Congress Continues Support for E-Verify Despite Its Many Problems

Posted by Matthew Green | Apr 07, 2013 | 0 Comments

Congress has given the go-ahead to grant the E-Verify Program an additional $11 million for the year. The funding decision was part of H.R. 933, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, which will provide for continued funding of defense related spending until the end of the fiscal year in September, assuming the President signs it into law.

E-Verify is an internet-based information system that employers may use to verify whether workers or potential workers are legally eligible to work in the U.S. The program has long been criticized by proponents of humane immigration reform as being inherently discriminatory both in its application and its unpredictable results. Others say the program could exacerbate existing identity theft problems by creating a demand for false I.D.s.

An article on Immigration Daily criticizes the recent monetary vote of confidence in E-Verify because it has reportedly been exceedingly unreliable. According to Congress's own report, 54 percent of unauthorized workers are incorrectly found to be authorized to work under E-Verify. In general, the error rate has decreased from 4 percent to .01 percent in recent years, but even that small number has the potential to be catastrophic to the thousands of workers that could be affected.

The article also points out that mandatory E-Verify use by employers could make it so risky for unauthorized workers to apply for jobs, that they would instead resort to working "under the table." This clearly does nothing to address the problem of unauthorized work and it puts workers at risk of exploitation.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also advocated against E-Verify, for various reasons. Among its concerns is that E-Verify conscripts employers to to act as immigration agents. Also, the ACLU writes that E-Verify imposes an enforcement cost burden on Americans, and functions as a de facto national I.D. system.

About the Author

Matthew Green

Managing Attorney. The Law Offices of Matthew H. Green focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged with a crime. He knows how frightening it can be for some...


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