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DHS Announces Series of Reforms on Border Security and Immigration

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07081063 (posted Aug. 10, 2007)"

On 08/10/07, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced a series of reforms the Administration will pursue to address border security and immigration challenges.

For an overview of the reforms, see the "Improving Border Security and Immigration Within Existing Law" Fact Sheet issued by the White House Office of Communications.

The new reforms will, among other things, increase funding for detention beds, fencing, and additional personnel; require the training of hundreds of state and local law enforcement officers to address illegal immigration; initiate action to close the "voluntary departure loophole"; require all Federal contractors and vendors to use the Federal Electronic Employment Verification System (E-Verify) to ensure their employees are authorized to work in the US; reform the H-2A Agricultural program; issue regulations to streamline the H-2B program for non-agricultural workers; and require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct a study to guarantee illegal aliens do not earn SSA credit for illegal work.

For additional information on the E-Verify system, see the E-Verify Fact Sheet issued by the DHS Press Office.

The DHS also issued its final "No-Match" regulations which reiterate that employers will be held liable for hiring undocumented workers if they receive a no-match letter and fail to respond within 90 days. For further information on the new "No-Match" regulation, see the ICE and SSA "No-Match" Letters Fact Sheet issued by the DHS Public Affairs Office. The SSA will also insert a letter to the employer from ICE whenever a no-match letter is sent, which is intended to serve as guidance to the employers to assist them in responding.