OK takes on Illegal Immigration

The Govenor of Oklahoma signed a sweeping immigration bill.

One of the bill’s highlights (for me, anyway) is the focus on id verification – House sends sweeping immigration reform bill to governor’s desk:

The measure targets employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens in order to gain a competitive advantage. Key elements of the bill focus on determining worker eligibility, including technology called the Basic Pilot program, which screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with the person’s name.

Created by the federal government to verify the eligibility of government employees, use of the program is mandated in Georgia, said the author of the Oklahoma legislation, Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore. It is free to employers who voluntarily sign up, he said.

Public agencies will be required to use the program beginning Nov. 1 and private companies by July 1, 2008.

Mike Seney, senior vice president of operations for The State Chamber, a business and industry group in Oklahoma City, said the group initially opposed the bill but took a neutral position after changes were approved in the Senate

The measure would not affect emergency medical and humanitarian services, such as visits to hospital emergency rooms and enrollment in public schools, that are required by federal law.

Ultimately, this part of the bill goes way beyond illegal immigration. It will be likely asset in identifying and interdicting ID theft and ID fraud. While this may prevent businesses from ‘playing dumb’ when realistically knowingly hiring illegal immigrants it will also make it tougher for those who want to hide their true identity (be they a fugitive, deadbeat parent, or common criminal). The move will also afford an new layer of protection for the highly favored child identities as well as adult IDs. This year, the Utah legislature and some influential business interests just couldn’t quite stomach a similar move on ID theft.

Finally, I recently wondered if the three illegal immigrant Fort Dix Jihadis used fake SSNs to obtain work. It seems much more likely that they did (from a FoxNews Report):

The brothers entered the United States near Brownsville, Texas, in 1984, the source said, which would put their ages at 1 to 6 when they crossed the border.

The source said there is no record of them entering by way of a regular border crossing, so they are investigating whether they were smuggled into the country.

The appear to have entered a long time ago.  Hopefully, no terrorists have entered via the southern (or northern) border.   I’m sure violent criminals have (MS13, is an example).  ID verification would make it harder for them to attain employment and blend in – essentially another tool in catching them if they make it into the country.

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