E-Verify ensures only eligible workers are hired

By D.A. King, Nashville Tennessean, June 11, 2011

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A riddle — too seldom put forth — in response to Nashville immigration attorney Elliott Ozment’s June 10 guest editorial column, “E-Verify unreliable, biased, costly to businesses”:

Q: At about a million each year, what nation brings in more real, legal immigrants than any other on the planet — and also imports more than a million “guest workers” per annum?

A: The United States of America.

Yep, the good old USA — a nation mired in a debilitating, near-depression-level economic decline, alarming unemployment rates, rising demands for entitlement programs and shrinking budgets.

Whether our current level of immigration makes sense or not (it doesn’t) we have no reason to apologize — unless it is to the next generation who will soon deal with a half-billion mouths to feed.

Here is another riddle for the majority of Americans who have had more than enough of the crimes of illegal immigration and illegal employment: Why do the ACLU, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many mmigration lawyers so vehemently oppose any and all programs designed to preserve the integrity of our immigration system and protect American workers — immigrants and native-born alike — from hordes of illegal workers?

Why is the no-cost and effective federal E-Verify system for ensuring that only eligible workers have been hired such a horror show for these folks?

The short answer is potential political constituency, higher profit margins and the feeling of being above the law and ensuring a future client base.

Not many Americans fail to understand that illegal immigrants come here for the money. For now, even low-wage American jobs pay more than Third World wages. Stop illegal employment, and we stop illegal immigration. It’s not exactly rocket science.

E-Verify is the federal tool for verifying that newly hired employees are not taking a job illegally. And it works far too well for many.

More than 243,000 employers, representing more than 834,000 work sites, currently use E-Verify, and an average of 1,400 new employers enroll each week; most of them voluntarily.

As of fiscal year 2010, 98.3 percent of employees are automatically confirmed as authorized to work using E-Verify. Most of the new employees who get a negative response simply walk off the job and apply down the road with an employer who is not using the successful system to save jobs for legal workers.

In March, E-Verify Self Check began. It’s the first online E-Verify program offered directly to the U.S. workforce. This fast, simple, secure and free service enables individuals to voluntarily check their own employment eligibility status.

Many in the media have failed to mention the existence of the legal alternative to continuing to hire black-market farm laborers who have escaped capture at our borders. It is called the H2A agricultural worker visa.

This program establishes lawful means for agricultural employers to bring an unlimited number of temporary foreign workers into the U.S. But they are more costly than illegal immigrants and more difficult to use as “victimized and oppressed” political tools.

I know what readers probably are thinking about here: “Does E-Verify work to confirm the farm workers who are looking for a better life when they come here legally under the H2A agricultural visa that has no limit or ceiling?” Yes, H2A visa workers fly through the E-Verify system.

It’s no riddle: On honoring our immigration laws, E-Verify works.


D.A. King, who lives in Marietta, Ga., is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which takes an active pro-enforcement position on immigration laws. He has been an E-Verify user since 2005.

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