Meet Four Illinois Lawmakers Who Will Never Be Astronauts
May 07, 2007, 07:34 PM
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While the Illinois media are busy running their daily dose of sob stories about "paperless migrants," four foolish "lawmakers" were trying to - are you ready for this? - make it illegal for the state's employers to comply with federal law prohibiting the hiring of illegal aliens. In the words of the late comedian, Steve Allen, "I kid you not." The Foolish Four who pose a very serious challenge to the "intelligent design" hypothesis are: State Reps. Cynthia Soto, Richard T. Bradley, Monique D. Davis and Senate sponsor Iris Y. Martinez. That's right, you employers in the Land of Lincoln. The Foolish Four were all geared up to put you in the federal doghouse just so their illegal amigos could operate even more freely in Illinois. Forget about participating in any form of workplace verification, including the Basic Pilot Program now in operation in all 50 states on a voluntary basis. At the moment, fortunately, it appears that both bills have been neutralized by amendments that undo the craziness initiated by their sponsors. Here's a summary of the bills' language:

HB 1743

Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act. Provides that it is a civil rights violation for an employer, based on the receipt of information from the Social Security Administration or from any other government agency that an employee's name and Social Security number do not correspond, to require that employee to reverify work authorization documents, to inquire as to that employee's work authorization, or to otherwise take any adverse action against that employee, unless the Attorney General of the United States issues final regulations to the contrary. Provides that it is also a civil rights violation for any employer, any agent of any employer, any employment agency, or any other entity to use the Basic Pilot program for Employment Eligibility Confirmation to conduct certain employment verification or reverification or to take certain adverse actions against the employee.

House Amendment No. 1 Deletes the changes made in the bill. Provides that it is a civil rights violation for an employer participating in the Basic Pilot Program for employment eligibility confirmation to refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment without following the procedures under the Basic Pilot Program.

HB1744

Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. Provides that employers are prohibited from enrolling in any Employment Eligibility Verification System, including the Basic Pilot program, as authorized by federal law, until the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases are able to make a determination on 99% of the tentative nonconfirmation notices issued to employers within 3 days, unless otherwise required by federal law. Provides that an employer who enrolls in the Basic Pilot program is prohibited from the Employment Eligibility Verification Systems, to confirm the employment authorization of new hires unless the employer attests, under penalty of perjury, on a form prescribed by the Department of Labor, to certain specified information. Preempts the exercise of home rule powers. Provides that the Department of Human Rights shall establish a statewide advisory council to study the effects of Employment Eligibility Verification Systems, including the Basic Pilot program, on employers and employees in Illinois. Provides that the advisory council shall, 18 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act, submit a report to the Department of Human Rights and the Department of Labor.

House Amendment No. 1

Deletes provision that states that it shall be unlawful for any employer to collect and maintain data that is not required by the Basic Pilot Program. Deletes provisions creating the statewide advisory council to study the effects of Employment Eligibility Verification Systems.

"Honest Abe" must be bouncing off the walls of his tomb.