Immigration & Green Card Law Firm, Lawyers, Attorneys: San Franscisco Bay Area to San Jose: The Social Security ‘Name Checks’; The New McCarthyism

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Social Security ‘Name Checks’; The New McCarthyism

A few days ago a Federal Judge here in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the USCIS (DHS) from informing companies of the names of employees whose social security card doesn't 'match'. Under the program the employee must somehow explain any discrepancy or be fired.

On the surface this seems reasonable and fully understandable given that there is a huge demand and flow into the hands of 'illegals' of phony documents. However, this seems to fly in the face of an employer's present obligation under current law. That is, as long as the I-9 is completed and submitted with certain documents, the employer can subject themselves to stiff fines, and even criminal penalties - if they attempt to scrutinize the individual or documents further. This was Congress' way of preventing discrimination because one 'looks foreign'. Obviously, if one looks American (whatever that means!), the employer is less likely to question or be suspicious of the documents submitted to support the I-9.

Now let's get back to the Federal Judge's decision (which is only temporary, awaiting a further Hearing in October).

The one fact that struck me when I read the attempted Appeal is that a large percentage of 'mistakes' are just that—honest mistakes (and can easily be corrected). The fear is that this new requirement is just a tactic to scare away those workers that indeed did use fraudulent documents to get a job here in this country.

I don't think that the TRO will stand. But I do fear discrimination.

MY SOLUTION:

Instead of issuing these 'demand letters', allowing prospective and existing employers "off the hook" from the strong anti-discrimination provisions of the present law, why not put in place a comprehensive system that allows an employer to truly verify each and every worker's right to work? Until that system is in place, leave well enough alone. It should not be up to employers to enforce the law, nor should employees fear their employers! If the IRS or Social Security Administration have clerical or other issues with a card holder, then so be it. Let the two of them deal with it.

I coined a phrase years ago, "The New McCarthyism"; many of you don't remember Joe McCarthy, or don't know who he was. He was a U.S. Senator who made a name for himself by "red baiting", calling anyone he chose to focus on "Communists", everyone fearing that he'd look at them. To avoid the spotlight, people started turning in their friends, not hiring people under suspicion, and the like. He finally attacked the U.S. Army and that was too much. The final nail..."Have you no shame, Senator".

I'm waiting for someone to stand up to what is happening in this country, in this period of "The New McCarthyism", and say "Have you no shame...". Wake up Congress, wake up people...

P

______________________________________
Paul M. Heller, Esq. (Owner/Principal)

New Silicon Valley Office:
Heller Immigration Law Group, LLP
2479 E. Bayshore Rd., Suite 709
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Tel: 1.650.424.1900 x11; Fax: 1.650.276.9099

Email: heller@hilglaw.com; www.hilglaw.com (formerly: greencard1.com)

Heller Blog: blog.hilglaw.com

YM: paulhilg

2 comments:

Le-Gal said...

This is a great analysis of this important issue. The connection to McCarthyism is quite brilliant. I didn't even think of that myself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Le-Gal,

Thanks for your kind words; unfortunately, we don’t have any statesman/women anywhere in this country (that I’ve been able to ‘spot’) to take care of the problem; have you? So it looks like the country will continue to “go downhill”. Hopefully, we’ll wake up one day and realize the world has changed, we are no longer the empire we were, or pretend to be, and maybe we’ll get back in the game.

Our immigration policy will then follow suit (and be intelligible).

Best,

p

_______________________________
Paul M. Heller, Esq. (Owner/Principal)

New Silicon Valley Office:

Heller Immigration Law Group, LLP
2479 E. Bayshore Rd., Suite 709

Palo Alto, CA 94303

Toll-Free: 1.800.863.4448; Fax: 1.415.276.9099; Int’l: 1.650.424-1900

Email: heller@hilglaw.com; www.hilglaw.com (formerly: greencard1.com)

Link to Contact Us Form: http://hilglaw.com/contactus.htm

Heller Blog: blog.hilglaw.com