Because some of the terrorists appear to have come into the U.S. through Canada or Mexico with fraudulent visas, Kates said, discussions have begun on unprecedented topics, such as a national identification system or mandatory verification of Social Security numbers through the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
“That would be a death knell for many parts of agriculture,” Kates said, noting mismatched numbers identified from W-2 forms on up to 80% of farm workers in recent years suggests a high percentage of illegal aliens continue to work in agriculture.
Another proposal floating about is to move all border patrol agents to the interior of the U.S. to round up illegals and post National Guard troops at the border, Kates said.
“One of the major parts of the anti-terrorist package is the whole issue of immigration,” he said. “I don’t think these things will happen, but that they’re even talking about them is extraordinary. I would hope Congress would reflect on the impact that could have and hopefully not do it.”