Tina K. Russell

March 27, 2008

On the effects of xenophobia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 8:18 am

A Foolish Immigration Purge – New York Times

Leave it to the Bush administration to throw thousands of law-abiding American workers and companies off a cliff in perilous economic times.

That would be the effect of its decision to press ahead with a bad idea: to force businesses to fire employees whose names don’t match the Social Security database. The purge is part of a campaign — along with scattershot workplace raids and the partial border fence — to make a show of tackling the broken immigration system.

The Social Security Administration was set up to administer benefits, not to enforce immigration laws. There are many illegal immigrants who use fake IDs, but the sheer abundance of errors — the result of name changes, misspellings and other mix-ups — preclude their use for an immigration crackdown. Native-born workers will pay the price for these mistakes, but the foreign born also will suffer, because they are especially at risk of errors from inconsistent spellings, mistranslations and other language issues.

And us transsexuals will be at risk… we could get fired for “no match” letters arising from inconsistent or outdated documentation. Since there’s no federal law against discrimination for gender identity, it’s even more of a risk. We need to stop this misguided plan before it starts.

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1 Comment »

  1. I’m the SO of a transsexual, and I’m with you on stopping this nutty plan. I exhausted myself to the point of tears last week on the phone with the AAA auto club trying to explain that a name change is just name change and that my SO is the same person they have been dealing with as a customer for 15 years.

    The supervisor at the auto club expected me to fax over a birth certificate, legal name change for and a copy of her current driver’s license at 11pm on a Saturday night before they would provide coverage and tow her car.

    I’m not sure whether it was flat out discrimination, or discrimination mixed with lurid curiosity on the part of the auto club supervisor, or just plain ignorance. I do know that my SO sat in a broken down car on the side of the road in freezing weather for hours for no good reason whatsoever since she has been a customer of their company for so long.

    It’s bad enough when it’s an auto club. It can’t imagine but that it would be a thousand times worse if it were the federal government pulling crap like this.

    Comment by jimsmuse — March 27, 2008 @ 9:36 am


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