August 9, 2007, - 3:33 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
From Today’s Wall Street Journal:
Here are some other headlines that could have been written by the same person:
Showing Driver’s License to Police When Stopped for Speeding Could Burden Drivers
Showing Passport to Return to America from Saudi Arabia Could Burden Muslim Terrorists
Flushing Toilet After Use Could Burden Users
Using Fork and Knife At Restaurant Could Burden Eaters
So sad, too bad. So farmers–who’ve been using illegal aliens for years–are now having to prove they comply with U.S. law. Ditto for landscapers, according to the article. If we could insure that farm workers were just innocent Mexicans and not Muslims, like one of the ’93 World Trade Center bombers, who fraudulently use farmworker visas, I’d say leave them alone. But that’s not the case. And if ICE went after all Muslim illegal aliens and only left Guatemalan farmworkers, hotel maids, etc., I’d say go for it. But that’s not the case. In reality, we are still not tough enough. Not on any employer. Not on the group of illegal aliens who are co-religionists with the 19 9/11 hijackers, or as President Bush today absudly called them “19 kids”.
Here’s a little more of the whining, along with a new euphemism for Open Borders (“Immigration Overhaul”):
Employers warned of labor shortages, particularly in agriculture during the fall harvest, as the Bush administration appeared ready to implement new rules that would press employers to fire workers who appear to be in the U.S. illegally.
“With no expectation there’s a fall-back workforce, you’ll put employers in the position of either firing workers or losing their crops,” said Craig Regelbrugge of the American Nursery and Landscape Association, a trade group.
The administration is under pressure from voters, and particularly Republican conservatives, to show it’s tough on illegal immigration after an immigration bill supported by President Bush collapsed in the Senate in June. The administration’s apparent intention to proceed with the regulations, a year after first proposing them, was reported earlier by the Los Angeles Times.
The regulations will require employers to play a greater role in verifying that their workers are in the U.S. legally, potentially putting new administrative burdens on industries, particularly agriculture, health care and construction, that typically hire large numbers of immigrants.
In return for the increased records checks and a willingness to fire suspected illegal immigrants, the regulations offer employers “safe harbor” protections against prosecution for illegal hiring.
The Department of Homeland Security said it would implement the regulations “in the very near term,” without saying when. But if that happens during the harvest season, trade groups predicted huge problems for growers who already face labor shortages. An estimated two-thirds of agriculture workers are thought to be in the U.S. illegally.
The department first proposed the regulations in June 2006 but then failed to implement them while an immigration-overhaul made its way to the Senate floor. That bill collapsed in part because of a public outcry over the administration’s lax enforcement of immigration laws already on the books.
Currently, an employer reports a new worker’s name and Social Security number with the Social Security Administration, and if the two don’t match government records, the employer receives a so-called “no-match” letter. The department sends a similar letter if the worker’s name doesn’t match the identity document that the worker shows to prove he or she has the right to work in the U.S.
Employers aren’t required to act on those letters, so workers can present counterfeit or stolen Social Security numbers without much danger of being challenged by labor-hungry bosses.
Under the new regulations, employers would have to sort out the discrepancy by asking the worker for new identity and immigration documents. If the problem still isn’t resolved, the regulations say that “the employer must choose between taking action to terminate the employee or facing the risk” of prosecution. Employers who complete and document the multi-step verification process and still don’t discover that the worker is an illegal immigrant also wouldn’t be prosecuted under the department’s safe-harbor provision.
The new rules “will provide clarity for employers,” said Russ Knocke, a DHS spokesman. . . . Employers in industries that are highly dependent on immigrants predicted the regulations could lead to a slowing economy.
“Employers might have to start firing, and then you might have a workforce that’s barely adequate,” said Shawn McBurney of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
The regulations also are likely to cause paperwork burdens for employers in low-skill industries, which typically have high turnover and attract immigrant workers. Those employers will be faced with sorting through the documents of workers suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, but also of workers who receive no-match letters because of clerical errors, name changes or records confusion.
The regulation could quiet criticism by Republican conservatives that the administration’s failure to enforce immigration laws is attracting some half million illegal immigrants yearly. . . .
But advocates of immigration overhaul contend that tougher enforcement will create labor shortages and drive illegal workers into the underground economy, but it won’t keep them from coming. Mr. Regelbrugge also predicted that employers would move more operations overseas or, as with agriculture, to Mexico and Canada. “Doing enforcement only is going to have tremendous downside consequences on the economy,” he said.
Yeah, like saving jobs for Americans and keeping criminals out of the country. That is a tremendous downside.
Tags: America, American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Nursery, American Nursery and Landscape Association, Bush, Bush administration, Canada, Craig Regelbrugge, Debbie Schlussel, Department of Homeland Security, Fork, Los Angeles Times, maids, Mexico, President, Russ Knocke, Senate, Shawn McBurney, Social Security Administration, spokesman, the Los Angeles Times, trade group, United States, Wall Street Journal, worker, World Trade Center