Immigration Bill Alarms Employers

Businesses call employee verification program an unfair burden
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2007 5:42 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., takes a question at an immigration news conference Friday, May 18, 2007, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The new immigration bill now on the Senate floor puts a massive burden on employers, the Wall Street Journal reports, requiring them to verify the papers of all 146 million workers in the US, and stiffening penalties for violations. "It's like throwing a huge net to catch a few minnows," a Chamber of Commerce VP said.

The bill raises fines for hiring an illegal worker from $250 to $5,000, and makes CEOs responsible for compliance. The measure was also assailed by civil liberties advocates wary that eligibility checks will require workers to produce ID with fingerprints or other biometric data. "The threat this poses to our privacy is extraordinary," said one ACLU spokesman.