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Thursday, September 27, 2007

DHS Lawsuit Against Illinois Sends Clear Message

I received this email from FAIR. Checked the news and it was also carried by several other sources.

DHS Lawsuit Against Illinois Sends Clear Message to Local Governments to Quit Interfering in Immigration Enforcement

FAIR Applauds Administration for Decisive Step to Stop Employment of Illegal Aliens

Washington DC - The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) today applauded the decision by the Department of Homeland Security for filing suit against the State of Illinois and its attempt to thwart enforcement of federal immigration laws. A state law, approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, would bar employers in Illinois from using a federal database to verify the work eligibility of prospective employees. In recent years, Illinois has repeatedly instituted policies aimed at shielding illegal aliens.

Responding to overwhelming public sentiment in favor of enforcement of immigration laws, especially in the workplace, the Bush Administration has begun notifying employers when workers' Social Security numbers do not match information in the government's database. In an effort to assist employers who wish to comply with laws against hiring illegal aliens, the federal government has been encouraging them to utilize a database that allows them to verify Social Security numbers.

"Easy access to jobs in this country has long been the magnet that has drawn millions of illegal aliens here. As much, or perhaps even more, than securing the borders, preventing illegal aliens from finding jobs is the key to reversing mass illegal immigration," noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "In taking steps to bar employers from using the Social Security Administration's database to verify work eligibility until that database is virtually error free, is nothing more than a blatant attempt by state officials to further undermine immigration law enforcement. Perfection does not exist in this world, and we cannot expect it to be the standard for employment verification."

The policy that Illinois is attempting to thwart includes generous provisions to allow individuals to correct errors in the database that might be found during the verification process. "The state's effort is not about preventing errors, it is a politically motivated effort to prevent employers from identifying illegal aliens and complying with federal law," charged Stein. "The suit by DHS to block implementation of state's transparent effort to impede immigration enforcement in the workplace is the appropriate response to Illinois officials and a signal to other local governments that the federal government is serious about cracking down on businesses that hire illegal aliens."

The federal suit also addresses serious constitutional issues by asserting the federal government's right to enforce immigration laws everywhere in the country, even in jurisdictions that have made themselves de facto or formal sanctuaries for illegal aliens. "No state or local government can be permitted to stand in the way of the federal government's unassailable right to carry out immigration enforcement. Federal law allows local governments to assist in immigration enforcement, but there is no opt-out provision that allows them to prevent immigration laws from being enforced.

Employers in Illinois must be permitted to comply with the same laws as employers in the other 49 states," concluded Stein.
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