U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat who will lead the effort to write the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill, has called the worker ID card the best way to ensure U.S. workers are in the country legally and therefore stop the flow of illegal immigration.
"The ID will make it easy for employers to avoid undocumented workers, which will allow for tough sanctions against employers who break the law, which will lead to no jobs being available for illegal immigrants, which will stop illegal immigration," Schumer wrote in his 2007 book, "Positively American."
The Los Angeles Times reports that Schumer will present the worker ID card idea at a hearing this summer on employee verification systems.
Schumer writes that the ID card will make it easy for employers to avoid undocumented workers and allow tough sanctions against employers who break the law.
While some support his idea, it has raised concerns of “big brother” intrusion among some activists like the American Civil Liberties Union.
"The bottom line is that this would be really expensive, really invasive and people will hate it," Chris Calabrese, counsel for the ACLU's technology and liberty project, told the newspaper.
Others say it would be impossible to ensure millions of employers remain in compliance.
"At the end of the day, if we're going to achieve legalization of a major share of the undocumented, we realize there will have to be some give and take over worker verification," Mike Garcia, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1877 in Los Angeles said. "We're not against it necessarily if all of the other pieces of immigration reform fall into place."
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