Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Quick Fixes" on U.S. Citizens and the Economy

Congress returns on Monday from its two week recess, and proposals regarding employment verification for all workers - foreign- and U.S.- born alike - are gathering steam.  Several bills including the Shuler-Tancredo "SAVE Act" (HR 4088) and the Johnson "New Employee Verification Act of 2008" (HR 5515) include provisions to create a nationwide mandatory electronic employment verification system (EEVS).  In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published new proposed regulations to turn SSA "no-match" letters - a system SSA uses to correct errors in its database - into an immigration enforcement tool.  These proposals are election year antics rather than answers. These policies rely on the government and its databases to be accurate, timely and competent - a stretch in the best of circumstances given what we know about database error rates.  Both would have enormous negative consequences for U.S. citizen workers, employers, and the economy.  This week, Immigration OnPoint highlights two new documents that provide policymakers and advocates with facts that are relevant to the current debate in Congress:

Rep. Johnson's New Employee Verification Act: Another Version of the Shuler-Tancredo Bill (National Immigration Law Center - March 21, 2008) - Provides a summary of the Johnson EEVS bill (HR5515) and its negative impact on U.S. citizens, employers, and the Social Security Administration.

Administration Announces New "No-Match" Regulations: DHS Regs Pass Burdens to Social Security Administration, Small Businesses, and Citizens (Immigration Policy Center - March 2008) - Provides a summary of the new proposed "no-match" regulations and their harmful impact on workers, employers, and the Social Security Administration.

Immigration OnPoint is a project coordinated by the Immigration Policy Center to create and maintain an online catalogue of short documents and fact sheets that provide quick answers to commonly asked questions about immigrants and immigration. Immigration is a notoriously complex issue area, and the current immigration debate is filled with myths, misinformation, fear, and emotion, making reasoned decision-making difficult.  OnPoint documents are meant to confront myths and provide factual information about immigrants and immigration policy.


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