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The Problem with Undocumented Immigrant Workers

Just the other day I offered a post discussing the DHS wanting to implement new rules governing businesses that hired illegal immigrants and providing for their firing when the attempt to match their names with a Social Security number came back negative.

In what is likely to be a series of objections, business owners and labor leaders in Houston now argue that implementation of this rule could create a severe shortage of workers in the region. Apparently, the 250,000 undocumented workers in the region contribute $27 billion to the local economy.

Jeff Moseley, president and chief executive officer of the partnership, told the Houston Chronicle, "We're getting a strong contribution from this work force to our economy and the consequence of removing 1 of 10 workers would be extremely chilling to our economy - it would take us down to our knees."

To fight the implementation of the stronger no match requirements, a lobbying group called Americans for Immigration Reform has been created and plans to raise $15-20 million to finance their efforts.

So, now, the issue begins to come to the surface. As the Department of Homeland Security attempts to take steps to limit the terrorism potential of illegal (or undocumented) immigrants by requiring that their identities actually exist in the Social Security data base, a city the size of Houston, knowing that a quarter of a million illegal immigrants work there, will lobby to prevent imposition of the "no-match" rule, and thus argue to compromise National Security for economic impact. On the one hand, you have the substantial economic development contribution. On the other hand, you have the evolution of immigration policy and its relationship to protecting our Nation from terrorism. It is a dilemma, but its hard to not come out in favor of National Security.