There are those who believe that this country should adopt a “the more the merrier” attitude at her borders, and others, like me, who believe that we need to be entirely more discriminating when comes to who we let in and who we do not. In the absence of an actual physical wall, there is a tool. And it is called E-Verify.

E-Verify is an online system in the United States that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of new hires. The system checks the information provided by the employee on their I-9 form, which includes documents such as a passport or driver's license, against records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

It has the potential to curtail illegal immigration by ensuring that only individuals who are authorized to work in the U.S. are hired.

According to Wikipedia, the E-Verify program is operated by the DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. According to the DHS website, more than 700,000 employers used E-Verify as of 2018. And U.S. Rep. Chris Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, just co-sponsored a bill that would implement an effective and humane policy for stopping illegal immigration.

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Adobe Stock

The bill would require all U.S. employers to use E-Verify, a free online tool that confirms whether newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. Studies show that state-level E-Verify mandates have reduced illegal immigration in those states.

According to an editorial by by Ken Calvert and Lamar Smith on Fox News,
E-Verify recently received an exceptionally high overall customer satisfaction score – 82 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index scale. (In comparison, the government’s overall satisfaction score is 69.)

About 1,300 new businesses sign up each week, which says something about the success of the program.

Not only that, the program continues to expand and improve. Last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services implemented a photo matching tool. This allows an employer to view a picture of the employee – from a green card, an employment authorization document or a passport – to determine that the employee is in fact the person to whom that Social Security number or alien identification number was issued.

This photo matching is vital because it can also identify suspicious overuse of Social Security numbers, which can help curtail identity theft too.

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Adobe Stock

Opponents of E-Verify are the usual suspects. Like the ACLU, which cites concerns that it could expand into an onerous national ID system: "Employers are not police officers,” says a spokesperson, “except in this one context where we suddenly want them to be law enforcement agents who are going to police their workforce.”

I mean — yeah, why not? Crucially, the new policy has bipartisan support — for the first time in a decade.

While E-Verify isn’t a silver bullet, it’s certainly a step for one tool in the arsenal of stemming the tide of hordes of illegal immigrants flowing over our borders.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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