E-Verify Part of Amnesty Bill; Don't Hold Your Breath

Published on April 18th, 2013

Buried deep in the 844-page “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act,” is a provision that employers  within ten years, will have to process job applicants through the online government E-Verify system. E-Verify confirms within minutes that employees are legally authorized to hold United States’ jobs.

I’m E-verified and know that it’s fast, free, and the best way to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S. workforce. Read my CAPS column about my E-Verify experience here. You can try it yourself on the E-Verify Self-Check here.E-Verify, which would include photo-matching, is one of countless empty enforcement promises contained in the Gang of Eight’s legislation—all of them supposedly to be put in place after 11 million illegal aliens are granted permanent legal residency and work authorization. Once 11 million aliens get legal work permits, E-Verify would be less important although it could be a deterrent to hiring future aliens if amnesty passes.  

But E-Verify may never see expanded usage even if the federal government mandates it. Civil libertarians are up in arms about E-Verify, ominously calling it a national identification program. Chris Calabrese, the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative counsel recently said:
If you take a step back and think about what that means, when this reaches fruition and is completed, you’ll have an Internet-accessible system that has everyone’s photo and identifying information in it. You can easily imagine E-Verify becoming the national ID system.
And Jim Harper, director of information studies at the Cato Institute, said photographs are the weakest form of biometric identification.  He predicted that a system that is launched using photos would later be expanded to include other identifiers people might see as more problematic including iris scans and fingerprints. Harper said the “knitting together” of available sources of photographs into a single database is itself a concern. [Inside the Immigration Bill: Expanded E-Verify Draws Fire, by Rosiland E. Helderman, Washington Post, April 16, 2013]
Worse, the ACLU has opposed E-Verify since the House reauthorized the program in 2008. Five years ago, Senior Legislative Counsel Timothy Sparapani predicted, erroneously as it turned out, that
If E-Verify goes ahead as planned, employers can expect delays for much-needed new employees starting to work; employees can expect to be in legal limbo awaiting governmental approval to start working and earning a paycheck. Our already weak economy will suffer due to this short-sighted attempt to placate political leaders. The U.S. Senate should see E-Verify for the mess it has become and put a stop to its negative effects to our workforce.  
The ACLU may be right that expanded E-Verify is a national identification card. But, the time is long overdue for such a document. A national ID card would reduce welfare and voting fraud as well as help to reduce illegal immigration which has led to American job loss, lowered public education standards and over-population. See the list of countries that have national IDs here.
Breaking News: Yesterday, in its press release, the ACLU vowed that it will "fight every step of the way" to prevent E-Verify from being implemented. Read the release here.

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