Patterico's Pontifications

8/3/2007

L.A. Times Highlights the Critics’ Complaints About Cracking Down on Illegals

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:10 am



The L.A. Times has an article titled Illegal-immigrant crackdown looms. The negative spin starts with the deck headline: “A plan to make employers fire workers with discrepancies in their records could snare many citizens and legal residents, critics say.”

The article itself wastes no time in spinning the negative aspects of a crackdown:

With the failure of immigration legislation in Congress this year, federal officials are planning a new crackdown on illegal immigrants that would force businesses to fire them or face stiff penalties. But the effort also could cause serious headaches for millions of U.S. citizens.

The article continues:

[T]he planned crackdown has provoked concern because many of the errors are benign: misspellings or incorrect birthdates in records of citizens or legal immigrants. There are errors in the records of an estimated 12.7 million U.S. citizens alone, and workers rushing to correct these discrepancies could swamp Social Security offices, much as new travel regulations have paralyzed government passport facilities this year.

By the way, the passport backlog is not primarily due to new regulations — even if that would bolster the storyline. Yes, there was an increase due to new regulations. But as Joel Mowbray has argued, the primary responsibility for the backlog was a boneheaded misestimate made by the consular chief responsible for making such projections. (While taking into account estimates of new passport applications to deal with the regulations, she ignored the traditional 18 percent increase per year in new applications.)

But never mind that. Look at the bigger picture.

How is the government is supposed to prevent employers from employing illegals without creating potential problems like this? Answer: it’s impossible.

So this article is simply designed to sound the alarm about the natural consequences of enforcing our immigration laws against employers. Which, by the way, is going to bother employers — so excuse me if I don’t cry too hard when I read this:

And businesses are complaining about bearing the burden of enforcing a flawed immigration system.

Who’da thunk it? You make businesses police whether they have illegals, and they complain?

Now that’s news!

25 Responses to “L.A. Times Highlights the Critics’ Complaints About Cracking Down on Illegals”

  1. Stop making sense. You might confuse people.

    Nuancematters (bb6fbd)

  2. The LA Times writes:

    But the effort also could cause serious headaches for millions of U.S. citizens

    Actually, those aren’t citizens. That’s the problem.

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  3. re: How is the government is supposed to prevent employers from employing illegals without creating potential problems like this? Answer: it’s impossible.

    What problem is the government creating for businesses? Are we to assume that businesses are not already doing background checks, asking for documentation, etc., from their potential employees?

    I realize that the following statement is citizen profiling, but really, if someone asks for a job in a language other than English, and needs an application in a language other than English, because they can’t speak English or at least speak it very poorly, it would seem to be a tip off that just a tad bit more scrutiny is required.

    Is this a major problem for employers? Maybe so.

    Scott (8db77f)

  4. I agree that this is a big spin job on behalf of the times. We can’t have businesses hiring Mexicans here in the U.S. If businesses want to hire cheap Mexican labor, they better be willing to spend the money to move their facilities to Mexico. After all, if all the Mexicans are coming here, who’s going to be left to provide cheap labor for our factories in Mexico?

    Get those illegal laborers back where they belong — sewing my suits for $2 an hour in Tiajuana, not competing with my 16-year-old nephew for $10-an-hour landscaping jobs in Tennessee. What good are our laws locking cheap labor in Mexico unless somebody enforces them?

    Phil (88ab5b)

  5. My brother owns a small business in the Socialist Republic of Seattle. He has letters on file from the Social Security asking him to investigate and fix dicrepancies of employee names and SS numbers. The letters also say he can be prosecuted if he uses this imformation to fire anyone. Actually, the law ties his hands in his hiring and firing. To him, one of the biggest jokes around is this push against employers. Is this a great country, or what?

    Jim

    James Piper (31161e)

  6. That logic applies to every other law that employers have to comply with, environmental, labor, tax withholding, et al. I’d bet that the L.A. Times will never apply that logic to the other laws, though.

    Jim, thanks for pointing out an Catch-22 (that I suspect is deliberate on somebody’s part), that we need to double-check and then hammer Congress on, hard.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  7. FYI, Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has upgraded the computer system that verifies employment eligibility in preparation for comprehensive federal immigration legislation, and it plans to roll out additional features this fall.x (Hat tip to Polipundit)

    LarryD (feb78b)

  8. The SMELL A TIME take the side of he illegal aleins as liberal bird cage linners always do and the birds dont want this paper on the bottom of their cages anymore

    krazy kagu (591d76)

  9. Would it be considered discrimination (or a hate crime, or anything else legally problematic) to simply demand a passport for employment?

    Al (b624ac)

  10. “Actually, those aren’t citizens. That’s the problem.”

    The SSA’s databases have an error rate of 4.1 percent. Our population is 300 million. How many you think are citizens? Lets guess 200 million? Thats 8 million US citizens that would be denied jobs by this verification system.

    “Would it be considered discrimination (or a hate crime, or anything else legally problematic) to simply demand a passport for employment?”

