E-Verify: Opening The Door For More Regulations

by David Bier on March 1, 2013 · 3 comments

in Economy, Employment, Features, Immigration, International, Labor, Regulation

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President Obama and the Gang of Eight senators want E-Verify — the electronic employment verification system — included in any comprehensive immigration reform proposal this spring. Yesterday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute joined the Cato Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union at a Capitol Hill briefing on “E-Verify’s many perils” (available online here). I spoke on the effect E-Verify will have on employers. This is how my statement concluded.

First, businesses should not want to go down this road to electronic regulation, where the government is monitoring employer compliance remotely through computer checks. This road does not end well for businesses. Immigration law is just the beginning — as technology advances and government databases become more complete, all manner of labor law compliance and future regulatory controls could be monitored electronically. Remote control regulation is a dangerous precedent for businesses interested in reducing, not increasing their regulatory burden.

Second, universal regulations inevitably result in selective enforcement, which undermines the rule of law. In Arizona, for example, so many businesses failed to comply that the state had pick and choose businesses to make examples out of. But it’s not just violators who will be singled out. E-Verify will also result in selective audits against businesses, like Chipotle, that the federal government wants to make an example out of. This unfair or random enforcement will undermine the rule of law and create regulatory uncertainty that I think all businesses should oppose.

Finally, businesses should resist being treated as a fourth branch of government whenever they can. Immigration enforcement is the responsibility of the federal government, not private industry. Being forced to police your workforce or your customers for “unauthorized” individuals is simply authoritarian. If the government wants to enact a particular social scheme, whether immigration restrictions or providing birth control, it should do it, not conscript businessmen to do it for them.

The imposition of remote control regulation, selective enforcement, and employer conscription radically increase the powers of the government over the private sector. If it can control remotely the activities of employers, if it can conscript them to enforce its social policies, if it can selectively enforce the law against those it wishes, limited government becomes little more than illusion — something that exists on paper, but which in reality is constrained only by the political whims of bureaucrats and the majority in Congress.

If the government wants to truly eliminate unauthorized employment or illegal immigration, it already knows how — simply permit legal access to foreign workers. In the 1960s, when Mexican work visas were uncapped, illegal immigration was almost eliminated — it is time for a return to a sensible immigration policy that discourages illegal immigration by allowing legal entry. It is time that the government ceases imposing the costs of immigration enforcement on legal workers and American businesses — it is time for a better way.

John Collignon March 2, 2013 at 6:28 am

Instead of the many negatives to this argument posted(the story itself) I will mention one positive, electronic surveillance. This is a personal distaste of mine though. Anytime people are under surveillance is a disquieting time. Unfortunately, that argument will “not wash” anymore due to every industry being electronically monitored. Why is this one different? It isn’t. The way of freedom from electronic surveillance is past. Society and order(DMV,post office,etc.) is not possible without electronics. So… the opposite reaction to the gentleman’s opinion is this would certainly HELP in keeping businesses and illegals compliant. Sure there are negatives to ANY program,but the benefit outweighs these in this particular argument.

Dave Francis March 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm

The Mandatory Nationwide E-Verify program and other essential immigration laws.

The E-Verify pilot computer program was introduced in 1997, but has only been on a volunteer basis. It is now proven to detect illegal alien workforce, specifically as it is continually upgraded adding new tools, including the usage of Drivers License Records. This is probably is one of the most important potential mandatory laws other than THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL, that will prevent illegal alien children smuggled into the United States gaining automatic citizens. It has billions of dollars in costs in free education, free health care, cash payments and other citizen benefits. Whether people find access across the border illegally, or the other 46 percent who stay after arriving here on a flight the revenue spent to cater to them all, would save hundreds of billions in senseless spending annually. It must be voted on immediately, but instead is hidden away by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada so it cannot reach a reading. The Birthright Citizenship bill needs to be amended, so only children whose parent is a U.S. citizen can collect this great incentive.
E-Verify which is a mandatory provision of THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT should also voted on without reservation, and also immediately before any new Amnesties are voted on in Congress. If there is a mismatch with documents to identify the worker, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the issue. With the future usage of E-Verify as it is, only affects new labor, not previous hires that may be unauthorized to work? This part of an upcoming law needs to encompass both every worker, new and old hires? Since its inception the corporate world, unions and Department of Commerce have repudiated its positive outcome on the job market, trying to overcome any possibility of it become a mandatory law.
A new study conducted by Senior Quantitative Analyst Jason Arvelo with Bloomberg Government reports have found that there is evidence to support E-Verify has the ability to deter the hiring of unauthorized workers. The study evaluates the impact that state-passed E-Verify laws had on different industries within those states.

