Since 1986, controlling illegal immigration by regulating who is entitled to work in the United States has been a key component of U.S. immigration policy. The ritual of showing proof of one’s identity and work authorization and filling out an I-9 form is part of every new hire’s paperwork haze.
First piloted in 1997 and known as the Basic Pilot, an electronic employment-verification program has been used as a complement to the paperwork process—an effort to use technology to improve compliance. Now known as E-Verify, the program is a federal, web-based program through which U.S. businesses can attempt to verify the work authorization of new hires. E-Verify is primarily a voluntary system. However, the federal government requires that all of its contractors use it, and some states have made it mandatory as well.
E-Verify is a compliance mechanism. But, somewhere along the way, it became confused with a deportation strategy. Calls for mandatory E-Verify tend to portray the program as a solution to our illegal immigration problem, and a way to generate jobs for unemployed Americans.
The reality is quite different. Mandatory E-Verify without comprehensive immigration reform will not end illegal immigration, free up jobs for unemployed Americans, or save the country money. In fact, studies of E-Verify predict the opposite.
Read the entire article for specific facts and figures.
See also, E-Verify is not All It's Cracked Up to Be Immigration Impact blog by Michele Waslin