Department of Homeland Security to Increase Immigration Law Enforcement

August 21, 2007

The Department of Homeland Security is instituting new rules that will penalize employers severely for employing illegal immigrants.  The Social Security Administration will send “no-match” letters to employers to advise them of the workers whose names do not match their social security numbers.  Under the new regulations employers will then have up to 90 days “to resolve any discrepancies between identity information provided by their workers and the records of the Social Security Administration.”  After that time period the employers would either have to fire their illegal workers or risk being fined up to $10,000 or face criminal sanctions.

After Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to take it into their own hands to enforce immigration laws.  Russ Knocke, the spokesman for DHS said, “There are not going to be any more excuses for employers, and there will be serious consequences for those that choose to blatantly disregard the law.”

Others are not so convinced of the efficacy of these new rules.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s stance is that “Broken immigration laws cannot be justly enforced and borders cannot be secured by might alone.”  As co-chairwoman of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition Laura Reiff said to the New York Times, it seems that the only hope for illegal immigrants is that these new rules force businesses to put more pressure on Congress to pass more extensive immigration reform and provide a ­­path to legal status for illegal immigrants.

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