E-Verify and Immigration: Program Needs Improvement
E-Verify and Immigration: Congress Circling the Drain with Failed Policies that Hurt the Economy
Program Needs Improvement in Conjunction with Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Not Expansion in its Current Form
Washington, DC - Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform'sSubcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, held a hearing on the "Challenges and Opportunities" of the government's experimental electronic employment verification system, known as E-Verify. This comes on the heels of a Senate hearing Tuesday on similar issues as they relate to comprehensive immigration reform, a vote this month by the Senate to expand the E-Verify program to all federal contractors, and the reintroduction (today) by "Blue Dog" DemocratHeath Shuler (D-NC) of an E-Verify expansion bill and a parallel Senate bill to be introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, non-profit pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.
The E-Verify program as it currently stands adds to the costs of businesses and adds to the costs of government, including costs to Social Security and other direct and indirect costs. E-Verify reduces tax revenues at the local, state, and federal levels and adds to unemployment. Expanding it is the last thing America's economy needs.
If the systemic data-error problems, costs, and privacy concerns can be addressed and misuse by bad-faith employers reduced, then E-Verify or something similar should be considered as a component of larger immigration reforms that allow immigrants to come legally and for those here to get legal so they are all contributing, tax-paying engines of economic growth. Expanding E-Verify on its own is a drag to the economy and drives taxpayers, businesses, and employees, including immigrants here illegally, into the underground off-the-books economy.
Congress, especially one controlled by Democrats who support comprehensive immigration reform, should not be circling the same drain as previous Congresses, wasting time and money on expanding failed immigration approaches and not making enough progress on the urgent system-wide immigration changes Americans want and need.