Comment: Future Of E-Verify

Mitt Romney has consistently discussed his plan to make the use of the E-Verify system mandatory across the nation, but small businesses contend that this would cause them a disproportional amount of hardship. The E-Verify system is a mechanism by which potential hires' identities are vetted against government records in an attempt to ensure that businesses are hiring only those legally authorized to work in the U.S. This CNN article suggest 18 states require the use of E-Verify to one extent or another, while some states have repealed such laws and still other have banned it outright. The article includes quotes from several small business owners in Arizona, where participation in the system is mandatory, including one who decried the time and energy this requires, saying that "[s]mall business has a very good handle on who they hire." Indeed, there are other criticisms of the proposed expansion of the E-Verify program: that legal workers will get falsely flagged and, more importantly, that use of the system will not always catch fraud. Nonetheless, some employers prefer the extra measure of security and confidence that use of the system engenders. Is mandating the use of E-Verify a good idea? Or will it have too great of a negative effect on small businesses, many of which our struggling as our economy is proving harder to get back on track than was originally hoped? Is there a way for both political parties to work together to find an adequate response to the problems E-Verify seeks to address? Or should expanding the use of this program be used as a livable concession, a bargaining chip for Democrats who want more comprehensive immigration reform? Share your thoughts with us on E-Verify and its future at editor@ilw.com

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