NTF Issue Paper: illegal100.doc. 2-17.

Recognizing that congressional legislation eventually will make the use of E-Verify mandatory in all states, many employers now are beginning to use this system voluntarily in order to become accustomed to its provisions. Under Senate legislation, companies must examine documents like passport, SS card, drivers license, state ID, or permanent resident card. Businesses must swear that they examined these documents for authenticity. The next step would entail consulting with an ID authentication tool that the immigration service provides to match documents with the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) database. The objective is to employ and protect jobs for only legal citizens and legal aliens. Records would remain in an employee personnel file for 3 yrs. following employment start date or 1 yr. after employee termination. The thrust of this program is to maximize the facilitation of legitimate hiring while maximizing the opportunity to terminate illegal hiring. As more states enact legislation to require its use, more companies are using E-Verify to demonstrate positive corporate citizenship. Says the immigration service, 5,000 NE employers used E-Verify in 2013, a 300% increase since 2009. Employee checks rose from 77,000 in 2009 to 185,000 in the summer of 2013. The NE Dept. of Labor encourages its use. The glitches in the E-Verify system when first promulgated have disappeared. Error rates now are very low, about .047%1, and work continues on minimizing errors, with improvements in speed, processing, and data management. Some rejected have failed to report their change in immigration status. 93% of inquiries become verified within 5 seconds. Additional improvement will appear after more categories of digital images taken for U.S. IDs, like passports and drivers licenses, are available through the Photo Screening Tool. This action will help stop a problem of ID theft in the hiring process, the use of legitimate IDs with substituted photos. The immigration service expanded E-Verify services in Nebraska in Jan. 2015. A toolkit allows prospective employees to establish free and secure personal accounts. A self-lock allows such individuals to lock in their SS numbers, so that no one else can use them fraudulently in E-Verify to gain employment. Also included are resources to educate individuals about their E-Verify rights and employer responsibilities. The process increasingly roots out document fraud.

Business use of E-Verify has numerous advantages. It is simple to use by personnel depts. and free. Companies can access it anytime, anywhere, with a computer and Internet access. The company setup cost is less than $100; each processing takes only 10 minutes. Results come back quickly with match or mismatch. E-Verify accurately can note possible mistakes and mismatches with government records. The system allows companies to access from multi-locations. Employers can outsource the work easily. It reduces the risk of hiring illegal aliens. It reduces fraud and ID theft and includes a photo screening tool. At the federal level, the biggest advantage is reducing company exposure to DHS violations and fines. If an employer in good faith hires someone not authorized to work here but successfully verifies the individual through E-Verify, the employer will not face liability. Employers need not fear worksite raids that would disrupt company operations. At the Nebraska level, E-Verify could offer immunity relating to state income tax liability. If a company hires someone not eligible to work here and deducts expenses associated with him when calculating state income taxes, but uses E-Verify, the company would not face liability. It offers a legal presumption of authorization and immunity from legal claims for relying on the system in good faith. It provides credibility in immigration audits that will factor in to reduce fines for errors. A biometric verification feature within the system offers employers a means to detect identity theft in the employment eligibility process. This system allows an employer to check a photo on authorized documents against images stored in DHS databases. This dept. states that E-Verify is the best way to verify employment eligibility of new employees, because it eliminates SS mismatch letters, improves wage and tax reporting accuracy, protects American jobs, and helps businesses maintain a legal workforce. The system includes data to confirm citizenship status of naturalized citizens. Employers cannot face discrimination lawsuits, because a government computer operates the checking. Currently, if an employer believes that 1 or more documents presented is phony, it cannot request a different or additional document without risking a discrimination lawsuit. If the prospective employee sues, the employer must prove that the document appeared fake, whether it is or not. Furthermore, if the DHS inspected the employer records and believed the document looked phony, the employer could face sanctions. E-Verify would permit the employer to invest in training a new person quickly, without risk that he would become found illegally working and deported, thus wasting resources invested in training. A needed protection cushion, the bill would shield contractors from liability if not aware of a subcontractor hiring illegals. Using E-Verify would ensure that all NE businesses operated on the same playing field. Otherwise, businesses that want to hire illegals or do not care to check have a competitive advantage, especially by paying lower wages in cash without benefits. Our NE work force would not have to compete with Third World workers. Staffing agencies enjoy a quick and easy means to screen out illegals, attracting additional clients who want only legal workers. NE taxpayers would benefit, not having to subsidize illegal labor by providing welfare, health care, and education benefits to illegal families. Publicizing mandatory E-Verify usage would discourage illegals from using phony documents to obtain jobs. Less likely that illegals will try to obtain employment but later arrested and deported, actions that would lead to family disruption, kids yanked out of school, workplace raids, and draining of enforcement and immigration court financial resources. Some ID documents are difficult to authenticate by eye or hand, and many companies lack the time and money to handle the legal repercussions of hiring illegals. Using this system establishes a foundation of trust with clients and others in the business community.

A 2014 immigration service survey revealed that 87% of users seemed satisfied with E-Verify results, 88% confident in its accuracy.

The NE-ACLU, leftist Appleseed group, the NE Restaurant Association, and NE Cattlemens Association previous have opposed E-Verify.
TAKE ACTION NOW. A state law would complement federal enforcement in immigration. Employers continue to flock to use E-Verify because of its accuracy, simple use, and protection provided businesses that want to operate legally and avoid sanctions and workplace disruptions. E-Verify has gained increased support from Nebraskans who understand that it protects their jobs and communities. State legislation should provide serious penalties for non-compliance, including loss of state contracts and business licenses. Urge your state senator today to support LB 165, a positive beginning, the requirement for all NE businesses to use the E-Verify program to screen all new employees. Email netaxpayers@gmail.com for state senator contact information.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 2-17. C

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