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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

We Apologize for any Inconvenience

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

This little email just popped up in my inbox:

Dear Stakeholder -
We wanted to make you aware of the following:
The USCIS Verification Division in Washington, D.C., is closed today due to a power outage. Because of the power outage, E-Verify and SAVE Tier 2 customer support is currently not available. We are working with the telephone company to reroute calls to other offices. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Kind regards,
Office of Public Engagement
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

This is the customer service function, not the actual E-Verify database, but it does make you wonder just how reliable the system is and whether it's really ready for prime time. In the private sector, a national provider like an AT&T or a Google wouldn't announce they're closed for the day because of a power outage. And what guarantees do we have that the actual database is secure? Now that states are mandating E-Verify usage, the inability to use the system or to access customer support becomes a serious question with potentially serious consequences for the national economy.

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  1. Another Voice's Avatar
    My sense is that State Governments are not really concern if someone with an accent does not get hired because E-Verify is down. Another case of "Too bad for immigrants, welcome to America".
  2. Sid's Avatar
    This obviously counts as a strike against E-Verify but my personal experience has been pretty good. My company did a I-9 revalidation recently using E-Verify and though some people, including myself, got TNCs (Tentative Non-Confirmation), they were quickly resolved after a 2-3 minute phone call to the E-Verify customer support. I received the confirmation soon after that. My company has close to 100K employees so it wasn't a small sample. I have no idea if it's equally easy for smaller employers. Everything is through the website so I don't see why it'd be any different. In our industry it is common for companies to do background checks through a third party before sending out the final offers, so this does not seem to be an onerous step in the hiring process.
  3. Paul's Avatar
    Funny. It's the same thing they said to 22,000 winners of the DV lottery when they cancelled the results.
  4. Jack's Avatar
    Cuts both ways--is USCIS equipped to handle processing, background checks, fraud prevention, etc. of an amnesty numbering in the 8 digits?

    Even if E-Verify detractors are just against verification in general, their database issue is valid. But they act like a database is stuck in time and cannot be improved. As problems arise, fix them. In the meantime, have especially liberal safeguards in place. Of course, no matter how accurate and efficient a database might become, some will forever claim it's not ready for prime time (not picking on Greg here). On the other side, pro-enforcement shouldn't just tout how accurate something is. It's in their interest to make it even MORE accurate and keep improving it in all ways, including safeguards which will minimize problems. It's a given the anti-enforcements will be looking to make mountains out of whatever snags take place. Take that as a challenge to do better to the degree they'll look disingenous in their complaints.

    They're doing something similar with ICE. Stop the raids! OK, audits. "Paper raids" are even worse! Target violent criminals? OK. But what about non-violent people caught in the process of targeting the violent? Don't deport them.

    Local law enforcement. 1070 gives too much discretion to the (presumed racist) cop. OK, they made it incident to arrest for something else. Not good enough. OK, they made the law color blind (which isn't even constitutionally required). Not good enough. 287g? It will be abused. OK, how about Secure Communities, it's just a database with KNOWN violations, right? They'll abuse that too. These arguments have no end. EVERY law depends on the cop not being crooked, the prosecutor not being crooked, the trier of fact not being crooked, etc. If it is presumed everyone's crooked, you can't have a legal system. At some point, the anti-immigration law arguments become unreasonable and more ad hominem against the people who make up the system. You either have ways to deter and punish crooked behavior or just give up and have anarchy. Eventually, is it not reasonable to conclude that some people don't want a system that works, they just don't want a system at all?

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