The Many Failures of E-Verify

The federal government and politicians of both major parties have celebrated the E-Verify system as an easy, cost-effective means of keeping immigrants without legal immigration status out of the U.S. This database checks personal identifying information of all newly hired workers against existing government records. If the E-Verify system flags a worker, employers must fire them immediately. With this disincentive or barrier to seeking legal employment, proponents of this system argue that illegal immigration will stop. However, E-Verify has failed in various respects and ultimately has not garnered the anticipated results.

One of the main problems with E-Verify is that it checks only the identity information provided by the worker, not the worker himself or herself. Therefore, if the worker provides false paperwork using someone else’s identity, he or she quickly can get around E-Verify. As a result, states that have mandated the use of E-Verify, such as Arizona and Mississippi, have had steady undocumented immigrant populations since implementing the system. Plus, E-Verify did not prevent the employment of 680 undocumented immigration workers targeted in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in August. If E-Verify had correctly worked, those individuals never would have been employed in the first place.

The Many Failures of E-Verify

Further, some employers do not use E-Verify, even when mandated to do so by state law, and when they do use it, they often look the other way and ignore the results. In many states, employers utilize the system only about half the time. In other cases, pretended not to see visible indications of undocumented immigrant status, such as ICE-issued ankle bracelets for immigrants involved in deportation proceedings. Employers have no incentive to use E-Verify, as states rarely enforce the requirement against employers. Moreover, the federal government does not hold employers accountable, either. For example, the government took no action against the Mississippi plants that employed hundreds of undocumented workers.

Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.

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