Immigration Enforcement

Make E-Verify work

Tuesday, September 2

(updated 3:01 am)

Last week’s raid of a manufacturing plant in Mississippi put the spotlight back on illegal immigration. Netting almost 600, it’s the biggest immigration raid ever made on a U.S. plant.

The raid also put the spotlight on problems associated with E-Verify, a federal program that provides employers a link to government databases to determine workers’ legal status.

The company, Howard Industries Inc., was using E-Verify and other methods to check immigration status, yet it still employed hundreds illegally.

Much of the anomaly could stem from employees hired before the company began using E-Verify. It was reported that enforcers began investigating two years before Howard began checking workers’ status that way.

With such a large number detained, you have to wonder if someone at Howard didn’t mind hiring undocumented workers. Still, Howard’s employment problems likely also resulted from a glaring weakness of E-Verify: It has a hard time detecting identity theft.

If an illegal immigrant has stolen someone’s identity and is using both that person’s name and Social Security number, E-Verify often can’t determine that.

E-Verify is set to expire on Nov. 1, unless Congress reauthorizes it. Democratic Rep. Health Shuler, of western North Carolina, has proposed legislation that not only would continue E-Verify but expand it. Called the SAVE Act, it would phase in mandatory use of E-Verify by all employers.

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September 2, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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