Homeland Security Seeks ID Checks By Employers
October 24, 2008
WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday he’ll try again to overcome a judge’s objections to a proposal to force employers to get rid of workers whose Social Security numbers don’t match their names.
The proposal has been stymied for months by a U.S. district judge in California who blocked the rule after several groups sued. Chertoff said his agency has addressed the judge’s concerns with some additions to the proposal, including providing an analysis of the economic costs of the rule.
Chertoff said he expects continued opposition from the groups who sued, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Groups like the Chamber of Commerce have told us, they haven’t been coy about it … there are many businesses that rely on illegal migration in order to carry out their activities and it would hurt them if they had to carry out the rule,” Chertoff said. “In my experience, making money is not a sufficient justification for violating the rule since most people break the rule in order to make money.”
Chertoff spoke at a news conference held to list his agency’s immigration enforcement achievements. He said the stepped-up enforcement has helped stall illegal immigration and possibly decrease it. But to control illegal immigration for the long term, enforcement must be part of comprehensive immigration reform, he said.