Donuts To The Rescue

1 06 2006

A small but growing number of small businesses and franchises are using a voluntary federal program that checks new employees’ legal work status against government databases. Participation in the program, known as Basic Pilot, signals that the debate over how to prevent the widespread hiring of illegal immigrants is spreading to small businesses.

Tougher immigration laws on employers? How about someone stepping to the plate to set an example.

Ok. How about Dunkin Donuts?

On May 30, Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin Donuts, announced that it would require all 5,000 of its franchisees to participate in the Basic Pilot verification program starting June 1.

Both the controversial immigration-enforcement bill passed by the House in December and the bill passed by the Senate on May 25 call for mandatory implementation of an employment-verification system similar in theory to Basic Pilot.

But some employers aren’t waiting for the proposed new system (which would require all U.S. employers to submit job applicants’ Social Security numbers or another ID to a new federal verification system and face stiff fines for violations) because it could take at least two years to go into effect. Gerri Ratliff, chief of the verification division for U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), says Dunkin’ Brands isn’t alone — roughly 200 new companies — both small and large businesses — are signing up for the free program every month. Over 6,200 U.S. employers have joined so far.

That’s 6,200 out of 8 million employers nationwide. More need to get with the program.

The funny part? The ACLU is against it:

The American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) recommends opposition to legislative proposals to establish a nationwide, electronic, employee work-eligibility verification system that requires any worker to obtain government pre-clearance to start a new job. Building such a system will cost the nation far more – in dollars, lost privacy and increased discrimination against lawful workers – than it will achieve in controlling undocumented immigrants. And this kind of system would, for the first time in American history, give the government the power to deny any willing worker, citizen or not, the ability to obtain a job. No willing worker should be forced to obtain the Department of Homeland Security’s permission to work, especially when that system will cause millions of work-eligible American citizens and lawful residents to be wrongly delayed or prevented from working and earning a living.

Let’s find the holes in this lunacy because it must be profiling to actually enforce some laws:

  1. It’s voluntary. For now. These companies are volunarily signing up because they want to the right thing for their businesses and the country they work in.
  2. Dollars: No way. Privacy: only if you have something to hide. Discrimination: try enforcment.
  3. Willing worker: don’t remember seeing that on any application I’ve seen.

Michelle Malkin will be buying a dozen today. We all should. See the latest Vent at Hot Air too.

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