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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DHS GOES TO WAR WITH STATE OF ILLINOIS OVER BASIC PILOT PROGRAM

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Ooh, this is getting good. Yesterday I reported how the Small Business Administration has gone on the offensive against DHS for breaking the law in the way it released the new "no match" rule. No response yet from DHS.



Today, DHS takes on the State of Illinois over a law the state passed BARRING employers from using the beleaguered Basic Pilot program until DHS has the number of "false positives" where US citizens and permanent residents are incorrectly identified as not being work authorized down to less than 1%. 



While I'm sympathetic with Illinois on the facts, as a matter of law, I'm actually siding with DHS. I believe the Illinois law is unconstitutional because it preempts a federal immigration law and under the Constitution, that authority is reserved for Congress. Funny thing is that the anti-immigrants would be smart to side with Illinois on this one because if Illinois loses, state and local laws around the country seeking to enforce immigration laws will be in even greater trouble.

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Comments

  1. USC's Avatar
    "BARRING employers from using the beleaguered Basic Pilot program until DHS has the number of "false positives" where US citizens and permanent residents are incorrectly identified as not being work authorized down to less than 1%."

    First some numbers:

    (a) Population of the US, give or take, 300 Million
    (b) Assume 50% not in job market, too old or too young
    (c) Potential residents who might be in job market, 150 Million
    (d) 1% of that is 1.5 Million
    (e) I don't know what the national average is for revenue per employee but lets say $150,000 http://www.softwaremag.com/2003-12-rev-per-employee.htm
    (f) 2 months to resolve mismatch
    (g) Loss to GDP approx $37.5 Billion

    Now, it is apparent that the database in nowhere near 99% accurate for if it were the US would certify it and the Illinois lawsuit would be moot.

    On a another level, employers are entitled to assume that the Federal Government is not asleep at the switch and that persons within the US are entitled to work. So, if a person comes in and applies for a job and presents a Social Security number that is all that should be required (which was the case before 1986). When, the IRS gets the W2 data they should be able to go after those who don't have a valid Social Security number. At that point they have an address. Send an agent to the employees house and if he is working illegally file criminal charges against him. Let's leave the employers out of this. They are not here to do INS' enforcement for them. Perhaps, if INS stopped persecuting Musicians & War Widows they would have more times for adjudication and enforcement!
  2. TX's Avatar
    Excellent comment USC.
  3. hmm's Avatar
    1. Isn't US population 400 millions now?
    2. So if an immigrant does not file tax return or moved since then, there is no way to get him? ICE is right that it is much more efficient to arrest people at work where they spend most of the day.
    3. Not sure how US citizens/green card holders could be harmed. They just bring their birth certificate (green card, passport) next morning, and forget the whole thing. Are we trying to defend those poor souls who lost their birth certificates? Well, they should get one.

  4. USC's Avatar
    "1. Isn't US population 400 millions now?"

    No!

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

    "2. So if an immigrant does not file tax return or moved since then"

    Doesn't matter. the employer files several returns to report witholding information on all employees.

    941, 940, W2 & W3 to the Federal Government.

    In addition this information is all furnished to the States.

    "3. Not sure how US citizens/green card holders could be harmed. They just bring their birth certificate (green card, passport) next morning, and forget the whole thing."

    That's not the way things work, if the SSA were to issue a no match letter. read up on the proposed reg.

  5. hmm's Avatar
    BTW, my employer is very strict about immigrations paperwork. Can we all skip this crap? Just imagine how much money would be saved across the country? Huge gain to GDP? On the other hand many immigration attorneys would report losses, and the immigration expert at my job would likely get fired. So is this really a good idea?
  6. Middle Ground's Avatar
    I always side with the law. Even if I don't agree with it. Bad laws can be fixed through the democratic process.
  7. USC's Avatar
    MG:

    BTW, Did you see the link I posted to the NY Times story about Infosys recriting and training Americans? Any comments?

    N.B. The link is under the SBA blog
  8. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "BTW, Did you see the link I posted to the NY Times story about Infosys recriting and training Americans? Any comments?"

    Yes. So is Wipro. The reason is because they are unable to import labor because of the tight H-1b cap. So the lower cap is creating American jobs. It is also increasing the cost of offshoring. Great news for us.

    They are also hiring and training people from 2 year colleges in programming. I never thought I would say this, but I commend them for it. I wrote a letter to the editor of InformationWeek Magazine which was published and commended Wipro publicly.

    American companies could learn alot from Wipro. They claim they can't find qualified workers. Train them out of college - now there's a concept.
  9. Alex's Avatar
    Weak dollar is major contributor to the increase in the cost of the offshoring. $1 buys today's less than 2/3 of what it bought 5 years ago. Which means you need to increase the payout by 50% + rate of inflation to maintain the same level of compensation.
    Sooner or later everyone will have to up the price to compensate for the higher cost of inputs.
  10. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "Sooner or later everyone will have to up the price to compensate for the higher cost of inputs. "

    There are windows of opportunity in offshoring. From a purely economical perspective, I no longer see an advantage in offshoring IT projects if the only reason is cost. Fortunately for India, they now have some strong technology companies.

    I've worked with offshore projects and the communications are always delayed by one working day. Communication was probably the greatest contributer to problems.

    I am looking to offshore lead generation. The way I see it that is win win - instead of sales/marketing people in the US creating jobs abroad, we'll have people abroad creating jobs here. I hope to find a savings in another area to lower the overall cost of providing development services.

    Of course, there are still the langugage barriers so the concept is still a work in progress.
  11. Athan's Avatar
    http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/sep/26it.htm
  12. Middle Ground's Avatar
    "However, a study done by Macquire Research Equities lays bare his argument. "We believe that despite wage inflation and the rupee appreciation, India will sustain its competitive position in the long term. Indian offshore services should still provide a 70 per cent cost reduction to the US corporations in 2015," the study says. "

    Macquire is out to lunch. I don't see a 70% reduction NOW. In fact, it is getting to the point where the reduction could be less than 10%.

    If your only measure is salary, then fine. But if you measure total costs - no way.

    "Indian IT firms have been announcing incremental increase in billing rates for quite some time now to counter wage hikes and rising visa costs, to name a few. "

    So the high H-1b/L1 fees are having an impact. Great!
  13. Shane's Avatar
    We have to obey the laws written in the constitution. Because nobody is greater than the law. The political parties make use of public to fulfill their interests. We should consider on the constitution what it says.
    Shane
    Illinois Treatment Centers
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