More E-Verify

By Mark Krikorian on April 1, 2009

Over at National Review Online, pro-amnesty activist Richard Nadler finds my numbers about the rapid spread of E-Verify "puzzling." It's not clear why.

William Riley, Former ICE Special Agent
in Charge, Discusses E-Verify:
View the Full Interview

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reports monthly on the number of hires. In 2008, there were a total of 51,922,000 hires; Nadler confidently asserts that "Job churn cannot account for anywhere near this many" — well, sorry, but it does. About 13 percent of this total were checked through E-Verify. (Here is our brief report on the numbers, which our Director of National Security Studies, Janice Kephart, got through the mysterious process called "reporting.") If the rate of E-Verify use for this year holds steady, depending on the number of total hires this year (almost certainly down from last year), I guessed that from one-quarter to one-third of all new hires would be checked this year, Actually, if E-Verify use continues to grow (as is likely under the new management, since they can point to it as evidence of their commitment to enforcement) and the number of new hires falls, we could see as many as half of this year's new hires be cleared through E-Verify. But the specific numbers aren't the point; instead, the point is that E-Verify has rapidly become a standard part of the hiring process, despite the scorched-earth opposition by the rope-sellers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Nadler asks if McDonald's Corp. is a user, and I don't know, but some franchisees are. In fact, there's a database of employers using the program, which allows you to search by name, location, and industry, though it was last updated in July, so there are something like twice as many employers now signed up. The Center for Immigration Studies has been using E-Verify for a couple of years now, and we're quite pleased with how it works. I'd encourage all employers, private and government, to sign up for it. An introduction to the program is here, and employer registration is here.

Finally, Nadler asks "If E-Verify is applied only to new hires, and not to existing employees, then roughly 7 million currently employed illegals receive a de facto amnesty of indefinite duration. Is this acceptable to you?" Yes, it is acceptable, because the description of this approach as "de facto amnesty" is based on the false dichotomy of amnesty or mass deportation. In fact, because of job churn, many of the illegal aliens currently employed will indeed be exposed over time, incrementally (hence "attrition through enforcement"), as they lose or leave their earlier jobs and look for new ones. What's more, the main vehicle to phase in E-Verify use for all employers (Rep. Heath Shuler's SAVE Act) would indeed require eventual vetting of existing employees.