Cato Change-Up: Now E-Verify Isn’t Tough Enough
The open-borders Cato Institute is back to attacking the federal E-Verify employee-vetting program, asserting that it “let 12 million illegal hires happen since 2006.”
Cato bases its claim on a shaky statisticalmodel and a dubious hypothesis: “If the systemworked, it should deny applicants roughly in proportion to the illegal share ofthe labor force.”
The libertarian think tank doesn’t justify itsassumptions or identify a single illegal alien who allegedly slipped throughE-Verify. Suchdetails are unnecessary inconveniences for an outfit that reflexively opposesimmigration enforcement laws.
“For Cato’s globalist vision to succeed, there can be no limitations on who American employers hire,” observes Ronald Mortensen of the Center for Immigration Studies. “If Cato had its way, the I-9 form, which verifies a person’s eligibility to work in the United States, would be abolished.”
“Adding E-Verify to the mix is too much for Cato since it catches the vast majority of people lying and perjuring themselves on their I-9 forms. It turns a wink-wink system into a true verification system. So, in order to prevent the widespread use of E-Verify, Cato has to try to discredit it,” Mortensen says.
After long complaining that E-Verify was anonerous burden that impedes the hiring process, Cato is taking a different tack– that it isn’t catching enough badactors. Because E-Verify rejection rates don’t match Cato’s estimated ratio ofillegal alien job seekers, the researchers glibly conclude that the programdoesn’t work.
This is simplistic, and wrong. For starters, there is no way to know howmany hires E-Verify stopped through deterrence.
“Just letting potential employees know thatE-Verify is being used stops illegal aliens, deadbeat dads and criminals of allkinds who routinely use fraudulently obtained documents from even applyingsince they know their forged documents will be rejected by E-Verify,” Mortensennotes. “Therefore, the number of rejections declines precipitously once theword gets out that an employer is using E-Verify.”
Cato compounds its error by illogically blaming the system for failing to block hiring where it wasn’t even used. Researchers ought to have consulted an Arizona study showing how that state’s comprehensive E-Verify law reduced the illegal-alien population there.
Cato was similarly clueless with its earlier claim that E-Verify incorrectly categorized 54 percent of illegal workers as work-authorized. Setting the record straight, a government audit found just 1.8 percent were missed.
What other federal program has only a 1.8percent error rate? Moreover, such oversights can be attributed to a systemthat references Social Security’s database and other official records.
Cato stumbles on the truth by concluding: “Overall,E-Verify may have made illegal employment slightly more difficult, but notnearly enough.” Indeed.
Some 750,000 U.S. businesses use E-Verify, butthere are 28 million companies across the country. Even that paltry 2.7 percentparticipation rate is a bit too rosy.
A recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at a Dallas tech company revealed that the firm utilized a staffing agency to hire hundreds of illegal aliens. While CVE Technology was enrolled in E-Verify, its contracted employment agency was not. This corporate shell game is not uncommon.
As long as E-Verify compliance is not mandatednationwide, employment screening will remain as haphazard as Cato’s sketchyresearch. States that don’t require employers to use the vetting program willcontinue to attract low-wage illegal labor – which, of course, is Cato’s chiefobjective.