E-Verify is a government program intended to discourage the hiring of illegal immigrants by enabling employers to verify the legal work status of all new employees. E-Verify works by running the prospective employees information through a database to confirm they are legally eligible to work in the US. The problem with the program, beyond the Federal Government's interference with free markets, is that the database it relies on often fails to identify illegal immigrants and sometimes rejects people who are legally eligible to work. E-verify fails to achieve its purpose and only causes headaches for employees that are legally allowed to work and their employers.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has introduced, The Legal Workforce Act (LWA), which would mandate E-Verify for ALL new hires in the United States. In an article published by The Hill and Cato Institute, Alex Nowrasteh summarizes the terrifying consequences of the LWA with a simple statement, "Mandating E-Verify would force every American to ask the government for permission to work."
This will then lead to a national biometric identity card for all citizens and legal residents. The LWA creates, “pilot authentication programs” based on “new technologies,” which will combine E-Verify with biometric information to create a more accurate database. A similar system was proposed in 2010 and was able to find support in Washington.
E-Verify will also go far beyond its stated purpose of regulating the workforce. House Judiciary Committee chair, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), recently said, “the law allows for that information to be used for other purposes. If it discovers that an illegal act is taking place, it can report that illegal act.”
E-Verify compares your government issued ID to your personal information in government databases — increasing the possibility of erroneous findings and the potential for the government to prevent otherwise legal exchanges. Moreover, E-Verify keeps records of all queries for 10 years. If E-Verify becomes mandatory, it could soon be used as a government registry that keeps tabs on citizens every move.
Alex Nowrasteh wrote an op-ed explaining the dangers of the LWA and "mission creep." He explains "Federal programs are notorious for mission creep. Small programs intended to address specific concerns typically grow far beyond their original bounds." Read his article here.