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E-Verify Wrong for America

May 23, 2013 in Economics

By Jim Harper

Jim Harper

More than 30 years ago at a Cabinet meeting on immigration reform, Ronald Reagan dismissed the idea of a national ID card with a broad smile and a wisecrack. “Maybe we should just brand all the babies,” he said. The Justice Department’s plan to put a national ID in the hand of every worker didn’t make it out of the Cabinet Room.

E-Verify is a system for transferring control from businesses and individuals around the country to Washington, D.C.”

Today, conservatives and Republicans are the strongest backers of the national identification system in the Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration reform bill. If they get their way, they may just deliver the American people over to a national ID and tight, comprehensive control from Washington, D.C., through the program known as E-Verify. Politically, it appears that the price of enough conservative votes to pass a broader immigration reform package is giving the federal government the power to approve or decline every American business’s hiring decisions from now on.

E-Verify is intended to work as follows: After collecting I-9 tax forms, participating employers enter the information supplied by workers into a government website. The system compares these data with information held in Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases. If the name and Social Security number pairs match to citizen data at the SSA, a worker is approved. The system compares information from noncitizens with DHS data to determine whether the employee is a naturalized citizen or immigrant eligible to work. The Senate immigration bill would make this program mandatory for essentially all employers in four years.

It sounds simple enough, and Americans have been trained since the creation of the I-9 form in 1986 to think that employers should be deputy immigration agents. But in addition to errors in government data and abuses of the system that could deny people the right to work, E-Verify ultimately requires a national identification system. The Gang of Eight bill would create a “photo tool” backed by a database of images held by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The bill sets aside a quarter-billion dollars for grants to states in order to get access to driver’s license information, and it exempts state-to-federal sharing of driver’s license photos from the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

The bill also spends a cool $1 billion on “fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear-resistant, and identity theft-resistant social security cards,” …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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