« PreviousContinue »
have described as a "secure" or "counterfeit-proof" social security card. I agree with that criticism. If we are to deal with reality, and not find ourselves still discussing this matter a decade from now while millions of American citizens continue to be denied job opportunities, then the establishment of such a secure and counterfeit-proof social security card for any who wish to be employed must be a first order of business on the national legislative agenda.
⚫ Gerda Bikales, program associate for Population/Immigration, National Parks & Conservation Association, has made an effective case for such a card in "The Case for a Secure Social Security Card" (September 1978), 18 pp., available from National Parks & Conservation Association, 1701 18th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20009. She notes that, "The Social Security card and the driver's license enjoy primary credibility as general purpose identification. . . ." (p. 9) "Forty-four States now affix a photograph of the driver on the license adding to the security of the document. .."(p. 10) Observing that 41 State jurisdictions now issue "impressive and official looking identification cards to non-drivers," Bikales adds that, "The dreaded I.D. has been brought in through the back door, by popular request!" (p. 11) She observes that "it is almost inconceivable how anyone could be damaged by revealing [bona fide legal residency in the United States]; on the contrary, it is universally acknowledged to be a highly advantageous quality, one that many millions all over the world are desperately trying to take on as their own." (p. 14) She favors "an upgraded Social Security card" as "the least drastic alternative” (p. 14) and recalls that in July 1973, the Report [Records, Computers and the Rights
With this exception, I have supported the recommendations for due process which we have made in the attached report-although at times I have felt that some of our proposals, if enacted, should be best described as "the Immigration Attorneys Relief Act of 1980."
of Citizens] of the [HEW] Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automatic Personal Data Systems "provide further assurance that Social Security numbers were legislatively intended by the Congress 'to be available for use in preventing aliens from working illegally and public assistance beneficiaries from receiving duplicate or excessive payments'." Ibid., p. 121. Another strong advocate of "an identification system which would apply to all workers" is Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall. He believes that "a noncounterfeitable Social Security card could be issued to all workers changing jobs and to all newly hired persons, and that could be done for under $200 million. . . ." Harry Bernstein, "Illegal Aliens Cost U.S. Jobs-Marshall," an interview with Secretary of Labor F. Ray Marshall, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 2, 1979, p. I-1. Considering that The United States Budget in Brief-Fiscal Year 1981 indicates (p. 52) that “unemployment recipients are estimated to average 2.9 million per week in 1980 and 3.4 million per week in 1981" with outlays for unemployment compensation estimated to increase $3.2 billion “from $15.6 billion in 1980 to $18.8 billion in 1981," a $200 million investment to open up perhaps millions of jobs for citizens and permanent residents is a very cheap investment indeed.
Separate Statement of Commissioner Frankie M. Freeman in Opposition To Majority Vote Against Employer Sanctions
The recommendations against employer sanctions contained in chapter 5 and approved by a majority of the Commission are unfortunate in that they are fashioned on false premises and totally ignore certain fundamental facts.
The first is a simple one. The United States of America is a sovereign nation and has the right and the responsibility to determine who may enter the country and the conditions under which they may enter. Numerous studies have shown that the primary reason people enter the country illegally is economic-the lack of jobs and opportunities in their native lands "push" them out and the availability of both jobs and opportunities in the United States "pull" them into this country. These "push-pull" factors leave the government with the choices of: (1) ignoring the situation, (2) increasing the number of Border Patrol agents in order to fully interdict unlawful immigration, or (3) reducing the "pushpull" factors. The first is irresponsible and untenable. The second is costly and virtually impossible; it would take an army to attempt to seal the southern border alone and it is far from clear that it could be accomplished. Experts in the field tend to believe that the only viable approach is to reduce the pull factor by making it more difficult for persons entering illegally to secure employment. This would be accomplished by imposing sanctions on employers who knowingly employ undocumented aliens. This is not an outrageous or unusual approach. The vast majority of Western nations impose controls on foreign workers. This is the standard practice
throughout Western Europe and, incidentally, in Mexico.
