Thursday, September 13, 2007

Despite what has been characterized as a "warm" reception at a Senate hearing for Julie Myers, Bush's nominee for assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (she currently holds this position through an expiring recess appointment), Sen. McCaskill (D-MO) sounded very skeptical about Myers's (and the administration's) enforcement policies (or lack thereof):
Sen. Claire McCaskill indicated she might vote against Myers. McCaskill, D-Mo., said the administration is not doing enough to crack down on businesses that employ illegal workers.

McCaskill challenged Myers to say how many employers, under her tenure, have faced criminal or administrative penalties for hiring illegal employees.

Myers did not provide a number and said law enforcement statistics do not break out records that way. She said businesses have paid $30 million in criminal fines and forfeitures this year, compared with just $600,000 in 2006.

"I agree with you on targeting egregious employers and getting U.S. attorneys to take these cases," Myers said. "The bottom line is that we are looking to change behavior."

But McCaskill said it was "outrageous" that Myers would appear at the hearing without having an answer.

McCaskill says that she's been trying to get the statistics for employers "for months."