"I E-Verify" Next Best Thing to "Made in America"

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

June 19, 2011
Last month I wrote that Costco, among other major American companies, uses E-Verify. Costco places the official E-Verify poster prominently inside its store next to the Customer Relations counter so that it’s easily visible to everyone. Although the Department of Homeland Security and ICE introduced the "I E-Verify" campaign nearly 2 years ago, with House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act moving through Congress, the sign will be appearing more regularly and at more places of business. Consumers should use "I E-Verify" as a guide to which organizations they patronize and consider it the modern day version of "Made in the U.S.A." As DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said: "E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce. The 'I E-Verify' program will let consumers know which businesses are working hard to follow the law and are committed to protecting employment opportunities." Despite a rash of accusations from the pro-illegal alien lobby like Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) that E-Verify is error prone when it comes to identifying legal workers and that it leads to racial profiling, those false arguments will not derail Smith’s bill. The facts on E-Verify’s accuracy are that of over 15 million 2010 submissions, 98.3 percent were automatically confirmed as work authorized. Among those who received a tentative letter of non-confirmation, 0.3 percent were eventually authorized. Non-confirmed employees are allowed to remain on the job while DHS verifies their applications. Racial profiling charges are totally without merit since every new hire is subject to E-Verify. The next official step for Smith’s Legal Workforce Act as it moves toward President Obama’s desk is a full Judiciary Committee mark-up.

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