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Peddles Falsehoods to Sell Mandatory E-Verify Program
Washington – In his zeal to try to force 11 million undocumented immigrants to pack up and leave, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is pushing to make the burdensome and ineffective E-Verify program mandatory across the nation. His plan would force all workers—including U.S citizens—to ask a government database for permission to work.
In his effort to sell the plan, however, Smith is lying about how “effective” it really is. During a recent Fox Business interview with the equally truth-challenged Lou Dobbs, Smith claimed E-Verify was 99% effective. Yet the government’s own statistics show that E-Verify has a fail rate of more than 50%. In a USCIS study conducted by Westat in 2009, only 46% of unauthorized workers were correctly detected by the E-Verify system—the other 54% were deemed authorized to work. In addition, if the program is made mandatory and national, millions of legal immigrants and citizens will be falsely identified as “unauthorized” due to the program’s flawed databases. Using current error rates, 3.6 million workers will have to try to get their records corrected by a government agency in order to keep their jobs, and 770,000 legal workers will lose their jobs due to bureaucratic mistakes, every year.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “That Lamar Smith, a man who thinks that government does little right and should stay out of the way, is proposing ‘government as the solution’ through E-Verify shows the depths of his commitment to mass deportation. Mandatory E-Verify won’t force millions of workers to deport themselves. Instead, it will send them into the cash economy, harm our economy, and impose new regulations and burdens on American workers and honest businesses.”
“If Democrats proposed legislation that would cause the loss of almost 800,000 jobs, force 4 million more workers into an administrative quagmire, burden small businesses, destroy the agricultural industry, reduce tax revenue by billions – and fail to work at least half of the time – Republicans would be apoplectic,” continued Sharry.
Supporters of E-Verify make it sound easy and harmless: a simple online check of your social security number and other personal data, and you’re done. If you are undocumented, it will be found out and you will not be allowed to work. Yet the unintended consequences of mandatory E-verify are enormous, and the payoff is less than impressive:
Said Sharry, “The smarter, more practical, and fiscally responsible approach is clear. Instead of passing mandatory E-Verify, Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
America’s Voice Education Fund — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.