Texas immigration attorney Mark Murov has a good article about the E-Verify system in his latest newsletter. His conclusion is that this is not a workable solution to our immigration problems. Here are excerpts from Mr. Murov’s article:

Although the government claims that E-Verify, its electronic employment authorization program, is free, most companies which have been forced to use it (due to Federal Contracts and State laws) have found it necessary to utilize vendor programs, and to pay setup costs and ongoing service fees. A recent Bloomberg study states that if E-Verify had been mandatory for employers last year, it would have cost U.S. employers $2.7 billion. Moreover, 99.7% of employers have fewer than 500 workers and can least afford the expense. The Cato Institute issued a report which called E-verify Franz Kafkas Solution to Illegal Immigration.

Although E-Verify has improved somewhat in the fourteen (14) years since it was first rolled out, many companies have found that E-Verify does not work well for them or their workforce. E-Verify cannot detect all unauthorized workers. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), it does nothing to detect identity fraud : if a worker presents genuine documents belonging to another person,

E-Verify will erroneously confirm him as work authorized. Additionally, due to errors in the database, workers who are in fact authorized sometimes lose their jobs, creating hardship to their families and to employers which incur the expense of replacing them.

The only way to fix the problem of unauthorized workers is to address this issue wtih Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). This means a more comprehensive package of reforms, including a legalization program that brings workers into compliance and taxes their income. CIR should include a workable Verification program to allow employers to verify their workers immigration status with greater confidence that they are doing the right thing. CIR means a solution which comprehensively addresses the future of foreign workers living and working here by creating working visa categories which employers need. CIR should also reform the systems by which the laws are enforced to create equity and certainty for workers and employers.

Its time for our Congress to do the right thing and fix our immigration system, in one piece of legislation. CIR is the only smart way to fix the problems with unauthorized employment and verifications.