The way to really make E-Verify work

The federal E-Verify program has an online searchable database showing the businesses with at least five employees who have gone to the trouble to make certain that they are not employing illegal aliens.  These businesses need to be rewarded.

The E-Verify program is a largely voluntary employment verification program that was instituted in the 1990s.  At the federal level, it is mandatory for some federal contractors and sub-contractors.  At the state and local levels, states and their political subdivisions may also use the program.  Currently, there are four states — AL, AZ, MS, and SC — who require that all employers E-Verify all employees.  There are eighteen other states that require e-verification of some employees.  When an employer enrolls in the program, he first signs a memorandum of understanding.  After set-up, the employer can proceed with the verification process for individual employees.

One of the most powerful yet underutilized tools of the E-Verify program is a searchable database of employers who are in compliance with the program.  If used more, it would be a powerful tool in controlling the scourge of illegal aliens being employed in the country instead of U.S. citizens or legally resident aliens.  Here are some examples of how the database could be used.

1. A law enforcement association has a national convention once every three years in Las Vegas, NV.  The planner would like to have reservations at a hotel that does not employ illegal aliens.  Can it be done?  Yes.  He first finds a list of ten nice hotels on the strip.  He then does an internet search for "E-Verify participating employers" and is taken to this site.  At the site on the "business name" line, he types in one hotel name from the list and leaves the "primary industry type" blank.  On the "hiring site" line, he chooses "Nevada," and on the "account status" line, he chooses "open."  He does this for each of the ten hotels.  His research indicates that four of the hotels, Wynn Las Vegas, the Venetian, Resort's World, and Waldorf Astoria, all E-Verify.  He eventually chooses one of the four hotels.  After selecting the hotel, he sends an email to the six hotels that were not considered because they were not on the E-Verify list.  That should get their attention.

2. A house is typically a person's most expensive purchase in a lifetime.  How about giving the mortgage loan only to a company that E-Verifies?  On the "business name" line, I typed in the generic name "bank," left the "primary industry type blank, "hiring site" "New Mexico" and "account status" "open."  I got 32 listings.  I did the same using the generic word "mortgage" and got 14 listings.  For "credit union," there were 11 listings.  Interestingly, among the major banks, Wells Fargo was not listed.

3. What about cars?  Finding E-Verified car dealers was a little trickier.  I found that I could find some by simply entering the vehicle make, such as Toyota or Subaru or Ford, on the "business name" line.  I found others by using the generic name "auto" or "car" on the "business name" line.

Whether it be a mortgage or a car purchase, be sure to notify companies that you did not use that the reason you did not patronize their business was their failure to E-Verify.  Hopefully, we can start a movement.

As an addendum, the things that can be done with the database are almost limitless.  For New Mexico, I checked to see how many counties were E-Verifying and discovered only 11 of 33.  For cities, very few were E-Verifying.  Among the five largest cities — Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, and Roswell — only Roswell was E-Verifying.  Albuquerque, by far the largest city in the state, does not verify, but its county, Bernalillo, does.  I'd pay the price of admission to hear elected officials around the country explain in public why they don't use E-Verify.

Image via iStock.

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