Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SB 67 - Government Mandates Use of E-Verify System

SB 67 is another piece of immigration legislation, sponsored by Louisiana State Sen. Danny Martiny, that requires employers to use the federal E-Verify system to determine an employee's legal status.

I've got no problem with this legislation in principle; but I do think that this legislation has serious implications for businesses that folks in the business community, especially small businesses, ought to be aware of.

First, the bill establishes a technology mandate for the establishment and operation of a business. It requires employers of any size either to institute a technolocigal capacity to participate in the E-Verify system in-house, or it requires employers to assume the added expense of sub-contracting the E-Verify task to an outside provider.

Second, the bill requires businesses to police the compliance of their sub-contractors. This may pose an impossible burden on businesses. The question that pops up in my mind is how does a business certify that a sub-contractor (and any sub-sub contractor) is E-Verify compliant? Is it simply enough for a business to rely on a subcontractor's claims of compliance in a contract agreement? If so, I fail to see how this would be any different that an employer's ability to rely on the claims of its own individual employees' compliance with legal status. How does a business "verify" the compliance of a subcontractor with the E-Verify system?

Third, there is evidence that points to a less-than-perfect accuracy rate in the E-Verify system's ability to determine one's legal right to work. This raises a philosophical question: is it better to unfairly punish even a certain, small percentage of those legally able to work because of a false verification outcome, in exchange for excluding a higher percentage of undocumented workers from the U.S. labor market; or is it better to guarantee that all individuals legally qualified to work are able to do so by not instituting a punitive verification system and thus allowing undocumented workers to participate in the U.S. labor market, too.

Again, I'm not opposed to mandating some kind of verification system for employers; but it is worthwhile to consider the punitive and potentially discriminatory impact of such a system on the business community and the legal labor market, as well as on the undocumented worker community.


eric said...

Employers already have to submit Social Security Numbers of all employees to the federal and often to state governments. That's a big enough burden on them as far as I'm concerned. The government should find a way to automatically exploit this system in order to check the legal status of workers.

And burdening employers with the responsibility of verifying the citizenship of contract labor is just a joke. Technically speaking, you will need to see papers and electronically verify their authenticity for the kid who mows your lawn in order to comply with such a law.

I'm not a big fan of making employers responsible for controlling illegal immigration. The federal government needs to do a better job controlling the border.

slapstick said...

For the record..I have not read this bill, and I will not read it. I'm going by what you have to say about it.

With that said, I'm against the bill, but probably for different reasons as you are.

This bill has ZERO bite to it. Its grandstanding for the anti immigrant crowd.

You see, a legitimate business has you fill out paperwork before you become an employee. Said paperwork asks you if youre a citizen, if you can legally work in this country, tax ememptions, and whatnot. You get the picture, as I'm sure you've filled out this paperwork before. Therefore, theres no need to "E-Verify" anything. It all gets submitted to the govt.

If a person lies about his status, so what??? He's still gonna have taxes withheld, and it will eventually catch up to him...but even if it doesnt, he still paying taxes along the way in his life of lies- and that makes a big difference to me.

The businesses who encourage illegals to continue crossing are those who dont make you fill out anything. Its the businesses who dont even care if you work more than one day. All you do is show up, work, and get paid in cash at the end of the day. These are the businesses who need to be audited more vigorously and theyre mostly in the construction sector, but there are others. THESE are the business owners who shouldbe rewarded for turning in such people. But they wont do that because the govt has them strapped down with expenses due to regulations and minimum wage laws. You cure this by increasing the rewards. You give them large tax breaks and such. Make it cheaper for them operate their business, which in turn enables them to hire legal citizens and pay the costs associated with legal citizens employment.

This bill has ZERO bite and will do NOTHING to cure illegal immigration. I'm willing to bet that the author of the bill has some sort of connection to one of these "E-Verify" companies.