Scrap E-Verify

by on November 24, 2008 · 9 comments

The 111th Congress and the new Obama administration should scrap “E-Verify.” The federal government’s inchoate immigration background check system is the culmination of 20 years’ failure to create a tolerable “internal enforcement” program for U.S. immigration law. Rather than building on past failure, the new Congress and president should pull the plug on E-Verify and reform immigration law so that it aligns with the nation’s economic need for labor.

More here.

  • DB

    I mostly agree, but have never understood this argument:

    “As much as it stemmed illegal immigration, a national ID and background check system would send law-abiding American citizens into a bureaucratic identity vortex.”

    Don't we already have a de facto national ID (albeit a very poor one)? It's called the social security card. As an American citizen, I cannot legally work in my own country without producing this ID card. Glitches in the SSA database already send plenty of law-abiding American citizens into an “identity vortex.” It seems like libertarians live in denial on this point. As long as we don't call it a national ID, we don't have one?

  • http://www.libertyscreening.com Teresa Juarez

    E-Verify is not just about immigration reform. It is a tool for employers to use to stay in compliance with reform that is currently in process. It has the potential to be a very effective tool, and like most new technologies, it has flaws.

    The program works for immigrants who have been granted the right to work in the United States. EVerify provides employers with the tools they need to help those employees stay legal and current on their documentation.

  • Jim Harper

    Thanks for your comments, DB and TJ.

    DB, we don't have a national identification system. What we have in the Social Security number is a national identifier. This is an important step toward national identification, but is not in itself national identification, which includes some kind of biometric. You may not be familiar with my book, Identity Crisis, but I spend a good deal of time defining terms in the identity area, which is unfortunately rather fluid.

    If you think glitches in the current system are bad, you ain't seen nothing yet. In the first year of a national E-Verify program, 1 in 25 new hires would be sent to Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security offices simply because of the 4.1% error rate in SSA databases. Many would be assumed identity fraudsters and candidates for deportation. And this is just one of the flaws in the system.

    Teresa, your link to LibertyScreening.com – what an ironic name – suggests that you own or work for this employee screening service. Good for you – you make money by trying to reduce the burden of red tape. But the preferable state of affairs is for there to be no red tape in the first place, and no LibertyScreening.com.

    Many would like to think it, but employee screening is not a service that employers want and need. It is a burden imposed on employers and on the economy as a whole. Well-meaning though you are, your business is essentially parasitic, and your advocacy for E-Verify is what economists call rent-seeking. You're just trying to make sure you can earn money through advantages given you by the law.

  • jking

    Good Job US COC. These fn policies and laws are driving our economy into the ground. Go be racist somewhere else not on our labor and dime. Most of these e-verify zealots belong to groups like the K.K.K. This nonsense law needs to be stopped in its track. I am tired of our country being converted into a police state for the sake of racism. This law is designed to cause financial burden on indigent Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans; just what K.K.K pundits would like to see. Our businesses cannot be tools to foster such hatred. I was actually solicited by K.K.K patrons requesting my business not to hire non-whites about 18 years ago. I am surprised to see now that our government is at a forefront promoting and legalizing such policies publicly and openly. If Obama and his team falls for this crap shame on them. Because we worked so hard to vote for new leadership to stop such cruel, unnecessary, and racist laws that place burden on our economy, people, and our country in general.
    Thanks, COC. We would like to know how we could help donate time and effort to the cause.

  • jking

    Good Job US COC. These fn policies and laws are driving our economy into the ground. Go be racist somewhere else not on our labor and dime. Most of these e-verify zealots belong to groups like the K.K.K. This nonsense law needs to be stopped in its track. I am tired of our country being converted into a police state for the sake of racism. This law is designed to cause financial burden on indigent Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans; just what K.K.K pundits would like to see. Our businesses cannot be tools to foster such hatred. I was actually solicited by K.K.K patrons requesting my business not to hire non-whites about 18 years ago. I am surprised to see now that our government is at a forefront promoting and legalizing such policies publicly and openly. If Obama and his team falls for this crap shame on them. Because we worked so hard to vote for new leadership to stop such cruel, unnecessary, and racist laws that place burden on our economy, people, and our country in general.
    Thanks, COC. We would like to know how we could help donate time and effort to the cause.

  • jking

    Good Job US COC. These fn policies and laws are driving our economy into the ground. Go be racist somewhere else not on our labor and dime. Most of these e-verify zealots belong to groups like the K.K.K. This nonsense law needs to be stopped in its track. I am tired of our country being converted into a police state for the sake of racism. This law is designed to cause financial burden on indigent Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans; just what K.K.K pundits would like to see. Our businesses cannot be tools to foster such hatred. I was actually solicited by K.K.K patrons requesting my business not to hire non-whites about 18 years ago. I am surprised to see now that our government is at a forefront promoting and legalizing such policies publicly and openly. If Obama and his team falls for this crap shame on them. Because we worked so hard to vote for new leadership to stop such cruel, unnecessary, and racist laws that place burden on our economy, people, and our country in general.
    Thanks, COC. We would like to know how we could help donate time and effort to the cause.

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