Sunday, July 15, 2007

This is the PILOT

OK, way back in 1994, one of those federal commissions recommended to Congress that they establish some sort of database for checking Social Security Numbers. The rationale was that some employers weren’t even considering Hispanic applicants because it was too risky. “What if they are illegal aliens? I don’t want any part of that.”

So, in 1996 the Basic PILOT program began in a few states. The rules were simple; you couldn’t run the SSN of applicants, but once you hired someone you could check their SSN within three days. You could phone it in or do it on-line. It was a voluntary program.

Later it was expanded to all 50 states, still voluntary. It was admittedly quick and dirty but if your applicant was a 25-year old male Filipino in California and the number was registered to an 80-year old female in Maine, you knew there was a problem.

The process was a bit laughable once you found a conflict. You couldn’t fire the employee and you couldn’t call Immigration. You just told them politely that they needed to contact the nearest Social Security office to clear up the matter.

The bold ones came back with a completely different number that was a better quality fake and the timid ones just stopped coming to work.

Anyway, I was able to get our local city fathers to do Basic PILOT in their HR department. Immigration has a tougher screening program called IMAGE, but they wouldn’t go for that. At least they have a fighting chance when they hire the security guard at the water treatment plant.

Sooo…there was an article on Monday about the City of Mission Viejo California and their requirement to use Basic PILOT. But they went a step further and require all contractors who work for the city to do the same. It’s a nice touch. You ought to get your town to do it.


  1. We need to give legal citizens an advantage over illegal ones, especially in the work place. If two people are applying for the same job and one person is here illegally but more skilled and the other was here legally but less skilled, which one would the employer choose? They'd pick the more skilled one and pretend like they never knew otherwise. Having a piece of paper proving citizenship is no advantage. I hope that illegals don't ever put on their job application:

    Attributes: Reliable, Honest, Loyal, Fair

  2. Good point. I feel sorry for the school kids who used to get part time jobs after school. Nowadays they can get a full timer for the same price. And they don't ask for time off. And they don't complain about safety problems.

    The only way you can compete with that is to start putting employers in jail. For other laws, ignorance is no excuse. Why do we allow it in this case?

    Of course, we can make verification MANDATORY, then there would be no excuse.

    We're back to the politicians and their will to get tough.

    -alien rants