Sunday, January 11, 2009

E-Verify Program for employment is threatened

The department of Homeland Security has a great new program that allows employers to almost instantly determine employment eligibility. About 99.6 percent of all work-authorized employees verified through E-Verify are verified without having to take any type of corrective action. This is a program that works well. If every business in America used this system, all illegal immigrants would become unemployable and have to return to their homelands.

E-Verify Program Update: 100,000 Employers Signed Up
January 10, 2009
Right Side News Reports
US Dept of Homeland Security reports:

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the program. More information here.

Of course liberals hate the idea and have filed a lawsuit to block a final rule that would require most federal contractors and subcontractors to use the E-Verify system. They will attempt to block the program every way they can. I think every employer in the USA should be required to use this system.
US Legislative Immigration Update January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009
Late December, a coalition of special interest groups filed a lawsuit to block a final rule that would require most federal contractors and subcontractors to use the E-Verify system to verify their employees' eligibility to legally work in the United States. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Maryland by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.; the Society for Human Resource Management; the American Council on International Personnel; and the HR Policy Association. More information here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Z Magazine:

At least three independent investigations—by the SSA's inspector general, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Westat, a private research organization hired by the government—have determined that E-Verify is riddled with errors, is exorbitantly expensive, and results in discrimination against foreign-born individuals who are, in fact, authorized to work here.

One major problem is the SSA database that serves as the first check of an employee's work eligibility, known as the Numident database. This enormous collection contains approximately 435 million records. Because the SSA does not get rid of Social Security numbers once they are assigned, the database contains 100 million more records than the country's current population. In a December 2006 report, the SSA's inspector general estimated that approximately 17.8 million of these records are inaccurate.

The errors are particularly bad for people who were born outside the country, including those who have become naturalized citizens. Giving what it called "a conservative estimate," the SSA inspector general reported that 4.8 million of the database's 46.5 million records about non-citizens contain some kind of error. That represents a minimum 10 percent error rate. At least 3.3 million of these faulty records, the report added, identify people as non-citizens when in fact they are citizens. In addition, the report found that hundreds of thousands of records of naturalized citizens contain clerical errors as simple as misspelled names or the wrong date of birth that could incorrectly result in a report that they are not authorized to work.

In addition to the government's own internal reports private evaluators contracted by DHS told the agency in September 2007 that its database "is still not sufficiently up to date to meet the IIRIRA requirement for accurate verification, especially for naturalized citizens," referring to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the 1996 law that created the BPP.

In its report to Congress, the GAO estimated that about 15 percent of the requests for verification sent to DHS required a manual search of the agency's records. Manual searches can sometimes take up to two weeks to resolve. The problem, the GAO found, is that employment verification information "is sometimes lost or not entered into databases in a timely manner." Meanwhile, the employer and the potential employee are in administrative limbo waiting for the government to track down its own records.

Discrimination that foreign-born workers suffer as a result of these data errors compounds the negative impact of E-Verify on workers. "Since work-authorized foreign-born employees are more likely than U.S.-born employees to receive tentative nonconfirmation erroneously," Westat reported, "the result is increased discrimination against foreign-born employees." Buttressing this finding, the GAO reported that approximately 30 percent of employers use the verification process in ways that are prohibited—for example, to screen potential employees or restrict work assignments while employees contest nonconfirmation letters.

At other times employers fail to inform workers who have received a no match letter, as they are required to do. As a result, the worker does not have the opportunity to contest the letter and is soon issued a final nonconfirmation.

For all its errors, E-Verify doesn't come cheap. The original version, which utilized a dial-up connection, cost almost $12 billion annually, "with employers bearing most of the costs," the GAO found. The new web-based version would likely cost less per transaction, but if it is significantly expanded—as it would be if participation were made mandatory—the price tag can be expected to skyrocket.

In addition, a mandatory program would require many more workers to staff SSA offices as millions more people contest no match letters. Behind the scenes, the SSA and DHS would need more staff to process many millions more verification requests and provide technical assistance to employers nationwide.

Taking these three government studies at their word, there is no question that E-Verify is an error-ridden program that discriminates against foreign-born people. At least one state, Illinois, has followed this strategy, enacting a law that bars use of E-Verify until the federal government can accurately resolve 99 percent of inquiries within 3 days.

But urging the government to improve its data collection and retrieval abilities shouldn't be our ultimate goal. Rather, we should point out the obvious—immigration enforcement should not be the SSA's job. Bridging the gap between our public pensions system and the many realistic fears that arise from increasingly restrictive immigration policies will only push more employers toward off-the-books hiring. In the end, that will result in more jobs pushed into the shadows of the economy, where workers are more readily exploited.

The great irony of E-Verify is that the Numident database on which most of this process relies tracks entirely lawful, above-board work. The employers and employees whose records are stored in this enormous file all report to the SSA. They deduct payroll taxes, pay income taxes, contribute to Social Security and Medicare, and more.

Unlike the sneaky thugs of the vitriolic rhetoric—the so-called criminals whose identity is frequently reduced by politicians and pundits to nothing more than leeching "illegals" —the people whom E-Verify is intended to purge from the workforce are unquestionably gainfully employed, hard working individuals.