The SAVE Act would address the flow of illegal aliens to the United States by investing in new technology and additional manpower. Provisions specifically relating to border control include: (1) increasing the number of full-time border patrol agents by 5,000 through 2016, including an immediate 1,500 agents for FY2012 and 1,000 for FY2013. At least 350 hires each year would be specifically assigned to investigate the smuggling of illegal aliens; (2) more funding available for the Tunnel Task Force [an investigative team assigned with tracking, identifying, and closing border tunnels used for smuggling drugs, human traffic, and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)]; (3) a student loan repayment program and other incentives to help recruit former members of the Armed Services, National Guard, and other Reserve Components; (4) new and updated border security, surveillance, communication, and apprehension technology; (5) an equipment sharing initiative between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, with progress reports made available to Members of Congress; (6) an official national strategy to secure all U.S. borders and ports of entry. Specifically, the Secretary of Homeland Security is required to improve border security infrastructure including: new office facilities, SUVs, better roads along the border, additional fencing, vehicle barriers, better alien detention facilities, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones, cameras, poles, sensors, satellites, radar, and other technologies; (7) and, empowering governors in border states to declare a border emergency and request temporary redeployment of up to 1000 additional Border Patrol Agents.
SAALT opposes the SAVE Act, which would would make the E-Verify program permanent, and to provide for penalties to enforce compliance with the program.
Existing and proposed electronic employment verification systems have had a detrimental impact upon all workers, regardless of immigration status. One concern is their reliance on government databases with high error rates; in fact, the Social Security Administration estimates that 17.8 million of its records contain discrepancies related to name, date of birth, or citizenship status, with 12.7 million of those records involving U.S. citizens. Due to database errors, foreign-born lawful workers are 30 times more likely than native-born U.S. citizens to be incorrectly identified as unauthorized for employment. Another concern is that employers may misuse the verification process and unjustly fire immigrant workers. Evaluations of existing employment verification programs have shown that many employers engage in prohibited employment practices, including pre-employment screening, adverse employment action without confirmation of a worker’s immigration status, and failure to inform workers of their rights.