Cross posted from The Virtuous Republic
Several major news organizations expect a major announcement from the Bush administration on Friday concerning immigration enforcement. ABC News reports:
The Bush administration plans to step up immigration enforcement by raising fines on employers who hire undocumented workers, overhauling temporary worker programs and speeding up deployment of border agents, according to a summary of the plans.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez planned to announce broad immigration changes at a news conference Friday.
Some of the initiatives are similar to proposals contained in recent immigration legislation, although they are not nearly as sweeping as the bill that failed to pass the Senate. Other measures are already under way.
An outline of the announcement, obtained by The Associated Press from a congressional aide, said the administration plans to expand the list of international gangs whose members are automatically denied admission to the U.S., reduce processing times for immigrant background checks and install by the end of the year an exit system so the departure of foreigners from the country can be recorded at airports and seaports.
In addition, employers will face possible criminal sanctions if they don’t fire employees unable to clear up problems with their Social Security numbers.
Also, the Homeland Security Department will ask states to voluntarily share their driver’s license photos and records with the agency for use in an employment verification system. The sharing is meant to help employers detect fraudulent licenses, according to the summary.
And from The Politico:
As part of the package, Bush is planning to increase muscle at the Mexican border, as conservatives have long pleaded. “The administration will add more border personnel and infrastructure, going beyond previously announced targets,” according to the summary. “The Departments of State and Homeland Security will expand the list of international gangs whose members are automatically denied admission to the U.S.”
Under the tougher menu, the administration vows to fund additional beds for people caught breaching the border, ensuring that illegal entrants are returned to Mexico rather than being let go because there’s no space for them, as often occurred in the past.
“The administration will implement an exit requirement at airports and seaports by the end of 2008, and will launch a pilot land-border exit system for guest workers,” the summary says. “By the end of 2008, the administration will require most arrivals at our ports-of-entry to use passports or similarly secure documents.”
Of course, we will have to wait until tomorrow to get the full details.
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