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Desantis Should Avoid Flawed E-Verify ID System

October 9, 2019 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

Gov. Ron DeSantis and other members of the Florida GOP are mulling whether to enact mandatory E-Verify for all new hires. DeSantis, like his predecessor Rick Scott, said he supports mandatory E-Verify in Florida to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants, but other Republicans like Sen. Joe Gruters, who doubles as chairman of the local Republican Party, said he “wants to hear what people have to say” first. Here’s what the facts say: E-Verify doesn’t work. Florida shouldn’t mandate it.

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E-Verify is a federal government system whereby businesses check the identities of workers to guarantee that they are legally eligible to work. States have been experimenting with E-Verify as an immigration enforcement tool for more than a decade. Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina mandated the system, meaning that employers must take the identity information of all new hires, run them through E-Verify, and wait for government permission to keep them on the payroll. DeSantis’ proposal would copy those states.

Arizona was the first to mandate E-Verify for all new hires beginning on January 1, 2008. Rich Crandall, a Republican former state Senator from Mesa, Ariz., said that E-Verify “was promised as the silver bullet to immigration problems. E-Verify was going to solve our challenges with immigration.”

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Far from a silver bullet, E-Verify is shooting blanks.

The Mississippi raids in early August are a case in point. In one day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 680 illegal immigrants who were working at poultry processing plants operated by five different companies in Mississippi. Their employment was supposed to be impossible after the state mandated E-Verify on July 1, 2011.

But E-Verify’s failure in Mississippi is even worse than it appears. Mississippi had been enrolled in the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) initiative since 2011. RIDE checks drivers license information against information held by the state’s DMV. Even with an …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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