Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Let's See If This Amendment Ever Makes Its Way Into Law

As Howling Latina has been griping for the last few days, if folks were truly serious about stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, they would do something about the fat cats who employ them.

Well, it looks like the Senate has been listening to like-minded spirits.

The Associated Press via the Washington Post reports that the Senate passed an amendment to the immmigration bill that would fine employers "up to $20,000 for each unauthorized worker".
Employers would have to check Social Security numbers and the immigration status of all new hires within 18 months after money is provided to the Homeland Security Department to expand the electronic system for screening workers.
Oh goodness, Howling Latina wonders just exactly when the electronic system will be up and running; or if the amendment will ever make it out of the Senate-House conference committee; or if ANY bill will make it to the president's desk?!?

The amendment passed the Senate, 58-40. And of course, "[o]pponents said the verification system would take years to implement" and their only concern was that "workers deemed illegal could still hold onto jobs until their appeals [were] exhausted."

HL is trying to get the actual roll call, but it's not made its way to the Senate Web site.

Here's what's being reported.

Employers who don't use the new computerized system could be fined $200 to $600. The system would include information from the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security Department.

The $20,000 fines for hiring illegal immigrants once the new screening system is in place would be double the present level. Repeated violators could be sentenced to prison terms of up to three years.

Hey Howling,

I agree with you about making employers liable by giving out big fines. The employers are what keep the immigrants flowing. . . so either fine the employers or tax the immigrants. Bet ya that the businesses would not employe illegals if they had to pay social security taxes, workers comp, and all the other stuff that goes along with hiring an employee.
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