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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
Location: Ontario, California, United States

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Border issue crosses over into the office

From the Houston Chronicle:

...[S]ome experts say the real battle should be in the workplace to stop the hiring of people without work visas.

Simple enough in theory, but how can you tell who's an illegal immigrant?

Many companies now do little more than eyeball documents, saying they lack the expertise and resources to go any further — and they seldom face federal sanctions.

But across the country, a small group of businesses is quietly testing a Department of Homeland Security program that can check immigration status with a few clicks on the Internet. The program will likely be at the heart of any federal immigration reform....

Under the Basic Pilot Program, employers enter a person's name, birth date and other data on a Web site. The information is then run through databases maintained by the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Employers never learn if the individual might be in the country illegally. They simply get a "yes" or "no" on the person's work status. Applicants can appeal if they disagree with the results.

The program doesn't include fingerprint or other biometric checks to determine if applicants are using someone else's Social Security number or name. Ideally, the checks would eventually include a photo identification card supplied by the Social Security Administration. But the agency has estimated it could take at least $4 billion to produce such cards....

[E]xperts caution that it needs tweaks before Congress could roll out a mandatory version nationwide.

Among other things, they worry that it could hurt legal immigrants, whose visa status often changes faster than DHS can update its databases, and who sometimes use the surnames of both parents, which can further trip up the process....



Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

Political issues here.


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