How would creating an i.d. card for foreign workers prevent illegals, using forged documents, from posing as U.S. citizens? Why should employers require someone who seems to be a citizen to show a "foreign worker" card? (Presumably the idea isn't that employers will doubt the U.S. citizenship of any job applicant who looks "foreign.")[Are Conservatives Cheap Dates? Item 2, by Mickey Kaus, Slated May 21, 2006]My first question is "Why the hell not?" Cops checking for truancy pick on teenagers in the middle of the day. Cops checking for drunk drivers focus on those who weave and stagger. Liquor store clerks card young-looking people. And have you tried to cash a check lately? They not only want to know who you are, but your phone number and credit rating.
Why shouldn't an employer who's not allowed to hire illegals focus on foreign appearance or accent? (Peter Brimelow has a foreign accent—he has no objections to being asked if he's a citizen. Michelle Malkin actually thanked a guard at the NSA for having the courage to to ask her if she was a citizen.)
Unfortunately, I already know the answer: because employers who do check for illegals are persecuted much more than those who hire illegals. Marcus Epstein wrote about this on Vdare.com in 2003, there's a bureaucracy called The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices [OSC], which bans, among other things,
Document abuse discrimination—you can't ask for "more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility" or "reject reasonably genuine-looking documents" etc.So Bruce Friedman, head counsel for the OSC told Marcus Epstein's law class that the OSC had pursued an employer who
a firm from Texas that scrutinized a Mexican-American for his identification papers (which ended up being legitimate), while they accepted a white Texan's unusual looking social security card. The OSC successfully sued the company for document abuse fraud.[Indiscriminate Anti-Discrimination Enforcement: Why Is It Illegal To Check For Illegals?, By Marcus Epstein, September 19, 2003]This, remember, in contrast to the extremely low priority given to workplace enforcement:
Turning to worksite enforcement, this has been a low priority under both INS and ICE. In fiscal year 1999, INS devoted about 240 FTEs, [Full-time equivalents, or man-years] or about 9 percent of its total agent work-years, to address the employment of millions of unauthorized workers. In fiscal year 2003, it devoted about 90 FTE's or about 4 percent of total agent work-years. That many people would not fill the chairs behind me in this hearing room.[Testimony of Richard M. Stana, June 21, 2005(PDF)]