By Joe Guzzardi
March 11, 2015
An unsurprising report from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General found the impossible—that 6.5 million people age 112 or older have active social security numbers.
Illegal immigrants stole many of the numbers and used them to fraudulently get jobs, open bank accounts and apply for benefits. Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called the SSA’s ineptitude “incredible.”
The OIG report was predictable because immigration experts have known for years that aliens depend on identity theft, and with impunity. Neither employers who benefit from their cheap labor nor the federal government which has condoned open borders for five decades has lifted a finger to end the hoax.
Indeed, OIG discovered that between 2008 and 2011, employers made 4,024 E-Verify inquiries from 3,873 social security numbers supposedly initiated by individuals born before June 16, 1901. But mandated E-Verify, the free, easy online program that employers can complete in just minutes, would help eliminate fraud and assure that employers hire either citizens or legal, work-authorized immigrants.
Here’s how E-Verify works. By comparing employee information submitted on an I-9 form and matching it against more than 455 million Social Security Administration records and 80 million Department of Homeland Security data base entries, E-Verify can instantly confirm an employee’s eligibility. If the information matches, the employee is eligible to work in the United State. If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer and the employee, and the employee will be allowed to continue working until the issue is resolved. E-Verify would replace the I-9 paper system, an open invitation to deceive. According to the latest available research, during fiscal year 2013, E-Verify processed nearly 24 million applications which had a 98.1 percent confirmation rate.
Although E-Verify has been around in one form or another since 1996 when it began as the Basic Pilot Program, 2015 represents its best chance to become a national law. Several states already have E-Verify in place.
Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Legal Workforce Act that would, through a gradual phase-in process, compel employers to run their new hires through E-Verify.
The Legal Workforce Act has a provision that would prevent Executive Branch efforts to derail it. If the federal government interferes with E-Verify’s implementation, states would be empowered to carry out the law. Chairman Bob Goodlatte said that expanded E-Verify will be a critical component to interior enforcement and would, since it provides a tangible way to monitor employment, help restore the immigration system’s long-lost integrity.
In 2011, Speaker John Boehner kept a similar E-Verify bill from a full floor vote. But after his recent humiliating defeat on the Department of Homeland Security funding, he knows that to save his speaker’s job, he must schedule a vote.
E-Verify will likely pass in the House, and probably also pass in the Senate. Then, despite his repeated promises to help middle class Americans which E-Verify would help do, Obama will probably veto it. But the Senate might have the necessary 67 votes to override Obama’s veto.
In 2016, 34 Senate seats are up for re-election, 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Only the most well entrenched incumbents would dare go on record as having voted against legislation that would keep illegal immigrants from getting increasingly scarce jobs while millions of Americans are unemployed.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]