Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is bearing down on that most-terrifying threat to the American way of life: People from down Mexico way who sneak into the country in order to work long hours for relatively low wages (at least to start with).
Reports the AP via the Cincy Enquirer (which serves a region with higher-than-average unemployment and lower-than-average immigration from Latin America):
The Bush administration is planning new efforts to curb illegal immigration by raising fines and speeding up deployment of border agents after failing to push through legislation earlier this year.
The proposals would raise civil fines on employers who hire undocumented immigrants by as much as 25 percent and overhaul temporary worker programs, according to a summary of the plans obtained by The Associated Press....
[E]mployers will face possible criminal sanctions if they don't fire employees unable to clear up problems with their Social Security numbers.
The Homeland Security Department will ask states to voluntarily share their driver's license photos and records with the agency for use in an employment verification system. The sharing is meant to help employers detect fraudulent licenses, according to the summary, which was provided by a congressional aide....
Chertoff alluded to the new enforcement tactics in a speech this week in Boston, calling it "tool sharpening."
"We shouldn't have a patchwork of laws. We should be doing a comprehensive federal solution, but we haven't got that thing done," Chertoff said. "What I can tell you is we will certainly use every enforcement tool that we have, and every resource that we have available, to tackle the problem."
reason on immigration here.