— Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, did not comment yesterday, because he reportedly had not had a chance to read the suit. A spokeswoman for him, Abby Ottenhoff, said he had signed the bill because he “concurred with the General Assembly that the system now leaves too much room for mistakes and abuse.”
Ms. Ottenhoff said lawmakers had determined the verification program had a 50 percent accuracy rate and was slow, taking up to 10 days to respond to employers.
— Supporters of the law say the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security Department databases used to confirm eligibility are riddled with errors and could result in the denial of jobs to legal workers, including citizens.
I don’t think anybody will disagree that databases cataloging citizen’s activities aren’t a good thing. Knowing that what I’m doing right now might be documented by the government makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. However, I can understand the need to verify a person’s eligibility to work in the United States at the time of employment. I’m fairly sure this is a section on every current employment application.
The states of Illinois is simply asking that the government make sure their list is actually accurate (unlike the records used to verify voters in Florida) as this type of database can potentially cause many hardships when the records are found to be false. A fifty percent accuracy rate is unacceptable. This means that half the people applying for jobs will be passed over and/or reported as the system will show they aren’t eligible to work in the United States.
I’d like to know what proof the employer has to give the employee that they actually turned up as unemployable. If they are not required to give any proof then this could easily turn into another way to discriminate. However, it doesn’t really matter because a fifty percent accuracy rate is going to eliminate many chances at employment anyway.
From the Department of Homeland Securities E-Verify FAQ
Can I verify the immigration status of a new hire that is not a U.S. citizen?
No. E-Verify only verifies a new hires employment eligibility, not his or her immigration status. (Doesn’t ineligible basically mean the person is not a legal resident?)
Does participation in E-Verify provide safe harbor from worksite enforcement?
No. Participation in E-Verify does not provide protection from worksite enforcement. However, an employer who verifies work authorization under E-Verify is presumed to have not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien. (Since half of those screened with this system will not pass verification you probably won’t have to worry about “accidently” hiring “illegal” immigrants. You’ll be lucky if any of your new hires pass at all.)