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E-verify is a government program that checks the immigration status of potential employees and has been available to employers on a voluntary basis since 1997. Rep Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced the "Legal Workforce Act" (H.R. 2164), which if passed would force all businesses to use e-verify. E-verify has had an error rate of over 50%, both failing to detect undocumented workers and erroneously flagging documented workers.
Mandatory E-verify will not reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., but it will put an unnecessary burden on small businesses and encourage them to hire "off the books." Economically it would result in the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenues. Morally it would force undocumented workers into the "shadow economy" where they are subject to abuse and wage theft. It is inhumane and immoral to continue to implement more and more enforcement-only policies without also providing a pathway to legal status.
Summary of the "Legal Workforce Act" (mandatory e-verify) (PDF, 8 pages), by the American Immigration Lawyers Association
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Last updated on Thursday, December 8, 2011.
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Analysis of E-verify, from the Immigration Policy Center
OneAmerica's E-verify Toolkit
Talking Points on E-verify, from the Friends Committee on National Legislation
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