Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Government to Increase Immigration Enforcement

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Government to Increase Immigration Enforcement

Article excerpt

Reacting to Congress' failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform, the Bush Administration has announced a new crackdown on workplace enforcement, border security and interior enforcement under existing laws that will impact businesses and local governments as employers and federal contractors.

The new regulations will place more responsibility and greater penalties on employers, including local governments, for ensuring that workers have proper immigration papers.

Under the new enforcement program, the federal government will seek new ways to expand state and local enforcement of federal immigration laws (under the 287(g) program) and look for state agencies to share drivers' license database information to help support verification of immigration status.

Administration officials also announced that they will strengthen border security personnel and infrastructure and increase funding to allow for detention of more illegal immigrants.

A key component of the new regulations will include clearer guidance and penalties for ignoring federal "no-match" letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA), which the agency uses to inform employers that there is a problem with Social Security numbers their employees are using.

SSA currently sends out thousands of the letters each year, but has not outlined specific steps employees must take to respond. While the no-match letters may be evidence of illegal status of employees, they also can be mistakes such as misspelled names or wrong numbers. …

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