Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why E-Verify?

I've written before about the E-Verify system, how I learned of its existence, its inclusion in the provisions of H.B. 1804, and so on.

To learn more about the E-Verify system -- how it originated, how it has transformed over the years from the Basic Pilot Program to E-Verify, its current accuracy rate, ease and rapidity of use as well as affordability, states which currently require its usage and under what conditions, and etc,... -- read this lengthy and informative CIS report. It is loaded with very useful information concerning all of the above and much more. For instance,...

Did you know that President Bush, in 2007, signed an executive order (EO) requiring all businesses which contract with the federal government to register with E-Verify? That and many many other useful tidbits of information are contained within the piece.

Below is an excerpt from the report concerning the current status of E-Verify as a lawfully established federal clearinghouse for determining the employment eligibility of prospective employees:

E-Verify statutorily sunsets on November 30, 2008. The Basic Pilot Program was authorized for four years under IIRIRA, with a one-year implementation period. In 2002, the pilot was extended for two years, and then for five more years in 2003 under The Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003. 25 In July 2008, the House of Representatives reauthorized the program for another five years, 407-2. 26

The Senate has yet to reauthorize E-Verify. Two reauthorization bills are pending, one by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) 27 and the other by Senators Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). 28 The Specter/Leahy bill is a straightforward five-year reauthorization similar to the measure passed by the House. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has put a hold on the Specter/Leahy bill. If the hold is not lifted, or if the House-passed version can't be voted on, E-Verify will disappear.

Do read the rest of the report, which as I said contains a great deal of useful and interesting information. But it's really no surprise to anyone, is it, that a Senator by the name of Menendez would oppose reauthorization of the E-Verify system, and stand in the way of its re-enactment?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of letters to write my Senators, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn. I'm sure you know what it's about.