Posts Tagged: E-verify

Illegal immigration and WI dairy farms

Georgia Pabst of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a critical — and flawed — piece Saturday on E-Verify, the joint Dept. of Homeland of Security/Social Security Administration program that makes employers check the citizenship status of their workers. Right now, E-Verify is voluntary — but new legislation would make it mandatory. Pabst implies this would be bad for Wisconsin dairy farmers, the vast majority of of whom employ illegal immigrants. But it could have the positive effect of curbing the exploitation of these workers. (more…)

Change the Name to ‘E-Hypothesize’

The Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky and Miriam Jordan report that E-verify, the Dept. of Homeland Security program to catch illegal immigrant workers, isn’t catching illegal immigrant workers. E-verify’s social security check was only able to catch 1 in 2 illegal workers. E-verify is now required for all businesses that contract with the government. Other companies that want to show they’re on the up-and-up have also started using the program. You might be excited, upset or ambivalent about illegal immigrant workers. Regardless, the touted federal program to track these immigrants doesn’t work.

Soon, Our Consumer Goods Will Be DHS-Approved

The New York Times’ Neil Lewis reports that the Obama administration’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has taken another step in their policy to crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants. ICE will audit 1,000 companies to see if these companies verified that hires are, in fact, legal citizens. The companies are “involved in infrastructure operations like gas and electric utilities and contractors on military bases but not retailers and manufacturers of nonessential goods.”

But wait, there’s more. Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano also wants to encourage companies who use the E-Verfiy computer system to check their worker’s presented documentation against government records. How will Napolitano encourage companies? Why, by having a special logo in their products saying, “I E-Verify.” (more…)


The New York Times’ Julia Preston reports that the Obama White House has advanced the Bush White House agenda of getting tough on undocumented immigrants: "The administration recently undertook audits of employee paperwork at hundreds of businesses, expanded a program to verify worker immigration status that has been widely criticized as flawed, bolstered a program of cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies, and rejected proposals for legally binding rules governing conditions in immigration detention centers."

Every administration priority here, except the last, is the enforcement of pre-existing laws. Immigration advocates sympathetically argue that these laws need to change, but the Dept. of Homeland Security is not exactly acting out of bounds. And on some scores the Obama version of law enforcement really is more sensible: e-verfiy and audits of employee paperwork is intended  to track rogue employers, not sensationally round-up thousands of low-wage immigrants.

The final measure, though, makes no sense. The Washington Post’s Dana Priest and Amy Goldstein had a stunning expose last year on abuses at immigration detention centers. Preston’s piece doesn’t explain why the Obama administration rejects uniform standards. Stay tuned.-MB


Spencer S. Hsu of the Washington Post has a good piece on the Dept. of Homeland Security’s new approach to immigration law enforcement, reporting on "clear signs" that the Obama administration is charting an, um, "middle course." DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano will not send "no-match" letters to 140,000 U.S. employers that, according to the federal database "E-verify" are employing immigrants without legit social security numbers. But the "middle course" is that Napolitano will now make federal contractors check employee social security numbers against the E-verify database.

The database has been around since 1996 but it was first used as a prop in the national immigration policy debate by the Bush administration. Both business and labor groups energetically oppose it, in part arguing the database holds inaccurate information. It’s hard to see how the Obama administration should sensibly use the database outside the context of a more comprehensive plan for changing and enforcing immigration laws. Absent comprehensive immigration reform, DHS will probably continue its path toward a mushy middle.-MB