According to the
Congressional Quarterly’s mid-day report of Dec. 15, the top candidate for
homeland security chief, Asa Hutchinson, wants a system set up to keep close
tabs on temporary foreign workers. Hutchinson is currently Undersecretary for
Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security.
“As President Bush
prepares to renew a push for a guest-worker program, Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge is recommending that Congress order the department to vet the names
of temporary foreign workers against federal records,” reported Congressional
Congress could set up a mandatory vetting, or evaluation, process modeled on a
voluntary pilot program created in 1996 to help companies avoid hiring illegal
immigrants. Under that program, employers can log on to a secure government Web
site to screen all new hires – citizens and non-citizens – by checking names, addresses,
Social Security numbers and other data against federal records. According to
CQ, participation is voluntary.
“The program allows
employers who want to follow the rules to be able to do so. It does not do
anything for those people who do not care to play by the rules right now,” a
DHS spokesman told CQ.