E-Verify Could Be Key to Immigration Reform

Law Firm Newswire



Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 15, 2015 – Could E-Verify be a possible answer to fixing the immigration system?

Democrats and Republicans both had a hand in creating the current problematic issues in the immigration system through their refusal to cooperate. The latest development is a Texas court issuing and upholding an injunction to stay Obama’s immigration reform executive actions. “In the House, Republicans retaliated against the president’s actions by holding up appropriations and confirmations,” says Miami immigration attorney, Larry S. Rifkin.

It stands to reason that the solution lies in both parties working together rather than against each other, as difficult as that may be. E-Verify for all employers may be key to actually getting this bipartisan immigration reform accomplished.

E-Verify, mostly optional for a majority of private-sector companies, launched in 1997 and its goal was to have companies verify the employment eligibility of hired workers. Done online, companies would send in a worker’s stats to the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security, to see if information provided matched government records. “The main thrust of that program was to curtail the use of fake papers to get work,” adds Rifkin. New hires would then be e-verified as being eligible to work.

However, the program never passed into law. Politicians were unable to clearly define just what the promising program would accomplish, or how it would handle authorizing unauthorized immigrants. Would being checked by E-Verify provide earned legalization? In principle, E-Verify has potential, but progress on making it a viable program has stalled, much like the progress of immigration reform.

Combining these two developmentally arrested programs could possibly help make headway for both. According to two former politicians, Wyoming Republican Alan K. Simpson and Connecticut Democrat Bruce A. Morrison, there may be a relatively simple fix. Their plan would entail making the use of E-Verify mandatory, but partnering it up with some type of process to slowly legalize unauthorized immigrants on a case-by-case approach. This would allow those already working to step out of the shadows, but there would be no mass legalization for all 11 million immigrants.

“Republicans may find that approach appealing because it gives a nod to their preference of step-by-step reform, ”says Rifkin. “Democrats may like the idea of providing permanent legal status to immigrants who meet certain criteria. It sounds like an approach with a great deal of common sense. Would it fly? Given the recent history of what is transpiring and not transpiring in the House, likely not, but it may certainly be worth examining.”

In reality, something fresh, innovative, and almost off-the-wall needs to happen to move immigration reform forward. In the meantime, the nation waits.
To find out more about e-verify and how it works, visit: http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify