E-Verify Mandate Opposed by Diverse Coalition in DC

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 01:39 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Critics of the employment verification system known as E-Verify have expressed their concerns in a letter to Congress that the voluntary program would become required as part of a comprehensive immigration package.

In the Thursday letter, E-Verify opponents argued the program, if mandated, would threaten Americans’ privacy and economic well-being while restricting employment access to legal immigrants.

Led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Small Business Association, and American Civil Liberties Union, the letter represented an ideologically-diverse coalition of 45 organizations that together represent thousands of businesses and millions of Americans.

"E-Verify imposes immigration enforcement costs on Americans," the letter stated. "System errors will make hundreds of thousands of legal workers visit federal offices to exercise their right to work."

The letter claimed that minorities and legal immigrants would be disproportionately impacted if E-Verify is approved.

"E-Verify is a national identification system (that) . . . could be used to monitor or restrict access not just to employment, but any activity, based on any criteria the government might decide. Congress needs to find solutions that stop illegal immigration without threatening our privacy," said CEI immigration policy analyst David Bier.

The government run Internet-based program, which is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with Social Security Administration, allows employers to confirm the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 which determines whether an individual is eligible to work in the United States.

More than 353,000 employers currently use E-Verify according to the DHS website.

Related stories:

Report: E-Verify Misses Half of Illegal Workers

E-Verify Clings to Life Despite No New Funding

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