E-Verify best jobs bill

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Part of the success of E-Verify is that participating employers are happy with the results since it provides American employers who want to do the right thing with an easy way to do so.  Outside evaluations have found that the vast majority of employers using E-Verify believe it to be an effective and reliable tool for checking the legal status of their employees. 

 E-Verify recently received an exceptionally high overall customer satisfaction score – 82 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index scale.  That is well above the overall federal government’s score of 69.

The public also supports E-Verify. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 82 percent of likely voters think businesses should be required to use E-Verify to determine if a new employee is in the country legally. 

The need for a federal E-Verify law is more crucial than ever.  Seven million illegal immigrants work in the United States in jobs that should be available to unemployed Americans. 

The unemployment rate among Americans without a high school diploma is 14.3 percent. Minorities have also been particularly hard-hit by the recession. The unemployment rate among African Americans is 16.7 percent and among Hispanics it’s 11.3 percent, both significantly higher than the national rate.

A federal E-Verify law could open up job opportunities for these unemployed Americans while eliminating the jobs magnet that draws millions of illegal workers to the U.S. 

During President Obama’s jobs speech before Congress last week, he said: “The next election is 14 months away.  And the people who sent us here—the people who hired us to work for them—they don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months.”  The President is right—unemployed Americans don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months.  But it’s time for his actions to speak louder than his words.  Americans don’t need another speech; they need jobs.  Congress should pass and the President should support a federal E-Verify bill.   


Smith is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.