By Martin Bosworth
Like a zombie lurching from the grave, the Senate has decided to resurrect the behemoth “guest worker compromise” immigration bill. And just as before, not only will this bill create a permanent underclass of indentured slave labor that will depress American wages and crush union negotiating clout, but it will be a security disaster that will expose millions of workers to identity theft, and offer a back door to a default national identity card.
Carolyn Lockhead at the SF Chronicle accurately predicted on Monday how much of a mess implementing this new law will be:
A government that cannot issue passports to 3 million U.S. citizens in time for summer holidays is expected to create a vast work-authorization system for more than 7 million U.S. employers and eventually all 146 million U.S. workers that is quick, accurate and safe.
Yet according to a confidential new study commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, the system that would do this — known as Web Basic Pilot — is vulnerable to identity theft, employer misuse, privacy breaches and data inaccuracies. Heavy enforcement would be required to prevent it from being evaded by illegal workers and employers alike.
I’ve written on several occasions that the basic weakness in these verification systems is the ability to forge “breeder documents” — birth certificate, Social Security card, driver’s license, etc. Without a system to effectively verify literally billions of paper documents–an expensive proposition in its own right–any sort of employer database is not only going to be a goldmine for thieves and hackers, but it will be riddled with such bad information that it’ll make a credit bureau look like a model of accuracy.
This proposition will never succeed as it stands. Employers will balk at the onerous reporting requirements. Workers will balk at giving up more of their information. IT departments will balk at the huge costs and effort of implementing these reporting requirements. So the architects of the immigration bill are using a “back door”–by requiring employees to have a REAL ID-authenticated ID card to be considered “verified.”
REAL ID is a monstrously unpopular program that is opposed by the governors and state legislatures of over half the fifty states. It is an unfunded mandate, which means that states will have to come up with the money to fund upgrading their DMVs, training their workers, and now creating the IT systems necessary to ensure the licenses comply with the immigration bill’s verification system. Anyone who has ever spent a day at their local DMV can tell you how foolhardy the idea of making these folks the frontlines for antiterrorism and immigration enforcement is.
And just like the REAL ID bill itself was shoehorned into an Iraq war authorization bill with no debate, now it’s going to be used as the “reacharound” to ensure that the immigration bill’s otherwise deeply flawed security provisions get the duke. And that can’t be allowed to happen.
I wrote a little bit about this at Private Intelligence as well, including links to get help to stop this from becoming law.
Categories: Freedom/Privacy, Politics/Law/Government, Race/Gender
I’ve been listening and viewing the latest news on this. The bill is very concerning on many levels. Being in AZ, residents here have many questions and objections to the bill.
The only question on my mind is why this bill is being pushed so hard? If it’s unrealistic and implementation will open all the holes you point out (and many more) why attempt to push this through again? An answer to that one would probably make an interesting article!
I have an answer, but you probably won’t like it.
This bill is being pushed by huge business interests like the Chamber of Commerce, in order to ensure that increasing vacancies in retail and low-skilled jobs are filled by “guest workers” who can’t unionize, can’t vote, can’t quit, and can’t do anything for fear of being sent back to their home country.
The name of the game is to create a permanent underclass of low-skilled temp workers who can be cycled in and out of the country to ensure wages are kept low, profits are kept high, and that Americans will not be so quick to fight for workers’ rights.
An anecdote (since I’m the chief storyteller of our merry band):
My wife and I moved to VA from NC just over a year ago. VA is the state where most (11 of 19) of the 9/11 hijackers got their driver’s licenses. When we went to change our driver’s licenses, it took us 8 HOURS to complete the process because VA has implemented much more stringent requirements to prove identity, citizenship, etc. We kept having to go home for yet another document, etc.
Anyway, after enduring this marathon of bureaucracy-induced frustration, we got approved and they made our license photos. When they handed the finished photo licenses to us and we started to leave, I noticed something – my photo was on my wife’s license, hers on mine. We, of course, pointed out the error and after we and the bureaucrats had a nice laugh, they redid our licenses with the correct photos. I asked them how often this snafu occurred, and they shrugged. “Probably too often,” was the reply….
Think what could happen with all the added work and steps created by the immigration bill’s unfunded mandate. And think how this mess of a system can get played from without or within….
Not just stupid – scary….
Correct me if I’m wrong: But Homeland Security, who can’t get “NO Fly” lists right is about to decide who is authorized to work? I can smell somone like Karl Rove, updating this list to include enemies of whatever administration is in power at that time. This bill does nothing but create a slave class, an elete class and finally, those of us who will have to worry about being denied the right to work, simply because we opposed those in power. Attention all wingnuts: Do you want to trust this bill if Hillary was in power? For those on my side: Do you want Karl Rove deciding that you don’t have a right to work here, simply because you opposed Chimpy?
PLEASE SAW ALL THE NEW ANTITERRORIST LAWS FOR THE DICTATORSHIP IN UNITED STATES AND AMERICA.
YOU HAVE TO RESIST AND WAKE-UP. THE POLICE STATE TAKE PLACE ALL AROUND YOU.
THE NEXT STEP TO ALL THESE INTRUSIONS WILL BE THE MICRO-CHIP IN YOUR BODY. IF YOU DON’T WANT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY COME THE ZOMBIE OR THE SLAVE OF THE UNITED NATIONS, YOU HAVE TO RESIST.
IT IS BETTER TO DIE FREE THAN LEAVE UNDER A SLAVE SYSTEM.
SEE MY WEB FOR MORE INFORMATIONS. AND LET KNOW TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHAT IS TAKING PLACE IN NORTH AMERICA.