SC State Legislature Sending the Wrong Message?

May 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Opinion

All of the recent debates in the State Legislature to “stop the invasion of illegal immigrants” (Patrick Haddon Candidate for Senate District 6) and the method that we should take to accomplish this task has left me a little concerned. I believe that we must get the correct policy in place to crack down on illegal immigration in our state, but is e-Verify the correct solution?

Now before you jump all over me for my reservations and accusing me of hiring illegal aliens or taking payouts, let us look at the stance our Legislature has taken over the past few years, particularly the Real-ID.

The SC State legislature passed a law last year, S449, that prohibits the state to comply with the Real ID act. Now, let us take a look deeper into the reasoning provided for our unwillingness to comply as stated by the Governor.

  1. Passed without debate. The Real ID Act of 2005 was a rider to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief in 2005. As a side note, this was co-sponsored by our very own Bob Inglis.
  2. A line has to be drawn with regard to unfunded federal mandates
  3. The exponential increase in wait times (increased costs) at DMV not taken into consideration by the DHS estimates.
  4. REAL Id represents another step against a limited federal government
  5. The creation of a centralized national database of personal information that has had its security issues of its own (uhn…reminders…oh…3 of the 4 remaining Presidential candidates passport files were accessed illegally).
  6. Provides no guarantees that it will make us safer, as it has no standing in foreign countries

Now back to e-Verify. e-Verify is a national database compiled of each individuals Social Security numbers. Social Security validation could be a concern in itself as they are so often stolen and in my perspective, hardly ever prosecuted because the twerps can not be found. This is a concern of point 5 above.

If you look into the e-Verify site on DHS, it also states that the database is expanding to contain biometric information for all individuals. This begins to bring into question point 4 above. It seems that the collection of all this data by the federal government is again stepping further into the states rights guaranteed in the 10th amendment of the Constitution.

This leaves me wondering what our State Legislature truly believes? They act in total disbelief and utter disgust over the Real ID, but accept it with e-Verify.

I would like to present an idea that equally levels the responsibility between the states and the federal government. It is my understanding that most all individuals who are born in the United States are presented a birth certificate. All states have this information already on hand and it is readily available. I filed a request last week and had my replacement certificates in my hand in less than 4 days. This provides the States with a valid method of validating employees using infrastructure that is already in place.

For non-natural born citizens and legal immigrants, they are provided documentation (citizenship papers, green cards, visa, etc) that is/should already be maintained by the Federal Government. This data can be easily checked by the employer and will also aid in identifying and removing those individuals who overstay the terms of their visas, also eliminating a homeland security threat.

~Gary Coats

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  • Sara Johnson

    A follow up concerning Birth Certificates: American citizens born overseas receive a nice State Department birth certificate when their parents take them to the embassy in their birth country. You present a very interesting idea!

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