potential employees is much quicker.

    • A significant increase in program use could overwhelm it, creating even longer verification delays.

    And not using the program will definitely make it more efficient…

    County attorney Kelly Golden, who drafted the proposed ordinance, has called the Basic Pilot Program “the gas in the car” for the ordinance.

    The ordinance wouldn’t require businesses to enroll in the program outright, but encourages enrollment by making participating businesses eligible for county grants and contracts over $10,000 and absolving businesses of liability for violations the program did not catch.

    Beaufort County Councilwoman Starletta Hairston, who proposed the ordinance, said it should still move forward despite the flaws.

    “No system is flawless or accident-free. Everything we do has some risk of going wrong … The overall scheme is to get a system in place that works better (than what we have now),” Hairston said.

    The main objection to the program seems to be that it is not a magical silver bullet that will prevent employers from hiring illegals. Nothing ever will be or can be that silver bullet. The Basic Pilot Program is a tool for businesses to be able to verify the legal status of those they employ.  The program is relatively new and will obviously require tweaking once it is utilized on a wider scale.  The objections to its use based on the arguments listed in the article seem to be little more than a smoke screen for those who profit from illegal labor.

    The State.com describes how the South Carolina legislature is looking to address the problem of illegal immigration as well as some of the obsticles in getting any legislation passed to curb it.

    The S.C. Senate has heard voters’ cries over immigrants flowing into South Carolina.

    Now, senators want to pass a bill to curb illegal immigration, but any legislation faces a journey that’s as treacherous as the route across the Arizona desert.

    Among the potential traps are:

    • Opposition from businesses that depend on immigrant labor

    • Protests from critics who say Hispanics and other immigrants legally in the United States could face discrimination

    • Legal challenges claiming constitutional violations

    • Claims that federal law takes precedence over state law and that the issue should be left to the federal government.

    Some other CAII Posts today:

    CommonSenseAmerica has: Slavery Disguised as Compassion and Tolerance    stikNstein with: The Amnesty Dream and The Political Wake up Pinch, & find out why Take Back Georgia needs to learn Spanish 


    **This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.

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