A majority of the Commissioners in Recommendation 5.4 would oppose statutory sanctions against employers who hire undocumented aliens on the grounds that such a law would lead to employment discrimination against Americans or resident aliens who might be mistaken for undocumented aliens. In following this approach the majority would ignore the fact that employers who knowingly hire undocumented aliens do so not out of compassion for the oppressed, but out of simple greed. The majority would ignore the fact that their exploitation is made possible because the fear of detection and deportation prohibits undocumented aliens from protesting unsafe working conditions or wages below the minimum required by Federal law. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of the majority's opinion is it ignores the reality that undocumented aliens tend to be concentrated in the lowest paying jobs and displace American racial and ethnic minorities who traditionally have been employed in those fields, Hispanic and black Americans.
In 1977 the Carter administration reviewed the issue of how to structure an employer sanction program so as to guard against discrimination. This issue is again being studied by the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy. In my view, identification mechanisms can be developed which will minimize or effectively prevent discrimination against persons legally here. In my view, it is premature for the Commission to oppose employer sanctions on this ground without a thorough analysis
of the forthcoming recommendations of the Select Commission.
While the plight of the oppressed throughout the world is central to the principles of any supporter of civil and human rights, it does not follow at all that the plight of the poor and oppressed of our own
country should be ignored by the one agency that has traditionally championed their cause. From this I dissent.
Frankie M. Freeman
Recommendation 2.1 calls for elimination of the per-country and dependent territory numerical limitations. Under that recommendation, all visas would be issued on a first-come, first-served basis within the existing six category preference system, and the number of visas available in any single year would be the current annual worldwide ceiling of 270,000. Unused visa numbers in any of the preference categories for relatives of American citizens and permanent resident aliens would continue to be available to the next relative preference category to assist in the reunification of families, the primary purpose of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This immigrant selection system is described in chart A1.
To exemplify how this system would operate, charts A2-A3 have been constructed from the Department of State's list of "Active Immigrant Visa Applicants Registered at Consular Offices as of January 1, 1979," and its February 1979 Visa Bulletin. The Commission emphasizes that the statistics and figures in the following charts are imperfect reflections of current backlogs of visa applicants because some persons represented in these charts received a visa in calendar years 1979 and 1980 and because some applicants awaiting visas may no longer wish to immigrate to this country. They are used here only to illustrate the operation of an immigrant selection system without per-country and dependent territory numerical limitations (under Recommendation 2.1 of this report) and, further, to
1 The charts included in this appendix were originally based on the seven category preference system which existed prior to 1980. In March 1980, the enactment of the Refugee Act altered the immigrant selection system by eliminating the seventh preference category of conditional entrants and establishing a separate worldwide ceiling for refugees. It also reduced the annual worldwide ceiling for the remaining six preference categories from 290,000 to 270,000, while increasing the number of second preference visas available each year from 20 percent to 26 percent. Refugee Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-212 (to be codified in scattered sections of 8 U.S.C.).
show how the apparent backlog of visa applicants would affect that system in its first few years of operation.
In constructing these charts, the following assumptions were made:
1. An assumption was made that all persons represented on the "Active Immigrant Visa Applicants" list did in fact wish to immigrate to the United States.
2. Countries or dependent territories whose visa applications were not current (according to the February 1979 Visa Bulletin) were matched to the totals for visa applications on file for that country or dependent territory (as listed in "Active Immigrant Visa Applicants Registered at Consular Offices as of January 1, 1979”).
The total visa applications on file were divided by the number of years over which the visa applications have accumulated.
Thus, an assumption was made that the annual demand for visas from that particular country or dependent territory was approximately the same in each year.
3. In dividing the visa numbers in a particular year, the further assumption was made that visa applications were also proportionately equal in any single month of that year; i.e., one-twelfth of the approximate average annual visa demand for a specific country or dependent territory would constitute the number of visa applicants in a 1-month period for that country or dependent territory.
As a result of this recent amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the charts accompanying this appendix have been altered to reflect how the new six category preference system, without per-country and dependent territory limitations, would eliminate the backlog of visa applicants noted in the Department of State Visa Bulletin of February 1979 and list of "Active Immigrant Visa Applicants Registered at Consular Offices as of January 1, 1979."
*The annual worldwide ceiling would be 270,000, the same ceiling which exists under current law. Likewise, the Commission suggests no change in the preference catagories, the percentages allocated to each preference category, or the system by which unused visas in one preference category are carried over to the next relative preference category.
Source: 8 U.S.C. §1153 (a) (1)-(6) (Supp. 1979), as amended by the Refugee Act of 1980, Public Law No. 96-212 (to be codified in scattered sections of 8 U.S.C.).