The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer. He gets the award for the following.
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge has blocked a proposed rule requiring employers to fire workers whose names don't match their Social Security numbers, dealing a major blow to the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.The law's intent was to counter employment of illegal aliens. Regular readers of this blog know I don't automatically portray immigration violators as bogey men, scum, etc.(There are serious criminals among these people I will be the first to admit. But is it any more so than other parts of our society?) These people came here for economic reasons and I feel as long as the present economic situation south of border remains unchanged,(Another thing I'll point out is there are employers who will hire these people. Unemployment right now is at a low 4.7%. Many economists consider 4.5% Full employment. Call all of this supply and demand if you want.) people will still try entering this country illegally. Walls may slow them down but not stop it, simplistic ideas like eliminating birthright citizenship is going to create nightmares for citizens and legal residents without stopping the flow.
Under the rule, businesses with employees whose names and Social Security numbers didn't match would have three months to correct the mistakes or fire the employees. If not, they could face government prosecution.
Businesses had argued that enforcing the rule would be expensive and expose them to legal action either from the government, if they didn't comply, or from any employees fired unfairly because of a mistake not corrected in time.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer's temporary injunction, issued Wednesday, stopped the Department of Homeland Security proposal from going into effect, at least temporarily.
Breyer said the proposal would likely impose hardships on businesses and their workers. Employers would incur new costs to comply with the regulation that the government hasn't evaluated, and innocent workers unable to correct mistakes in their records in time would lose their jobs, the judge wrote.
Back to Judge Breyer's decision. Captain Ed writes-
So let's get this straight. Employers have a requirement to get Social Security information so that they can verify employment eligibility. When they attempt to verify the employee and the Social Security administration determines that the number is invalid, what is the government going to do? Ignore it, even though it's really identity fraud?It has been reported that identity fraud and illegal immigrants seeking working are connected. The government, by matching the social security numbers is among its other uses, is attempting to crack down on this form of lawbreaking. Identity fraud costs billions every year, so the law serves a purpose.
If the government insists on setting up SSNs as employment requirements, then the government has to protect the integrity of their use. If someone steals my SSN in order to defraud an employer, they will eventually use it to establish credit and damage my economic standing. At the least, it renders the entire system suspect. The government has a legal obligation to protect people that they force into this database.
Plus there are laws on the books requiring employers to get proof when hiring that those applying for work are indeed eligible to work in the United States. Judge Breyer is either ignoring this or deeming other laws invalid also.
While I think this dispute is going to end up in the USSC eventually, I still feel U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer's decision is wrong and why I make him today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Others blogging on Judge Breyer's decision- Jim at Wizbang, Bullwinkle, Michelle Malkin, Stop the ACLU,
Linked to- Big Dog, Bright & Early, Cao, High Desert Wanderer, Leaning Straight Up, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl,