Why Making E-Verify Mandatory Doesn’t Solve Anything

e verifyAs the national debate over E-Verify continues to heat up, some members of Congress seem intent on pushing for mass deportation strategies without taking into account the harm they will cause for American businesses and workers, and without acknowledging that making E-Verify mandatory will not resolve any underlying problems.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Lamar Smith intends to introduce legislation in the next few weeks that will make E-Verify—the electronic verification program which allows employers to attempt to verify the work authorization of newly hired employees—mandatory for all employers across the U.S.  Smith has been using a recent Supreme Court decision as a reason to expand E-Verify.

Arizona was the first state to make E-Verify mandatory for all businesses in the state.  That law was challenged in court on the grounds that it preempted federal law, and the case eventually went to the Supreme Court.  Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona had not preempted federal law, and mandatory E-Verify could move forward.  This will no doubt encourage additional states to make the system mandatory.  E-Verify is largely voluntary program at present.  Federal contractors, however, must use it, and at least fourteen states have made it mandatory for all or some of state businesses.

It’s important to remember, however, that the Supreme Court decision did not make mandatory E-Verify a good idea.   In fact, Arizona has experience problems since passing their law; workers are moving underground, tax revenues are down, American workers are losing their jobs, and small businesses pay the price.

The federal government itself admitted that E-Verify cannot detect all unauthorized workers.  Errors and employer misuse of E-Verify mean that tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and legal workers could be denied their jobs and their paychecks.   And it would mean less tax revenue for U.S. coffers as immigrant workers move to the underground economy.

As mandatory E-Verify has come up in state legislators, business groups—particularly the agricultural industry—have opposed the measures.  Few American workers take agricultural jobs, and growers complain that the H-2A visa program for agricultural workers is complex and not well suited to their needs.  As a result, experts believe as many as three-fourths of the country’s agricultural workers are unauthorized workers.  Growers fear that mandatory E-Verify—if implemented without a legalization program or a reformed H-2A program—could bring the U.S. agricultural industry to its knees.

michele waslinSmall business is also rightly concerned about mandatory E-Verify because it would impose new regulations on them at a time when they are already struggling.  According to Bloomberg News Service, making E-Verify mandatory would cost $2.7 billion a year.  The biggest burden would be on small businesses (those with less than 500 workers), which account for 99.7% of employers.  Small businesses would have to pay $2.6 billion a year.

Thus, it appears that advocates are going to expend much time and energy fighting yet another enforcement-only program that—absent legalization and other reforms—does nothing to fix our broken immigration system but has extremely negative consequences for law abiding employers and U.S. workers.

Michele Waslin
Immigration Impact

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Jackson Black says

    …some members of Congress seem intent on pushing for mass deportation strategies without taking into account the harm they will cause for American businesses and workers…

     

    Aaah, the poor rich agribusiness owners, they might not make the millions of dollars they usually make off the back of illegal aliens. So sad. They might have to hire actual American citizens and pay reasonable wages and maybe even workers comp, social security and all those other pesky employer taxes that support America’s middle and working class citizens.  Anything we can do to keep illegal aliens from stealing our resources will be good for America’s workers and taxpayers.   

     And it would mean  less tax revenue for U.S. coffers as immigrant workers move to the underground economy.

     

    That’s easy. Just put employers who hire illegal aliens in jail. Believe it or not, that would solve most of the problems we have with illegal immigrants stealing jobs from citizens. Put the employers in jail and take their cars, houses and businesses, just as if they were drug pushers. Then watch how fast the “underground economy” disappears. 

    …another enforcement-only program that—absent legalization and other reforms—does nothing to fix our broken immigration system…

     Wrong. What you call “legalization and other reforms” really means AMNESTY. What amnesty does is cement in place the destruction these dishonest employers and illegal aliens are doing to our economy. It encourages more abuse by employers and non-Americans who see that cheating results in the reward of cheap employees and free citizenship. It obviously doesn’t work, because we’ve given amnesty many times in the past and all it’s done is encourage more illegal immigration.  If you really cared about America’s small businesses, you’d stop encouraging the destruction of our working class by writing these articles that encourage good liberals and progressives to blindly accept that our country has to be destroyed by illegal immigration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *