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Home / Government / E-Verify draws an egad from industry (UPDATE)

E-Verify draws an egad from industry (UPDATE)

By Paul Snyder

Contractors wonder why they should be forced to use a federal E-Verify system with documented flaws in spotting unauthorized workers.

I-9 forms, contractor registrations, prevailing wage reports and other state documents are good enough, said Jerry King, comptroller for Wisconsin Rapids-based Eagle Construction Co. Inc. Requiring use of E-Verify, he said, just adds to the mountain of work required to do business.

“How much information do they need about us?” King said.

State Sen. Jim Holperin, D-Conover, has introduced a bill that would require contractors bidding on state projects use the E-Verify system to find out if their employees are eligible to work in the United States. The bill would give the state authority to terminate a construction contract if a contractor does not use the program.

E-Verify is a free Internet-based system, operated by the federal government, that lets an employer determine the eligibility of an employee to work in the United States.

Thirteen states and the federal government require varying degrees of E-Verify, said Marilu Cabrera, spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Holperin said he introduced the bill because his constituents asked him. If the federal government can use E-Verify on construction contracts, he said, Wisconsin should follow suit.

“It’s in the best interest of the state to hire citizens,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s any kind of comprehensive fix.”

But according to a December 2009 report by Westat, a contract research organization based in Washington, D.C., E-Verify wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time because it cannot detect identity theft.

Cabrera said the government is working to fix those problems, and many employers throughout the country regularly use the program.

But Holperin’s bill is premature until the kinks are straightened out, said Jim Boullion, government affairs director for the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin.

“You don’t want to mandate a program,” he said, “that has so many questions at this point.”

The Boldt Co., Appleton, began using E-Verify last year, said Randy Haak, the company’s general counsel. The contractor works on projects in various states, and there are some contracts in which E-Verify is required.

“We started using it as a backup for our paper documents,” he said. “As we become more electronic, contractors are going to see these changes whether the state mandates it or not.

“But until the system is proved to be reliable, all we’re doing is duplicating work we’re already doing.”

State Rep. Mark Gottlieb, R-Port Washington, said he will introduce in the state Assembly a bill identical to Holperin’s. Like Holperin, Gottlieb said he does not know of any illegal employees working on state projects, but he said the bill is not supposed to be reactionary.

“I think if you ask anybody, ‘Before someone gets a state contract paid for with taxpayer dollars, should those workers be legally employed?’” he said, “the answer’s going to be yes.”

King agreed, but said there only are so many hoops a contractor should be forced to go through.

Eagle does not use E-Verify.

“I think it’s unrealistic for state or federal government to have these employers have to research this stuff and put in the hours to comply with the law,” he said. “But who’s footing the bill for those extra hours? We are.”

3 comments

  1. 1986 IMMIGRATION LAWS WERE NEVER BROKEN–JUST NEVER ENFORCED.

    California–THE SANCTUARY STATE–IS broke because of the invasion. Arizona and border states are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Many other states like New York also have massive debt, because they have pandered to impoverished, desperate foreigners. WHY do you think many states other than Sanctuary California is mandating E-Verify? Utah is signing E-Verify into law as it passed the house. Enforce immigration laws, secure the border and resuscitate Proposition 187 (cutting of welfare to illegal alien families in California) that never was allowed to reach the Supreme Court. Station the National Guard along the border. Make illegal entry into the United States a felony. Arizona has very rigid immigration law pending. Georgia too and others have enforcement laws.

    Here is are some quick facts: JANUARY WELFARE COSTS FOR CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL ALIENS EXCEEDED $50 MILLION DOLLARS March 9th 2009 LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich released figures from the Department of Public Social Services showing that illegal aliens’ children born in the United States collected over $50 million in welfare benefits (CALWORKS + Food Stamps) for the month of January.

    Approximately 23% of all CALWORKS and food stamp issuance in Los Angeles County are made to parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their native-born children. “When you add this to $350 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for health-care, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education and prison upkeep,” said Antonovich.

    Don’t listen to the rhetoric and propaganda of critics about E-VERIFY. ITS being progressively upgraded, with new innovations to stop illegal workers STEALING YOUR JOBS. Its your right and an obligation of our politicians to enforce this law and to serve Americans and not cater, wealthy lobbyists organizations, foreign governments and 20 to 30 million alien families.

    Mandate E-Verify for every business throughout America and not just for new hires. Every violation should carry a harsh penalty. Fines, confiscation of business assets and prison. Enforce aiding and abetting law that includes University professors, anybody who assists, transports illegal aliens. No AMNESTY or any other law favoring the illegal immigration occupation of our country. Join Pro-sovereignty, anti-illegal immigration organizations. Make available special visas for the highest technical skills including scientists, engineers, etc. Stop importing foreign national who will end up in the welfare rolls and become a liability for taxpayers. Most important of all immediately terminate the instant citizen-birthright (Anchor baby) law.

    Remember that another AMNESTY will mean those people become legitimate immigrants and then can bring to America, their children, mothers and fathers and a whole slue of foreign family members labeled as “CHAIN MIGRATION” that you will be paying for. In addition, if the number of illegal aliens was just 12 million, you can at least triple that number to around 32 million who will have access to your pensions, SSI, SSDI and your social security.

    FIND OUT THE FACTS FOR YOURSELF? DON’T LISTEN TO HEAVILY BIASED REPORTS, BLOGS OR NEGATIVE PRESS

  2. E-Verify is a scam. It does not verify identity. American citizens do not have their passport numbers or driver’s licenses (or any other legal ID) verified. No, E-Verify merely compares the spelling of their names and stated birthdates with what is on file at Social Security! But Social Security files are riddled with errors. The SSA databases were not even centralized electronically until the 1980s. Furthermore, Social Security is emphatically an identification system. If your name or birthdate is mistyped (or mis-scanned) by Social Security, E-Verify will give a mismatch!

  3. Sorry, a typo: I meant to say: “Social Security is emphatically NOT an identification system.” A good example of the sort of error that I’m talking about.

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