Customs chief failed to file paperwork for household help
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin said Thursday that he didn't know he's required by law to file paperwork verifying his household employees were authorized to work in the United States.
Bersin told senators that he and his wife tracked the immigration status of a nanny, housecleaners and babysitters “on a piece of paper that was on file in our home."
“No employee ineligible to work in the United States has ever worked in our household,” Bersin said. “No employee who has worked in our household has not had taxes paid for.”
According to a memo by the Senate Finance Committee, Bersin has employed 10 household workers since 1993 and failed to complete I-9 forms for all of them. The I-9 form is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which shares immigration enforcement responsibilities with CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
President Obama nominated Bersin last September, but issued a recess appointment for him and 14 other nominees in March. Despite delays in the confirmation process, Obama said all of the nominees would remain in the Senate for confirmation.
The Finance Committee considered Bersin's nomination on Thursday, but chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told Bersin that his failure to file the paperwork was “unacceptable.”
“Part of the agency’s responsibilities is to secure our borders. To credibly enforce the law you must first follow the law,” Baucus said, adding later that Bersin’s term “will expire at the end of the next session.” Nominees installed during a Congressional recess serve until the end of the next Congressional session, meaning Bersin’s term would expire in late 2011 if the Senate does not confirm him.
Bersin previously served as Obama's U.S.-Mexico border czar, advising Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on border security matters. The former California education secretary, San Diego schools superintendent and private attorney also served as a U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration. He maintains the full support of the White House.
“Mr. Bersin has responded honestly and candidly to all questions from Committee staff,” said White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro. “He has displayed the integrity and forthrightness that have been hallmarks of his career in government, academia, and the private sector.”
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
| May 13, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories: Administration, Confirmation Hearings
Save & Share: Previous: Video: The Federal Eye on federal hiring rules
Next: A government agency heads for the clouds
Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 13, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bgreen2224 | May 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kcx7 | May 13, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: belugajedi | May 13, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: overhereontheleft | May 13, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: venusita | May 13, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 13, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | May 14, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: llemick | May 14, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.