NILC Testimony About E-Verify

February 27, 2013

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832; [email protected]

House Judiciary Committee: Is E-Verify Ready for Prime Time?

Making Program Mandatory Could Hurt Small Businesses, Workers

WASHINGTON — National Immigration Law Center policy attorney Emily Tulli testified today before the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security about E-Verify, the federal government’s Web-based electronic employment eligibility verification program. The committee, which has had several hearings about E-Verify in previous sessions, discussed the benefits and drawbacks to this program.

“No matter where you fall on the E-Verify debate, the truth is that implementing the program without providing unauthorized workers with a road to citizenship will spell economic disaster for many of our most important industries,” said Don Lyster, NILC DC director.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), a member of the subcommittee, noted that small businesses may not have easy Web access to implement E-Verify, and that getting such access would add to their costs for administering the system.

Added Tulli, “Too often, the discussion about implementing E-Verify focuses simply on the cost to employers. E-Verify is costly for all American workers as well. Each U.S. worker who is falsely flagged as unauthorized to work will have to wade through miles of red tape to correct his records, a process that could drag on for months and put him at risk for termination.”

Tulli outlined the National Immigration Law Center’s policy recommendations for implementing E-Verify, saying that if Congress requires employers to use it, the mandate should be implemented only after a broad immigration reform that includes a road to U.S. citizenship for all unauthorized workers becomes law. Some of NILC’s policy recommendations include: strong labor and due process protections for workers, especially if they are falsely flagged as unauthorized to work; penalties for employers who abuse the program; privacy protections for those using E-Verify; and a phased-in implementation of E-Verify.

More about the National Immigration Law Center’s policy recommendations with respect to E-Verify is available at

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