The objectives of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch toward comprehensive immigration reform are spelled out by the Partnership for a New American Economy. It is a recently formed coalition of business leaders and mayors, launched by Bloomberg and Murdoch to influence public opinion and policymakers toward comprehensive immigration reform.
On September 30, Mayor Bloomberg, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, informed them that there are about a million high-skill jobs in the U.S. that are unfilled because companies can’t find the right workers. Expanding the work visa program “would be perhaps the best economic stimulus package Congress could create,” he said. (Wall St. Journal, “Bloomberg, Murdoch Seek Immigration Fix,” 1, Oct. 2010).
Mayor Bloomberg and CEO Murdoch, presenting to the same Committee, urged Congress to come to terms with the millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and make it easier for skilled workers to come here. This team’s strong economic arguments could very well stimulate a positive reaction in Congress.
The immigration-reform effort has also been supported by another influential team, two U.S. senators who proposed “The right way to mend immigration” in an article in the Washington Post on March 19, 2010. Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) announced the building blocks for a new push in Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws: “Our plan has four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here.”
Unfortunately, enacting all four pillars of this comprehensive reform would probably require an extremely long negotiating cycle in Congress, to say the least. But it is worthwhile taking a closer look at the bipartisan possibilities of the first pillar: biometric Social Security cards.
The senators point out that ending illegal immigration will require an effective employment verification system that holds employers accountable for hiring illegal workers. It would require a tamper-proof ID system that would dramatically decrease illegal immigration, experts have said, and would reduce the government revenue lost when employers and workers here illegally fail to pay taxes.
The senators’ plan would require all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs to obtain a high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card. Each card’s unique biometric identifier would be stored only on the card; no government database would house everyone’s information. The cards would not contain any private information, medical information or tracking devices. The card would be a high-tech version of the Social Security card that citizens already have.
Their proposed program would require that prospective employers would be responsible for swiping the cards through a machine to confirm a person’s identity and immigration status. Employers who refused to swipe the card or who otherwise knowingly hired unauthorized workers would face stiff fines and, for repeat offenses, prison sentences.
Perhaps the first step in achieving the tantalizing goals of comprehensive immigration reform is to start with a simple labor law, not an immigration law. The new labor law, a bipartisan solution, would only require U.S. citizens and legal immigrants seeking employment to obtain a new high-tech Social Security card tied to their fingerprints or other biometric identifiers. This would be the first step and launching vehicle for a partial immigration reform that would also create momentum toward the next step of achieving comprehensive immigration reform.
The technology for this program already exists and is being used by the U.S. government: a digital biometric high-tech fraud-proof ID card, called the LaserCard(R) optical memory card. It is the technology used for the recently upgraded “Green Card” carried by legal immigrants working or seeking employment in the U.S. The LaserCard(R) optical memory card is also used as the national biometrics-identification card for the governments of Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Angola and as an ID card for employed foreign residents in Costa Rica.
The U.S.-based LaserCard Corporation, (NASDAQ: LCRD) the manufacturer of the above-mentioned biometrics-identification Cards, has provided the U.S. government with all of its “Green Cards” for the past twelve years. This same card could be adapted into the proposed new biometric Social Security card and put into full production quickly, without difficulty, making the first step in comprehensive immigration reform a simple improvement in Social Security-card technology.
By the above-indicated approaches, LaserCard biometric Social Security cards, in conjunction with the proposed two-step plan, could expedite the realization of comprehensive immigration reform by 1-2 years.
Drexler is also the author of a series of four books on his discovery of the nature of dark matter, dark energy and “dark matter cosmology” of the universe, published in 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2009. A “Discovering Dark Matter Cosmology” educational Web site is at: http://www.jeromedrexler.org/.