Friday, June 28, 2013

E-Verify and the Senate's Immigration Reform Bill

The Senate passed an immigration reform bill earlier this week.  Among its many pages is a provision requiring, at least some employers to use E-Verify before hiring workers.  E-Verify is, in my opinion, a much better system than having employers review approved documentation, per the I-9 form, to verify eligibility to work.  Although the ACLU and other groups claim it is not sufficiently accurate, I have found E-Verify to be very accurate.  It is a much better indicator of who is eligible to work in the USA. 

Several years ago a few California cities passed laws requiring private employers to use E-Verify.  Our state legislature then passed a law prohibiting cities from enforcing these laws.  The justification for the state law was, at least on the surface, that E-Verify is not accurate and could harm persons who are eligible to work.  I highly doubt that was the real reason for the law. 

One of the best deterrents to illegal immigration is preventing employers from hiring these immigrants.  If they can't find jobs, they won't have the incentive to come to the USA without proper authorization.  If any politician is serious about stopping illegal immigration, (s)he must advocate in favor of use of the E-Verify system. 

It will be interesting to see if immigration reform does happen.  If it does, I will be very interested in whether the E-Verify requirement will be firmly rooted in the law.  It should be.  It is the best method to determine eligibility to work in the USA.  It also takes the burden off the employer's back to determine whether the appropriate I-9 paperwork is legitimate or a forgery. 

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