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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GAO WARNS CONGRESS ON E-VERIFY

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The General Accounting Office has released their official testimony before the Social Security Subcommittee in the House of Representatives. A few points caught my attention:

A mandatory E-Verify program would necessitate an increased capacity at
both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and SSA to
accommodate the estimated 7.4 million employers in the United States.
According to USCIS, as of April 2008, more than 61,000 employers have
registered for E-Verify, and about half are active users. Although DHS has not
prepared official cost figures, USCIS officials estimated that a mandatory EVerify
program could cost a total of about $765 million for fiscal years 2009
through 2012 if only newly hired employees are queried through the program
and about $838 million over the same 4-year period if both newly hired and
current employees are queried.



----



The majority of E-Verify queries entered by
employers--about 92 percent--confirm within seconds that the employee is
work-authorized. About 7 percent of the queries cannot be immediately
confirmed as work authorized by SSA, and about 1 percent cannot be
immediately confirmed as work authorized by USCIS because employees'
information queried through the system does not match information in SSA or
DHS databases. The majority of SSA erroneous tentative nonconfirmations
occur because employees' citizenship or other information, such as name
changes, is not up to date in the SSA database, generally because individuals
do not request that SSA make these updates.

E-Verify may indeed be a key part of the future of immigration enforcement in America. But DHS and SSA must have the funds and the people to properly administer the program and systems must be put in place to ensure the databases are up to date. Until both happen, protections need to be put in place for workers who dispute non-confirmations that allow them to continue working after they lodge a protest. Illegally present workers are not likely to expose themselves by launching a protest so virtually all people disputing a non-confirmation will be citizens and permanent residents as well as those legally entitled to be in the United States and working.



You can read the report here.Download gao_report_from_may_08.pdf

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Comments

  1. EB3's Avatar
    The numbers cited by the GAO are out of date. See the May 16 entry on the DHS Leadership Journal: http://www.dhs.gov/journal/leadership/. What about naturalized citizens? How come you're not peddling that tired old talking point any more?
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