• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Trust, But E-Verify

    No matter who wins on Nov. 4, the next president will have to tackle our nation’s failed immigration policies. And thanks to a little noticed provision in the continuing resolution that Congress passed to keep the government functioning through next March, they will have to address it sooner than they might otherwise have wished. A mere 45 days after either John McCain or Barack Obama is sworn into office, the authorization for the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program is set to expire. This would be a major setback for one of the few bright spots in recent immigration policy.

    E-Verify is a real-time, web-based verification system run by the DHS and the Social Security Administration. An employer enters information provided by prospective employees (from the I-9 form) into an online portal. The system then compares that data to Social Security and DHS databases. It then issues either a confirmation or a non-confirmation, which can later be approved upon clearing up any discrepancies. If not resolved, a final non-confirmation is issued and the employer is not allowed hire the worker. The error rate for E-Verify is under 4% of all queries, and DHS has established a quick, user-friendly readdress process for verification errors.

    The majority of people who enter the U.S. ille­gally do so for purposes of employment. Employment of such indi­viduals has been illegal since 1986, although that law has never been seriously enforced. If access to employment were curtailed in accord with that law, many (probably even a large majority) of current ille­gal immigrants would leave the country voluntarily, and the number of future illegal entrants would be greatly reduced. To accomplish this without resorting to a method of routinely rounding up and deporting thousands of illegal workers only to have them return and obtain another readily available job, policy should focus on the businesses that hire illegal immigrants and let general employment rules rather than individ­ual arrests drive the reduction in illegal immigration. E-Verify is an essential tool of this policy approach.

    Currently, E-Verify is free for all and voluntary for most business. More than 80,000 employers participate in E-Verify, and E-Verify has verified the identity of more than 5.3 million workers. Some states have even made E-Verify mandatory, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — the most liberal appellate court in America — recently upheld their right to do so. But Congress can take even more steps to improve the program, including increasing opportunities for individuals to review the accuracy of their records, penalizing employers who continues to employ workers who have failed verification, and establish supplemental procedures to prevent employment by means of identity fraud.

    E-Verify is the most promising, effective and useful employment verification tool in use today. Congress should reauthorize E-Verify as it currently exists and work to expand its reach and efficacy sig­nificantly in recognition of the fact that the law pro­hibits employers from hiring illegal immigrants and that the objective of E-Verify is to enforce that law.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Morning Bell: Trust, But E-Verify

    1. Tom Regan, Byron says:

      I am not familiar with E-Verify, but if there is no follow up system to check on the employer, the system will not work. Employers who are hiring illegal alians, will use the system, but then hire the person no matter what the result. There needs to be a system to monitor the employers who knowingly may hire illegals.

      Some estimates put the medical costs alone for these illegal alians at near $60 Billion per year. This does not include any lost taxes, or the drain on social service programs funds. This issue alone could probably make up for half of the budget deficit.

      What an easy place to start saving money…just by enforcing the laws we already have.

    2. Ken Jarvis says:

      There are NO jobs for Illegals.

      They have put some of the Employeers

      that hire illegals in jail.

      So, they have stopped coming.

      KJ

    3. Pat Eddy, Birmingham says:

      General election fraud is the utmost insult facing the November 4th races. Faith in the fairness and purity of our freedoms, center in our right to vote. ACORN may have started out as a noble and necessary organization; however, it has fallen into the depths of corruption made possible by deception and greed. Those that would rape the system will reap the pain that comes with it. Sooner or later honesty and justice will prevail. It just might be too late this go around.

    4. Edwin Buck, Albuquer says:

      We are going through so much contortions in dealing with the illegal aliens problems. Look, in every city, we have a system where anyone can turn in a criminal by phone, and they will be rewarded. Why can't we do the same for illegal aliens. Pass a law, starting next month, any company or individual hiring illegal aliens will be fined $5,000/illegal. $1,000/illegal alien will go to the citizen that turned them in,(annonimously, of course). $4,000/illegal alien will go to sending them to their home, where ever it is. I will guarantee you, we will not have anymore problems with illegal aliens within a month.

    5. Pingback: Morning Bell: Trust But E-Verify : $700 Billion Bailout Plan

    6. Pingback: Morning Bell: Trust, But E-Verify : $700 Billion Bailout Plan

    7. Pingback: Morning Bell: Trust, But E-Verify

    8. Michael J O'Bri says:

      I doubt if either Obama or Mccain will do the right thing and renew the ebill.. I will be up to the American people to show outrage at our elected officials as we did last year with the Kennedy / McCain bill granting Amnesty. Amnesty is defined as: a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction. Our elected officials should read this definition and start seeing why the Congress and elected officials in general have a low approval rating. Both Obama and Biden and McCain rely on the hispanic vote and refuse to upset these groups. Again it shows how our elected officials value doing the right thing for themselves rather for the American people whom they are bound by honor to represent. Don't these guys take an oath to uphold the laws of this nation. Not once you are elected. McCain is especially responsible here.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×