The NY Times has an excellent editorial this morning discussing an issue I've raised many times before - the flawed databases that are the backbone of the E-Verify and Social Security No-Match systems. While the case for using the systems is logical, the assumption has to always be that the systems actually are accurate. And therein lies the problem. If millions of legal workers - many of them US citizens - are falsely identified as being illegally in the US, we've got a problem. If the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security had the resources to actually clear up discrepancies in a timely manner, a small false positive rate would be acceptable. But they don't. Today they only have to deal with a small number of people trying to make corrections and it can take months to solve the problem. Now multiply this group by 2000% or so.

I have mentioned a simple solution to this that will allow both E-Verify and the No-Match rule to expand like the government is hoping. When a worker lodges a protest with SSA or DHS that the system has falsely labeled them as unauthorized, then that the worker should be authorized to continue working until DHS or SSA actually gets to the bottom of the error. In other words, put the burden back on the government to actually deal with the mess they most likely created.

Some may be concerned that illegal workers would use this as an opportunity to continue working illegally. However, the reality is that when an employer alerts an employee to a discrepancy, the illegally present worker almost always takes off. The odds of an illegal worker going to DHS or the SSA to try and lodge a protest - and risking being picked up and deported - are pretty remote.