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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 5, 2006

Fact Sheet: Basic Pilot: A Clear and Reliable Way to Verify Employment Eligibility

      In Focus: Immigration

"Part of a comprehensive immigration plan is to give employers the tools necessary to determine whether or not the workers they're looking for are here legally in America. And we've got such a plan - Basic Pilot, it's called. It's working."

- President George W. Bush, 7/5/06

Today, President Bush Visited A Dunkin' Donuts Store To Highlight The Basic Pilot Program And The Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Dunkin' Brands Inc. recently announced it will require all of its franchisees to participate in the Basic Pilot program, which helps employers verify employment eligibility. Dunkin' Brands voluntarily signed up for the program because of the difficulty employers face when trying to screen the work eligibility of new hires.

The Basic Pilot Program Is Helping Businesses Comply With The Law. Basic Pilot is a voluntary, online verification system that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of new hires by checking the personal information they provide against Federal databases.

President Bush Is Committed To Comprehensive Immigration Reform

All Elements Of Immigration Reform Must Be Addressed Together. The five objectives of comprehensive immigration reform are securing our borders, creating a temporary worker program, making it easier for employers to verify employment eligibility and continuing to hold them to account for the legal status of workers they hire, dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here, and honoring the great American tradition of the melting pot.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Hold Employers To Account For The Workers They Hire

Funding For Immigration Enforcement Has Increased By 42 Percent Since The President Took Office.

To Help Combat Document Fraud, President Bush Has Proposed The Creation Of A New Identification Card For Every Legal Foreign Worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to help make it tamper-proof. With a tamper-proof card, American employers would know that a foreign job applicant is who he says he is - and is in our country legally. A tamper-proof card would be a vital tool to enforce the law, and it must be part of any comprehensive immigration reform.

DHS Recently Proposed Its "No-Match" Regulation To Clarify Employers' Obligations In Resolving Questions Regarding Employment Eligibility And To Help The Government Crack Down On Those Employers Who Knowingly Hire Illegal Workers. Millions of Social Security numbers provided by employers do not match the information in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) databases. In some cases when an employer has ten or more employees with inaccurate information, the SSA sends the employer a "no-match" letter. DHS's proposed "no-match" regulation outlines clear steps that employers can take in reaction to these letters. This regulation would also create a safe harbor for employers who undertake good faith efforts to verify their employees' eligibility.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Create A Temporary Worker Program That Helps Us Secure The Border

A Temporary Worker Program Would Create A Legal Path For Foreign Workers To Enter Our Country In An Orderly Way, For A Limited Period Of Time. A temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.

A Temporary Worker Program Would Meet The Legitimate Needs Of American Employers, And It Would Give Honest Immigrants A Way To Provide For Their Families While Respecting The Law.

The Bush Administration's Worksite Enforcement Efforts

ICE Has Adopted An Aggressive Approach Toward Cracking Down On Employers Who Knowingly Hire Illegal Aliens. ICE has replaced the old system of administrative hearings and fines with a much tougher combination of criminal prosecutions and asset forfeitures. ICE is conducting far more criminal investigations than the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, which tended to rely on administrative fines as a sanction.

Arrests For Criminal Violations Brought In Worksite Enforcement Actions - The Most Effective Means Of Enforcement And Best Measure Of ICE's New Approach - Have Increased Significantly. These criminal arrests have increased from 24 in FY99, to 160 in FY04, to 176 in FY05, and to a record 382 so far this fiscal year. The number of indictments and criminal convictions has also increased.

DHS Is Focusing Enforcement Efforts On Locating And Removing Criminal Aliens, Building Strong Worksite Compliance Programs To Deter Illegal Employment, And Uprooting The Criminal Infrastructure That Supports Illegal Migration.

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