Maybe there is something to the Local oriented Examiner. Twice now, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune has published articles mirroring stories that I have published. The Star and Tribune “follow-ups” occurred much later than my original stories.
Now surely, I jest, but I believe we at the Examiner have found our way. On today’s front page, (01-23-11) a lead story about a shift in ICE tactics tells only half the story. It does not ask the most fundamental question: What happened to all the taxes collected from these “bogus” social security cards.
Fox Cable News at noon yesterday did a piece where their field reported quoted the laments of hotels and other employers that they could not afford to hire “legal” workers because the cost of adding them to the payroll was prohibitive. Of course, the anchor in the most serious tone concurred with, “That’s an issue we hear more and more these days.” Well, I say if you can’t hire workers legally, you don’t have a legitimate business model and you should fail. Isn’t that the “capitalist” way?
For a better look at the issue, revisit my story published by the Examiner in June of last year. In addition, we at the Examiner want to thank the Star and Tribune for its continued support in validating our product.
Compliance with Employment Eligibility Documentation
As America deals with the gnawing illegal immigration issue perhaps it would help if the public understood current INS laws governing employer hiring practices. All workers and all employers are required to document U.S. employment eligibility through the INS I-9 employment process.
This is a three part form that requires all employees to provide original documents (current passport-birth certificates-green cards etc…) verifying employment eligibility and also requires all employers to review said documents for authenticity.
In addition to the I-9 process all employees must present a valid U.S. Social Security card.
Failure to comply with these current laws presents the employer and employee with significant legal issues.
The problem with the process is enforcement and verification.
As a retire executive in manufacturing I can attest to the problem. We use to require a driver’s license (with photo) or a state ID card coupled with the Social Security Card. What we discovered was that the Social Security Administration had no controls over their “cards”.
Every week we would collect and report to the IRS payroll and social security taxes for each employee and of course once a year we’d create a W-2 and submit it to the government.
We were totally stunned when the INS informed us that several of our employees were undocumented workers, stunned because they had been in our employ for over ten years.
How could it have taken a decade to figure out that the payroll taxes and social security taxes collected every week were being applied to a “bogus account”?
And then an even bigger question arises, what happened to the money? These “non-documented employees” certainly didn’t file for income tax returns and hardly looked forward to their social security retirement benefits. And yet, this “revenue” was collected from millions of “illegal workers” with no tax liability applied or social security benefits paid.
Nice gig if you can get it.
An entire new “industry” has emerged over the past decade as the employment verification requirements and procedures have pushed HR departments to implement even more exacting requirements. Many companies now out-source these functions to companies conversant in the regulations and the legalities of these processes.
It may seem too simple, but fix the Social Security Card/Number problem and you just might reduce illegal immigration. If you can’t get a job here how many people would be inclined to leave their homes, family, churches and culture.
Enforcement of our current laws regulating employment would dry up the “employment opportunities” and lead many to return home. Oh sure we could create a “police state” and “round up all the illegals” but how much would that cost both in our dollars and our dignity. And really just how viable would such an approach be?
Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps the nagging unemployment rolls could be reduced if we hired enough people to enforce and monitor employment laws and to validate our Social Security System.