Smith: E-Verify Puts American Workers First

Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:50pm

A recent article, “Democrats Turn Up Volume on Immigration,” doesn’t tell the whole story about E-Verify. With record unemployment, we need to put American workers first, and that’s just what E-Verify does.

The Legal Workforce Act could open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans by requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify. This Web-based program quickly identifies individuals working illegally in the United States and opens up jobs for legal workers by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires. It’s free, quick and easy to use, and persons eligible to work here are immediately confirmed 99.5 percent of the time.

Right now it takes an unemployed American worker about nine months to find a job. But with E-Verify, we can open up a job in one to two minutes. With this sort of track record, it’s no wonder that a recent poll found that 82 percent of likely voters support requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify.

Critics of E-Verify oppose implementation of the system for one big reason: It works. Sift through the rhetoric from E-Verify critics and it seems opponents don’t want illegal workers to return home, they want them to stay and have amnesty. Opponents are putting the interests of illegal workers ahead of American workers.

The Legal Workforce Act received broad support from the House Judiciary Committee in September and is now ready for full consideration before the House. It’s past time to expand E-Verify, curb incentives that drive illegal immigration and, most importantly, put Americans back to work.

— Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee