Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Bad Plan Reintroduced

The one thing we can always count on is that the Bush administration will respond to judicial slaps on the wrist by doing the same damned thing that merited the slaps in the first place in the hopes that the judiciary has a collective short memory. Today's NY Times published an editorial giving us a prime example of this behavior.

Leave it to the Bush administration to throw thousands of law-abiding American workers and companies off a cliff in perilous economic times.

That would be the effect of its decision to press ahead with a bad idea: to force businesses to fire employees whose names don’t match the Social Security database. The purge is part of a campaign — along with scattershot workplace raids and the partial border fence — to make a show of tackling the broken immigration system.

The plan rests on the assumption that people with Social Security glitches are illegal immigrants using fake identities. Companies that receive “no match” letters warning of database discrepancies are given 90 days to clear them up. After that, they must fire the affected workers or face stiff penalties.
[Emphasis added]

The problem with that assumption is that the Social Security records are rife with errors. Marriage, alternative spellings of the same last name (my family's last name can be spelled several different ways; some actually have vowels), and name changes don't always get through the Social Security Administrations bureaucracy successfully. When that was pointed out to a federal judge, he got it the first time around, but that didn't faze the Bush administration:

A federal judge blocked the plan last year, warning that it would create havoc in the economy and lead to serious due-process violations for victims of clerical errors. The Social Security Administration’s inspector general has estimated that about 17.8 million of the agency’s 435 million records contain errors that could lead to a “no match” letter. Seventy percent of those 17.8 million records belong to native-born Americans.

The Department of Homeland Security responded to the judge’s objections by resubmitting its proposal last week essentially unchanged.
... [Emphasis added]

The editorialist urges the country to make the same stink it did the last time around so that this rank foolishness is once again stopped in its tracks. The problem is, however, that such an action is no doubt exactly what the administration and its party wants: immigration as an election year issue.

As I pointed out last night, the early shots have been fired in California. It looks like the war will be national in scope.

299 days.

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Blogger Mr.Murder said...

McCain saw the amount of political capital on the streets when millions Americans made some immigration statements, decidedly in favor of individual ethnic rights.

Most of his campaign was ahead of such an item as well.

He watches the polls, Obama trends less convincingly with Latino/Hispanic voters. McCain has enough history being an advocate, in the short term, to garner that swing vote's trust. Assuming a lot of the west vote is locked up for Dems with this in mind is a bit foolish.

It would take someone whose identity polls more favorably with this voting target,someone with enough political capital to have been seen favorably in their voting trends.

IMO that was pretty shrewd by John Mc, and in light of the way much of his party mainstays were, pretty bold. Then again, big business wants tiered levels of workforce participation so this is actually a subtle reinforcement of continued ploys at inequity.

Let's take this for the good it can make and move forward. The strongest counterbalance to this policy of deportation is that it tears apart families in the name of family values.

10:16 PM  

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