Basic Pilot has problems--it catches illegal workers using fake Social Security numbers, but not necessarily illegal workers who've falsely adopted the identity of real people with real Social Security numbers. Swift meatpacking company participates in Basic Pilot, yet when federal authorities raided Swift plants last year about 10 percent of the work force was arrested on immigration violations.
But all employee-verification schemes seem to have holes in them--even a "biometric" national I.D. wouldn't necessarily stop someone from falsely obtaining a biometric card by claiming they were someone else (and producing fake papers to that effect). You would think a) Basic Pilot at least raises the cost of falsely applying for work, thereby discouraging it and weakening the "jobs magnet" for illegals; and b) if enough illegal job applicants had to resort to identity theft, it would impact so many people that mechanisms would be created to inhibit it. (Why not routinely contact people whose Social Security number might have been stolen, as flagged by a computer the same way a computer flags possible phony credit card purchses--for example, because two people are using the same number, or because it's being used in what looks like the wrong city, etc.?) Requiring the Basic Pilot system for all new hires seems a reasonable--and bipartisan--place to start. ... .
P.S.: I don't know enough about Beck to know whether his email, in an attempt to rev up his troops, exaggerates the prospects for passing a Basic Pilot mandate. I do know his organization was highly effective in this year's immgration debate. Robert Pear says so. ...
P.P.S.: Note the sneering quote about Beck from pro-comprehensive lobbyist Frank Sharry, whose clock Beck cleaned:
"Roy Beck takes people who are upset about illegal immigration for different reasons, including hostility to Latino immigrants, and disciplines them so their message is based on policy rather than race-based arguments or xenophobia."
Translation: 'My opponents are bigots.' That tactic worked so well against welfare reform. And against Ward Connerly's anti-race-preference initiatives. I urge Sharry to stick with it. ... [via Krikorian]. 2:29 A.M.
Limits of Judicial Government, Part XVIII: Since the L.A. Police Department has been operating under a "consent decree" requiring investigation of offical use of force, the number of shootings by the cops has perversely gone up, says Robert C.J. Parry in the L.A. Daily News. Parry's explanation--that veteran, experienced officers have fled the department, leaving nervous rookies--seems plausible, but isn't exactly nailed down. ... [via Mayor Sam] 1:46 A.M.
Note to Arianna: Does McCain's support of the Iraq war really account for his "cratering" ranking among Republican primary voters? May I suggest that another "I" issue played a more significant role. ... 12:43 A.M.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Army of Farinas: I wouldn't claim that the political ads made by unofficial lone amateur YouTube propagandists are better than the ads made by professionals.** But unofficial designs for the rumored Ferrari Dino from lone, amateur auto stylists--one Turkish, one Portuguese--are almost certainly better than any design Ferrari will actually produce, judging from its recent products. ... [via Autoblog ]
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.