Page images
PDF
EPUB

order that the Immigration and Naturalization Service can more effectively enforce the immigration laws by expanding its work force and having available more modern law enforcement technology. Finding 5.3: There are precedents for the development of working agreements to deal with the population flow between the United States and the major source countries for undocumented workers. It is recognized that the negotiation of such agreements must be linked with other outstanding issues between the United States and the source countries, the resolution of which would be to the advantage of all parties. Also, programs of economic cooperation and development can be worked out in such a way that they further develop the resources required to reduce the need for citizens in source countries to seek work in the United States. Recommendation 5.3: The President should seek bilateral or multilateral agreements or compacts with the major source countries for undocumented workers in order to reduce and regulate the population flow between those countries and the United States. Finding 5.4: An employer sanctions law would be an unjustifiable imposition of law enforcement duties upon private persons and corporations, with undesirable consequences not only for the employer but for the due process rights of job applicants. Moreover, increased employment discrimination against United States citizens and legal residents who are racially and culturally identifiable with major immigrant groups could be the unintended result of an employer sanctions law.

If sanctions against the employment of undocumented workers are enacted, unintentional employment discrimination against current or prospective employees by employers, even when they act in good faith, may not be preventable. Bona fide job applicants who are “foreign looking” or “foreign speaking" may be denied employment because employers are unable to make determinations of lawful immigration status. The inability to screen employees properly may result from inadequate employer resources for verification of status, insufficient verification guidelines, or the inability or unwillingness

of employers to interpret or evaluate an individual's immigration status.

Increased enforcement efforts by Federal civil rights agencies have been proposed as a remedy for potential employment discrimination resulting from an employer sanctions law. However, the time, effort, sophistication, and expense typically required of a complainant to pursue an employment discrimination case to a successful conclusion are such that very few cases of discrimination would be redressed. Moreover, after-the-fact remedies are rarely adequate to compensate American citizens and legal residents for the discrimination that prevents them from the full emjoyment of and participation in our democratic society. Recommendation 5.4:Congress should not enact an employer sanctions law. Finding 5.5: The development and implementation of a compulsory national identity card system or a compulsory national work permit system has been proposed as a tool to deal with some of the problems involved in implementing an employer sanctions law.

Studies by government commissions raise serious doubts relative to the possibility of developing a secure, tamperproof national identity card or work permit which would eliminate the market for false documentation, whether forged, lost, or stolen.

An even more fundamental objection, however, is that the availability of such a national identity card would provide a tool that could be used to violate the right to privacy of the individual. Recommendation 5.5:1 Congress should not enact legislation for the development and implementation of a compulsory national identity card or work permit system. Finding 5.6: INS currently conducts a program to verify the immigration status of employees which does not have adequate guidelines to protect current or prospective employees from employment discrimination.

Despite the unresolved national debate over employer sanctions, the INS has instituted a program, known in some areas as “Operation Cooperation” or the “Denver Project,” to dissuade employers from hiring undocumented workers. Participation in this program is not always voluntary. Failure to cooper

Commissioners Stephen Horn and Frankie M. Freeman have dissented from this recommendation. For their comments, “Additional Statement by Vice Chairman Stephen Horn" and "Separate Statement of Commissioner Frankie M. Freeman."

† Commissioners Stephen Horn and Frankie M. Freeman have dissented from this recommendation. For their comments, see “Additional Statement by Vice Chairman Stephen Horn" and "Separate Statement of Commissioner Frankie M. Freeman."

ate in this program can subject a business establishment to a disruptive INS raid or area control operation, which in turn may subject employees to violations of their constitutional rights (for example, see chapter 6 of this report for a discussion of fourth amendment problems in INS area control operations).

More important, “Operation Cooperation” contains no safeguards to protect employees from unfair

employment practices which have been or will be adopted by employers under the program. This leaves the program open to the same types of employment discrimination that might result from an employer sanctions law. Recommendation 5.6:• INS should terminate use of programs such as "Operation Cooperation."

• Commissioners Stephen Horn and Frankie M. Freeman have dissented from this recommendation. For their comments, see “Additional Statement

by Vice Chairman Stephen Horn" and "Separate Statement of Commissioner Frankie M. Freeman."

« PreviousContinue »