Administration announces border, immigration initiatives

The Bush administration said Friday it will begin a rulemaking process to require all federal contractors and vendors to use a federal electronic employment verification system known as E-Verify to help crack down on illegal immigration.

The administration said this move will "significantly expand use of E-Verify, and make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain jobs through fraud." E-Verify is a free Internet-based system "operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees," according to the DHS Web site.

The changes to the E-Verify system were part of a series of immigration and border initiatives Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced Friday.

"These reforms represent steps my administration can take within the boundaries of existing law to better secure our borders, improve worksite enforcement, streamline existing temporary worker programs, and help new immigrants assimilate into American society," President Bush said in a statement.

In addressing E-Verify, the administration said it will help states make greater use of the system. Currently, some states already mandate the use of E-Verify by some agencies and the administration said it will "assist such efforts through outreach and offers of technical assistance."

The White House said it plans to expand the data sources the system can check. The administration plans to seek out voluntary state partners willing to share with the program state department of motor vehicles photos and records. This move is expected to "help prevent illegal immigrants from using fraudulent driver's licenses to obtain employment," according to the White House.

On the border security front, the administration said it is committed to having 105 camera and radar towers and three additional unmanned aerial vehicles on the border by Dec. 31, 2008.

The White House also addressed the issue of cultural assimilation. The administration said the Department Of Education will "launch a free, Web-based portal to help immigrants learn English, and expand this model over time."

"Knowledge of English is the most important component of assimilation," the White House said. "An investment in tools to help new Americans learn English will be repaid many times over in the contributions these immigrants make to our political discourse, economy, and society."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.