Since passage of the law making it illegal to hire an illegal alien in 1986, illegal aliens have used counterfeit documents, stolen Social Security numbers and fake passports to "prove" they are eligible to work in the U.S. A secure identification system to maintained to prove work eligibility is a key factor in combating illegal immigration.
In order to be hired for a job in the United States, applicants must furnish a valid Social Security number or tax ID number. The data in each Social Security file contains sufficient information to determine whether the person using the number is the person to whom the number was issued. The technology is readily and cheaply available to verify that a new employee has presented a valid number and that it belongs to that person. The E-Verify system accomplishes this task.
E-Verify is currently a voluntary program for most employers. Thirteen states encourage or require its use. It is also being increasingly required for companies with government contracts. Most verifications take less than five minutes either online or by phone. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, which runs E-Verify, reports that 96.1 percent of verifications are approved on the first try.
Of the remaining 3.9 percent, most delays are due to discrepancies between information presented by job applicants and information in the Social Security Administration database, such as unreported name changes due to marriage. The majority of these discrepancies are resolved within 24 to 72 hours and do not prevent eligible workers from being hired.
The groups that oppose E-Verify do so because it works. Many business interest groups wish to continue employing illegal workers at a lower cost than U.S. citizens. However, they refuse to understand they are leaving Americans out of work while also forcing unwitting and unconsenting taxpayers to subsidize low wage illegal workers and their dependents.
Employers should use E-Verify because it ensures they are only hiring individuals who are authorized to work in the United States. It's free to use, and provides work eligibility results almost immediately. Mandatory use of E-Verify would also create a level playing field, ensuring that employers who play by the rules are not undercut by competitors who hire low wage illegal aliens. In addition to that, it also improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting. E-Verify features a photo-matching tool to combat document fraud and ensure that documents presented by employees are genuine.
In 2016, President Donald Trump was elected after successfully campaigning on major immigration reforms, to include nationwide, mandatory E-Verify. However, President Trump needs help from Congress though to make that a reality. A bill in the House of Representatives sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called the "Legal Work Force Act" (H.R. 1147) would require all businesses to use E-Verify within two years.
- Video: The E-Verify Solution for Illegal Hiring
- FAIR's E-Verify Talking Points
- Business Interests Seek to Undermine E-Verify's Effectiveness
- The Impact of New and Expanded E-Verify Measures on Unemployment Rates Since the Great Recession | FAIR Issue Brief
- H.R. 1147, "The Legal Work Force Act." | Legislative text of the Legal Work Force Act
- E-Verify: Time To Shut Down the Jobs Magnet | FAIR Op-Ed
- Any Immigration Compromise Must Shut Down Jobs Magnet for Illegal Aliens | FAIR Op-Ed