Tag Archives: E-Verify

WILL E-VERIFY CONTINUE TO EXIST?

SOME LEFT WONDERING WHY E-VERIFY STRIPPED FROM STIMULUS BILL

By Vince Jackson

The final version of the federal Economic Stimulus Bill does not contain a provision requiring the use of the E-Verify system in the hiring of employees on federal stimulus projects. The current requirement to verify federal contract employees is due to expire on March 6.

The provision was originally included in the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill, but was deleted from the final reconciliation package before being signed by President Obama this week.

Locally, Pickens County, SC has used E-Verify to screen all new employees, the State of South Carolina uses it for certifying workers of companies that employ over 500 people and participate in state contacts. Last fall, then President Bush extended the requirement that contractors doing business in the federal workplace certify that their employees are legally able to work in this country.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration have partnered to, quickly and without charge, verify the legal status of any worker in the United States, according to the Homeland Security webpage.

Margaret Thompson, an outspoken advocate of the E-Verify system, said “Our leaders are spineless when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws and the protection of the jobs of American workers.”

Thompson said that a group of concerned citizens plans to speak-out at Anderson city and county council meetings in the future about the hiring of illegal workers on public projects, that are paid for with local tax dollars.

“We want our local officials to understand that jobs are being lost because contractors are skirting the law and hiring illegal workers,” Thompson said.

Stuart Sprague, chairman of the Anderson County Democratic Party, said that he was not up to speed on some provisions of the stimulus package and could not comment at this time.

Lee Rogers, chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party, said “I do not understand why E-Verify would be dropped from the stimulus bill. I can only hope that it will continue to be a part of the state and federal job verification process.”

Joe Guzzardi, a consultant for NumbersUSA and former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate,  “It is a very sad realization that our leaders do not have America’s best interests at heart. I work with E-Verify every day and I know that it works. Why would we want illegal workers on our state and federal payrolls being paid with stimulus money?”

John Painter, Pickens County Democratic chairman, said “My hope is that Gov. Sanford will take advantage of the Stimulus Package, because the taxpayers of SC will pay it back no matter what the outcomes.”

It is unclear what the status of Homeland Security’s e-verification process will be or what the effect of not re-authorizing the federal requirement will have on state and local programs.

E-VERIFY IT WORKS

E-VERIFY SYSTEM WORKS, SAY PICKENS COUNTY OFFICIALS

By Vince Jackson

From the Anderson Independent-Mail

Illegal workers face added restrictions to working in South Carolina since a new law went into effect requiring employers to use E-Verify or other federal work authorization programs on January 1.

The law requires all public employers and public contractors employing over 500 people electronically check and verify the employment eligibility of new employees by accessing a federal database.

Last year the Pickens County Council voted to require that all new county employees be documented as legal workers. The county also required all vendors doing business with Pickens County certify that they are not knowingly using illegal workers on any county projects.

Margaret Thompson, a Pickens County resident who supported the law, said information she has received from county officials is that it works.

“Pickens County decided last summer to go beyond the state requirements and immediately require anyone working for and doing business with this county refrain from using illegal workers,” she said.

Jennifer Woods, human resources director for Pickens County, said “E-Verify is phenomenal. I don’t know why anyone would not want to use it. It is free and you can get results in 30 seconds,” she said.

Woods said the verification system only required about 30 minutes of training before she could use the program successfully.

E-Verify can detect document fraud by matching photos of employees to the employee’s picture ID. Social security numbers are matched to employee records to ensure compliance with the law, say state officials.

Currently, only three states, Arizona, South Carolina and Mississippi have laws on the books that require E-Verification.

Newly confirmed Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, has watched the E-Verify system at work in her state for the past year. At her Senate confirmation hearing she said she would work to bring pressure on employers to stop hiring illegal workers, at the federal level, much as has been done in Arizona.

The South Carolina law states that on July 1 of this year all private employers with 100 or more employees must use E-Verify when hiring new employees. By July 1, 2010 all employers, regardless of size, must us the system to verify the legal status of new employees.

Violation of the law can result in a $1,000 fine per violation and revocation of business license.