The study came away with two key findings. First, State legislatures have experimented with E-Verify laws varying how fast they’re rolled out and how strictly they’re enforced. This study finds that strict penalties probably lead to higher compliance rates among employers. Second, the research suggests that E-Verify mandates, when rolled out to all employers, influence worker behavior. Soon after E-Verify laws were signed in Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina, unauthorized workers in specific industries appeared to drop off employer payrolls. This prompted employers in many cases to fill positions with authorized workers.

In Arizona, the Bloomberg study found a significant shift in the legal status of workers in apparel manufacturing, commercial bakeries, and taxi and limousine service. In South Carolina, Bloomberg found evidence of shifts in the legal status of workers in crop production, commercial bakeries, and special food service.

Eventually all legislators will have to decide what to do about the border fence? Not the well publicized sectors with large populations on either side of the Southern border, which have been cleverly grafted on the retina of journalists, investigative reporters and politicians eyes to illustrate a firm barrier. But the regions further afield that wouldn’t even keep out an elephant out, never displayed to the dignitaries or working press. With nothing to show for the border line but some heavily leaning rusty barbed wire, that is evidently where a whole retinue of criminals and welfare illegal aliens are able sneak across bringing with them new strains of diseases? Some areas have nothing at all and nothing to mark where the two countries meet? The tremendously high outlay of complying with the Secure Fence Act’s mandate was estimated at US$4.1 billion, or more than the Border Patrols entire annual budget of 3 billion in 1986, supposedly the foremost reason that it was not satisfied; however the business community didn’t like being severed from cheap labor. In just a few years the cost of financially supporting the illegal aliens crossing borders would revitalize every state treasury. Every American must demand from Washington the 2006 Secure Fence which was originally passed and then more or less killed, from the ravings of special interest groups and their lobbyists.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX), into the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Homeland Security funding bill, H.R. 2638 purposely exempted the DHS from having to build any fence at all. While these lawmakers living in their isolated gated homes in Washington continue to play political sport with one another and conspire with the dictatorial Mexican government, while Southwest landowners suffer from Drug cartels, criminals with guns and illegal aliens disrupting their lives; repeated incidents of violation of US sovereignty policies, including some known elements of terrorists cells with unnerving intentions. Later Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA)voted for the construction of a 14-mile, triple-layered fence along the U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego in the Illegal Immigration Reform bill, which has far surpassed the rest of the border regions fencing complete with razor wire, which minimizes the single fence that has been constructed and remains uncompleted.

Sign a petition against the Gang of Eight’s proposal in opposition to 23 million unemployed Americans at: NumberUSA You can also contact every Representative demanding no Amnesty and no Path to Citizenship at 202) 224-3121, the general Washington switchboard. YOU THE CITIZEN VOTER HAS MORE INFLUENCE OVER CONGRESS, THAN YOU RECOGNIZE.

Over 7000 Americans/legal residents are killed by illegal aliens, unfortunately officials as Homeland Security as Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder and many state judges and prosecutors remain unconcerned about the slaughters on the highway. Read the heart wrenching story and the fight for justice at the Drew Rosenburg families “Unlicensed to kill” website. We are seeing these terrible injustices growing day by day under the Obama administration.

Downsize DC March 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Good post, but it’s unclear if immigration enforcement is even a federal responsibility. The feds might have responsibility for uniform rules for naturalization and citizenship, but no provision says it can restrict immigration.

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