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The Folly of Government Lists

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Way back when, we civil libertarians tried to warn the general population about governments and their bad habit of list making. It never fails that whenever beaurocrats decide to make lists of people to prevent undesirables from doing a certain activity, the one's who usually end up hurt are innocent bystanders. The "bad guys" usually adapt and move around this preventative measure pretty quickly.
And so it is with E-Verify. This latest attempt at controlling the general populace seems to have ensnared an innocent man by the name of Fernando Tinoco. Here's a quote of what happened from this article by Christian Science Monitor:
Two hours after Fernando Tinoco started his new job at a meatpacking plant in Chicago, he was escorted by security guards to the office and fired.
The reason: Company officials had entered his Social Security number into the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system. It's a mostly voluntary program designed to give employers a fast, easy way to check a person's immigration status. Mr. Tinoco's information came back as a "tentative non-confirmation," meaning that he may not be a citizen. He was shown the door.
But Tinoco is a citizen and has been since 1989. Immediately after his firing a few months ago, he went to a Social Security office and got a letter confirming his legal status. It was too late
But, as it turns out, Mr. Tinoco did have eight whole days to become an expert on navigating his way through the Department of Homeland Stupidity's E-Verify program. It seems the federal government gives workers who are given a "tentative non-confirmation" eight days to sort out their immigration status... Eight days. Nothing in government gets resolved in eight days.
It's alright, though. You have nothing to fear from this new black list created by those people tasked with protecting you. It touts a 94 percent accuracy rate. That's right. Only six out of every one hundred people applying for a job will have eight days to dispute their immigration status. You just better hope you're not one of those six. You may get mighty hungry while you're waiting to prove who you are.
Oh, and ask yourself this little question: what government office would you first turn to when trying to prove you're "legal" to work in the United States? Social Security? Better try again. E-Verify's records are pulled from the SSA's database, which means if you're shunned by E-Verify you'll find no help at the SSA either. Good luck with that one.


Blogger Homeland Stupidity said...

I resemble that remark.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

What we need is a people's list of government functionaries to be kicked out of office and/or put on trial after our own libertarian revolution. In thinking about such a list, it turns out to be long, very long.

7:58 PM  

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