Senators introduce employee verification bill
Sep 10, 2007 11:38 AM
Several US Senators have joined in introducing legislation that would enhance laws already in place to prevent the hiring of unlawful aliens in the United States.
If approved, the measure would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish an employment verification system that would make it easier to identify unauthorized workers, in part through enhanced data-sharing between federal and state agencies, according to information from the office of Sen Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), co-author of the bill.
The law would increase the security and integrity of Social Security cards, and provide funding to assist states in issuing more secure driverís licenses and identity documents, according to the senator's information.
The legislation also would increase civil and criminal penalties against employers who knowingly hire unlawful aliens, as well as people who misuse identity documents. Employers who violate the law could be subject to civil penalties ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 per illegal immigrant hired and criminal penalties of up to $75,000 and six months imprisonment.
On August 9, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a program to enforce existing law, including a requirement that employers fire workers whose Social Security documentation does not match federal government information, according to Kyl information.
However, the senator argues that there is still no mandatory electronic employee verification system (the no-match notification only identifies a small percentage of violations). Nor are there adequate procedures and penalties to deal with visa overstayers, who represent 40 percent of the illegal immigrant population.
Unless Congress decides on other ways to handle the situation, the DHS proposal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2007. Kyl argues that combined with DHSís new enforcement strategy, passage of the bill would begin to restore the publicís confidence in the ability and willingness of the federal government to reduce illegal immigration and restore the rule of law.
Joining Kyl in introducing the bill were Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), John McCain (R-Arizona), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and John Cornyn (R-Texas).
See other coverage on immigration in Bulk Transporter online.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.