The Trump administration has notified more than 500,000 employers that some of their employees’ names do not match their reported Social Security numbers in a new move to crack down on illegal aliens.
The move is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, who in 1986 signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act that put the onus on employers by making the act of knowingly hiring undocumented people a criminal offense.
Since March, the Social Security Administration has mailed out “no-match letters” to more than 570,000 employers, telling them of the mismatched information on their employers.
“The notices do not necessarily require employers to take action, but direct them to take steps to reconcile mismatches, which would require contacting the workers. Undocumented workers who are notified of the letters by their employers often choose to quickly resign, fearing scrutiny from federal immigration authorities. But employers who do nothing could also face enforcement actions,” the New York Times reports.
In 2016, there were nearly 8 million illegal aliens in the U.S. labor force, the Pew Research Center reported. But in 2012, during Barack Obama’s time in the White House, the government officially stopped sending out “no-match letters.”
Trump has been cracking down on illegals in the country as he tries to secure the U.S. border with Mexico. He’s also been hammering China over tariffs as he pushes his “Buy American, Hire American” plan, on which he signed an executive order.
Mark Hinkle, the Social Security Administration’s acting press secretary, told The Times the department is simply enforcing current law.
“Social Security is committed to maintaining the accuracy of earnings records used to determine benefit amounts to ensure people get the benefits they have earned,” he said in an emailed statement to the paper. “If we cannot match the name and SSN reported on a W-2 to our records, we cannot credit earnings to a worker’s record.”
On Thursday, Trump laid out a new immigration plan that would push the United States toward the kind of merit-based system many other nations use to control who comes into their countries.
Under the new proposal, the number of immigrants admitted into the country based on job skills would rise from 12% to 57%. In order to make room for more merit-based immigrants, the percentage of people allowed entry because they have family here would drop from 66% to 33%. In addition, the number allowed in via claims of asylum would also be cut, from 22% to 10%.
The number of legal immigrants, though, would stay the same at about 1.1 million every year.
“The plan calls for elimination of the diversity lottery system, that currently admits about 55,000 people a year from underrepresented countries, and the streamlining of the asylum system. Family unification will prioritize spousal and parental relationships, another long-held Trump priority,” The Washington Examiner reported.
The proposal calls for three high-skilled immigrant categories, recognizing extraordinary talent, professional and specialized vocations, and exceptional students. Applicants in each category would gain points if they achieve certain benchmarks, such as passing U.S. civics and English proficiency tests, a health screen, and a criminal background check.
The points system would also reward offers of employment, youth, and educational and vocational certifications. There additionally would be points awarded for “diversity” to those from countries with historically low rates of immigration, though that qualification alone would not allow for entry.
“We think this is all very pro-immigrant, moving away from the Byzantine bureaucratic system that we have today and instead laying out very clear objectives and metrics as a country. You want to come to the U.S.? Here are the markers you have to hit, and we think they are all pretty attainable,” one official told reporters.
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