Enforcement of labor and immigration law is further hamstrung by a byzantine bureaucratic nightmare constructed by Congress in an effort ironically designed to protect privacy. Under current law, the SSA is barred from sharing information in the EFS with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because it contains taxpayer records. Congress has enabled massive invasion of our privacy by encouraging identity theft and not allowing DHS to effectively investigate employers and employees suspected of labor and immigration law infractions. Even though the EFS contains 246 million records of stolen or fraudulent Social Security numbers, in 2004 DHS only initiated 5,400 investigations of employers or workers suspected of breaking labor or immigration laws.
Illegal aliens represent cheap labor for employers and billions of dollars to the government to temporarily prop up the failing Social Security system. Congrtess is not only doing nothing to restructure Social Security, but its wink-and-nod policy toward illegal aliens and their employers encourages massive identity theft and ruined financial standing for millions of Americans.
Common sense solutions exist, but the political will to enact them is missing. First, Congress must allow DHS access to the ESF files. The ESF files would literally provide DHS the roadmap to employers and workers guilty of breaking labor and immigration laws. It’s not just law enforcement, it’s a matter of national security.
Second, Congress must increase and enforce penalties on employers of illegal aliens. Most employers want to obey the law, but the laws have to be enforced.
Third, we must secure our borders. That does not mean sending a few thousand members of the National Guard to assist border patrol agents. We must also secure the most porous areas of the border with whatever means necessary, or legal American citizens will continue to fall prey to massive identity theft.
Illegal aliens present a challenge to national security, and a false sense of temporary security to our failing Social Security system. Failure to fix the problem just makes the problem worse.
That’s not a secret. It’s common sense.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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