Immigration Subcommittee Hearing Highlights E-Verify’s Effectiveness

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Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing entitled “How E-Verify Works and How It Benefits American Employers and Workers.” In opening remarks, full Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) highlighted the importance of a functional workplace enforcement tool. “E-Verify is not the entire solution, but it is a critical part of the enforcement solution, making it easier for employers to be able to know whether the person presenting their credentials to them for a job are indeed the person they say they are and have the authorization that they claim to have,” declared Goodlatte. (Bloomberg Government Transcript, Feb. 27, 2013)

Soraya Correa, an Associate Director from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, testified to the impressive accuracy of E-Verify. According to an independent evaluation of E-Verify, the program has a 99.7 percent accuracy rate for authorized employees. (Id.) The study also found that 94 percent of final non-confirmations were accurately issued for unauthorized workers.

Immigration enforcement champion Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) noted that E-Verify is one of the government’s most successful programs. “E-Verify immediately confirms 99.7 percent of work-eligible work employees. I don’t know of any government agency that has that kind of efficiency, and quite frankly, that’s probably as close to perfection as we’re going to get on this human earth.” (Id.) Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) added, “we had a hearing this morning in the very same room on drones, and they don’t have a 100 percent get-it-right rate…. I just think that’s pretty doggone good.” (Id.)

Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce embraced the benefits of E-Verify despite its previous criticism. “After a lot of analysis, we concluded that the Chamber should support a mandatory E-Verify system,” testified Randel Johnson, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits. (Id.) “I just want to note that we do support, unlike the president’s bill, the application of E-Verify to the entire workforce. His leaked bill, in fact, exempted something like 60 percent of all employers,” Johnson pointed out. (Id.)

The hearing also illustrated that E-Verify is not cost-prohibitive, as charged by many businesses and pro-amnesty groups. “In regard to the costs, I wanted to point out that another study reveals that three quarters of the employers stated that the cost of using E-Verify was zero,” noted Smith. (Id.) “All I can say is our economist has looked at the studies [claiming $2.6 billion in compliance costs, and]believes those studies have overestimated the impact….” added Johnson (Id.)

E-Verify also received near unanimous approval by users. According to Correa, “E-Verify received a customer satisfaction score of 86 out of 100” and “the vast majority of users surveyed were likely to recommend E-Verify to other employers, were confident in its accuracy and were likely to continue using the system.” (Id.; see FAIR Legislative Update, Feb. 25, 2013) Chris Gamvroulas, President of Ivory Development, lauded the program. E-Verify “has been proven to be easy to use, protects employees’ privacy and rights, and we generally find it to be an efficient and effective system,” stated Gamvroulas. (Id.) “We believe that E-Verify is working as intended.” (Bloomberg Government Transcript, Feb. 27, 2013)  Representative Smith, noting the ease of passing E-Verify funding extensions through both Houses of Congress, added “it has overwhelming congressional support.” (Id.)

The hearing marked the latest example of how amnesty advocates resist any enforcement mechanisms. Despite testimony of the extraordinarily high accuracy rate, pro-amnesty Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) claimed, “I am concerned about the error rate.” (Id.) Emily Tulli, an attorney for the pro-amnesty National Immigration Law Center (NILC), expressed “grave concerns” about E-Verify and claimed the program “makes all workers, citizens and immigrants alike, more vulnerable in the workplace.” (Id.) Audaciously, Tulli completely dismissed enforcement stating “the best enforcement measure is actually a broad and robust legalization plan.” (Id.)

Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) challenged Tulli’s testimony. “I’m having a hard time with your testimony” because “all you’re throwing out is reasons why we shouldn’t have E-Verify, reasons why we have a problem with E-Verify.” (Id.) “And I think that if advocates for immigration reform keep coming here and having problems with the enforcement mechanisms that we need to have in order to have a viable immigration system, I think you’re going to spoil any chance that we have right now to have comprehensive immigration reform,” Labrador concluded. (Id.)

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Content written by former Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.

5 Comments

  1. avatar
    Mass Immigration Is Unsustainable on

    “the best enforcement measure is actually a broad and robust legalization plan.”

    Nonsensical, but typical open border mentality. Enforcement doesn’t even exist in their thinking.

  2. avatar

    Notice the part how the administration’s proposal exempts the majority of employers. It needs to be every employer. FAIR needs to put together a simple one or two page handout that could go to the press pointing out how every promise this administration has made has been broken. Like saying the Dream Act could not be done by executive order, it had to be Congress, and then, by golly, executive orders WERE ok. And they told states before the election that Secure Communities had to be followed by all government agencies, and then suddenly that was optional. And we are supposed to trust anyone who promises enforcement? We’ve been lied to continuously since the 1986 amnesty. No reason to believe the pro amnesty tigers will be changing their stripes.

  3. avatar

    God Bless America

    And God Bless E-verify with duplicate SSN identity fraud sifting.

    Now let’s get these agnostic open border types back with the true Church, integrity, not evil excuses.

    • avatar

      no way to e-verifraud, impossible to have e-verify system existing. yokes on heads of business and companies. wasting time. previous system still maintain and re-reveal. why? devil laughing at you he got and manipulating you.
      do something good for ya neighbor.
      God’s eyes reflect and concentrate on poorest.

      • avatar
        Mother/Grandmother on

        You have stolen from us long enough and it is time it stops. God’s eyes might reflect and concentrate on the poorest but He does not like thieves. Ever hear of the 8th Commandment? “Thou shall not steal.”