Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Federal Jobs Illegal Immigrants Can’t Do

President Bush modified an Executive Order from the Clinton Administration yesterday to effectively bar illegal immigrants from working jobs on the Federal dole. All Federal contractors will now have to register for the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program and check the status of all their workers and subcontractors’ workers before starting work on Federal contracts.

The E-Verify program is the bane of civil liberties and open borders groups because it uses the Social Security Administration’s database to actually cross check the often times fraudulent or stolen numbers provided by illegal immigrants on their employment applications. A Federal Court in San Francisco, natch, blocked part of Homeland Security’s program in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the San Francisco Labor Council, and the strange political bedfellows of the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That ruling, issued by Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer’s brother Judge Charles Breyer, has prevented the Social Security Administration from sending out over 140,000 “no match” letters to employers. The letters would have required employers to take steps to verify their employees’ identities within 90 days or else fire the workers.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said at the time that the ruling did not amount to a “holiday from law enforcement,” and that the Administration would do, “as much administratively as we can, within the boundaries of existing law,” to continue to crackdown on illegal immigration. The president rightfully took a lot of criticism from the right for his backing of the Senate’s disastrous “comprehensive” immigration bill, and many have been skeptical of the Administration’s stepped up enforcement of illegal immigration laws in the wake of that compromise’s failure in Congress. Sen. McCain, too, a champion of the Senate bill, professes to have seen the light on illegal immigration and now calls for securing the border before taking up any immigration bill. Yesterday’s move to secure federally contracted jobs for American workers is evidence that the Administration does get it, and is another huge victory for opponents of illegal immigration. McCain can show that he gets it too by pledging not to alter or rescind the order if elected.

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