E-Verify will help American jobs go to legal workers

E-Verify quickly identifies those working illegally in the United States. Requiring it for all employers will open up more jobs for Americans and legal immigrants.

It is an electronic employment eligibility verification system available free online. Social Security numbers and immigrant identification numbers of new hires are checked against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases to determine work eligibility. Persons eligible to work receive immediate confirmation 99.5 percent of the time.

E-Verify has proved to be much easier to use than the current paper-based, error-prone I-9 system. That is why this free, quick, and easy program is well-liked by employers. Over 270,000 businesses willingly use E-Verify and 1,300 new businesses sign up each week.

In a 2010 Customer Satisfaction Index Survey, employers gave E-Verify 82 points out of a possible 100. This is well above the overall federal government satisfaction index of 69 percent.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Association, National Association of Home Builders, and many other business groups support having all U.S. employers use E-Verify.

The public also supports E-Verify. A May 2011 Rasmussen poll found that 82 percent of likely voters think businesses should be required to use E-Verify to determine if a potential employee is a legal or illegal worker.

With the high unemployment, it is past time to make more jobs go to unemployed Americans. 

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