    How many americans even have passports? There’s a huge backlog of applications now. You want to stop people from getting work untill the state department gets its act together?

    Immigration really brings out the irrationality in people.And they wonder why they’re called bad words.

    amarc (6623fa)

  11. Another unfunded mandate on business by Congress.

    And they promised to stop doing this when…?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  12. Employing illegals should be against the law, and enforced.

    However, I am extremely wary of a politician or pundit that focuses on the employer. It is the government that has allowed the situation to be where it is at, in its current state. Private citizens who happen to own businesses shouldn’t be burdened with having to pick up the legal slack for the government.

    Again, that is not to say that employers should get a pass on hiring illegals, but those that focus on the private citizen while giving a pass to the government, in part or whole, are confused at best, and dishonest in practice.

    Ray G (50194a)

  13. “Crackdown”? Is it a crackdown when I have to show three pieces of ID, including my social security card, to get a job?

    Amarc,
    The error rate exists with or without the “crackdown.” And if many people are using the same number, as often happens when numbers are sold in swap meets, that rates an investigation, IMO. If someone else was using my number, I would want to know. And the SSA is not allowed to tell us that. So until we discover the error, we’re sunk.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  14. There is at this time a tremendous problem with SS# theft, etc. There seems to be only one simple solution: Declare the Social Security System defunct, and the numbering system unlawful.

    Of course, that would disrupt every aspect of our economy (plus, the Feds would have to go back to whatever ID systems they were using before – such as the old Military ID system used before they switched over to using SS#’s in the 60’s), instead of busting the ass of the illegals and their enablers.

    One correction is highly targeted, and the other would be wide-spread chaos. Of course, we know which way the Feds would go!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  15. The error rate exists with or without the “crackdown.”

    With requiring verification, it means people lose their jobs. People like me. The SSA doesn’t know I’m permitted to work in the US. Why should they, even?

    amarc (17d1b3)

  16. Re: Error Rate

    Some of the errors are the fault of the employee or prospective employee. For example, you are supposed to notify the SSA of a change in your marital status or immigration status.

    Suppose Jane Doe marries Richard Roe. She does not tell SSA of her new name or marital status. She applies for a job under the name Jane Roe. SSA will tell the employer that is not the name of the person assigned the SSN Jane is using.

    Stu707 (adbb5a)

  17. More of the errors come from the fact that, in decades past, state drivers’ license bureaus used to be more casual about what names they allowed people to put on the drivers licenses. There are a lot of people who got ID in a family name that isn’t on their birth certificate etc. Nicknames, middle names etc.

    We’ve become more strict in the last decade or so that birth certificates, social security cards and photo ID match and a lot of people haven’t clean up their own records. I’ve run across alot of these people, and a lot of them are still too damn lazy to fix these things even when they inconvenience them such as when they finally try to get a passport.

    I had one man whine to me about the trouble to fix his long term use of a name not on his birth certificate when he tried to get a passport – even though he’d been told 10 yrs before to clean it up.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  18. Amarc,
    I’m sorry you’re going to lose your job, but why on earth would you think the SSA should not know you are working here–aren’t you paying their tax? If you are being paid under the table, sorry, you’ve lost my sympathy completely. You’re breaking the law.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  19. Can you ever expect anything less from the SMELL A TIMES?

    krazy kagu (520f84)

  20. Some time you should interview Judge David Carter, Patrick, about “deporting the criminals first.” Back in his SupCt days, he would deport criminal nationals back to their country of origin (which is curiously omitted from his wikipedia entry). Quite controversial, but he stuck to his guns. David O. Carter

    Patricia (824fa1)

  21. I’m sorry you’re going to lose your job, but why on earth would you think the SSA should not know you are working here–aren’t you paying their tax?

    They know I’m working here. And I am permitted to. Its just that the SSA just don’t know I’m permitted to. So if I get verified against the SSA database, I lose my job, even though I’m legal. It makes some sense that they don’t know. In order for them to do their jobs, they don’t need to keep track of whether I’m legal or not. They just need to keep track of my earnings. Why add an extra hassle to them and me? I’ve already shown to my employer that i’m legit.

    amarc (f35d9f)

  22. BOYCOTT THE SMELL A TIMES, BOYCOTT THE SMELL A TIMES,BOYCOTT THE SMELL A TIMES SQUAWK SQUAWK

    krazy kagu (a0df11)

  23. amarc,
    For crying out loud, you don’t lose your job. You produce the proper paperwork. Your situation is not analogous at all to someone who is using a stolen number.

    Patricia (549779)

  24. For crying out loud, you don’t lose your job. You produce the proper paperwork.

    But I have produced proper paperwork. My employer knows my status. It’s this idea of having a mandatory verification system for eligibility that is a problem. Because it is beyond the SSA’s ability or need.

    Your situation is not analogous at all to someone who is using a stolen number.

    Thats a verification of two people using the same number. Thats fine. Thats different than the SSA verifying my employment elegibility.

    amarc (23c2b4)


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