Washington D.C. –The federal government finally moved forward on E-Verify and will require all federal contract employers use the verification process to prove U.S. residency and ensure tax dollars are going to legal residents.
“E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce,” said Janet Napolitano Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.
“Requiring those who seek federal contracts to use this system will create a more reliable and legal workforce,” she said.
A leading advocate for E-Verify is Congressman Brian Bilbray-R CA; “This is a perfect common sense law that ensures our tax dollars go to Americans or others authorized to work here. It’s important that we use our tax dollars as wisely as possible.”
According to Bilbray the process is simple to use and the right people are getting through.
The E-Verify process simply compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) against the feral government’s data base. The Social Security office works jointly with DHS by offering a free website.
Although E-Verify provides a positive confirmation in 96.9 percent of the cases and the Senate approved amendments to require all federal contractors to use the system, there are some critics, most notably, Chuck Schumer-D NY.
He calls the E-Verify system “half-hearted and flawed.”
The proof is in the numbers according to the Center for Immigration Studies, an independent research institute that examines the impact of immigration on the U.S.
“When this program began in 2007 it was used to screen 1 in 19 new hires nationwide,” says Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Policy for CIS. The current numbers for July of this year show an astounding new number.
“The new figures represent a 274 percent increase, or 1 in 4 new hires are vetted by E-Verify,” Kephart says. “The number of queries so far in 2009 is about 6 million, nearly what they were for all of 2008.”
If the current trend holds Kephart believes E-Verify will identify 12.3 million employees this year. DHS states that there are approximately 511,228 worksites using E-Verify program through July, up from 400,000 in January.
CIS Institute says “E-Verify enables cheap, efficient and accurate compliance with the federal ban on hiring illegal aliens.”
On another front the state of California remains bogged down by illegal immigration issues. Some in Sacramento believe E-Verify isn’t accurate enough and have put forward legislation AB 1288 in February of this year.
The legislation would prohibit the state, or a city, county, or special district from requiring the employer other than the government entities to use an electronic employment verification system.
Many businesses use E-Verify to screen potential employees. For example, construction, farming, warehouse and other large companies who employ many unskilled workers.
Congressman Bilbray finds this odd. “No wonder they (Sacramento) wants to tax marijuana, they seem to be smoking it.”
Kephart concurs, “That’s giving employers a permission slip to break the law, and it’s inexcusable.”
The bill is currently waiting for a final vote on the Senate floor in Sacramento. “If this goes along party lines, it (the bill) will pass it along party lines by Democrats,” says Mike Zimmerman a spokesperson for Martin Garrick-R-Assemblyman. “It’s anyone’s guess if Governor Schwarzenegger will veto this bill or not.”
In the end, California suffers a higher-than- national average unemployment rate and according to Kephart “it’s ridiculous for California to NOT use E-Verify.”
“Let’s all remember the federal law is very clear, you must be here legally to be employed,” CIS finishes.
For more stories: www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner