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Pros and Cons of E-Verify System

Just like any government policy, E-Verify system brings advantages and disadvantages to the table. E-Verify program is one of the newest efforts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) to combat illegal immigrant workers who are in competition with legitimate American workers in getting Social Security benefits.

E-Verify system is an online-based free program run by the United States federal government that allows an employer to determine the eligibility of an employee to work in the country. With the use of the internet-based program, employers may compare information from a worker’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from the federal government’s records.

According to DHS, the following are the most notable advantages of E-Verify system:

  • The program is essential tool for employers who are committed to maintain their workplaces in accordance with immigration laws
  • To avoid spending Social Security taxes to illegal immigrant workers instead to legitimate workers. According to Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), illegal immigration costs federal and local taxpayers’ $113 billion annually
  • Employees are ensured that their employment is eligible

To date, many states have not yet enacted mandatory implementation of E-Verify system use. In California, presently there is no statewide E-Verify-related law but the State legislative body is proposing for a state law mandate. However, some cities in the state, such as Riverside, Santa Maria, Wildomar, Lancaster, Temecula, and Mission Viejo, have already enacted ordinances to adapt the system.

Despite the promising benefits of the E-Verify, there are people who are opposing it. Some opponents of the system say the federal government should focus its efforts in properly securing the boarders instead of relying with the verification program. According to business sectors, specifically the farm industry, and the federal program may cause negative impact with the agricultural labor.

Opponents of the E-Verify program also cited the following disadvantages:

  • Prone to inaccuracy of data especially when an individual changes last name after marriage or changes citizenship status without informing the government
  • It paves the way for employers to let illegal immigrant workers work without official income tax source

E-Verify system may have its disadvantages, but this should not bar SSA from continuing to ensure that deserving workers and disabled people obtain their Social Security benefits.

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