E-Verify Measure up for Debate

Thursday, February 5, 2009

As the negotiations for Obama's economic stimulus plan continue on Capital Hill, proponents of the E-Verify system are taking a stand.

E-Verify is a government program that checks a worker's immigration status against the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Immigration advocates believe using the E-Verify system lowers the rate of illegal immigrants becoming employed. Federally contracted workers, and several states across the nation, are already required to use E-Verify and face steep penalties if they are found to employ illegal workers.

The House version of the stimulus bill includes a provision for all companies or banks receiving funding from the federal government that requires them to participate in the E-Verify program.

But opponents of the provision insist that reporting errors from the SSA or Department of Homeland Security could result in thousands of wrongful terminations and essentially slow down the economy as a result.

However, proponents of the measure believe that any jobs available in the market should go to legal immigrants or American citizens, and using E-Verify will be a tool to insure that happens.


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