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Video clip of Chris Matthews discussing Meg Whitman v. Jerry Brown at their last debate in the California gubernatorial race on issue of E-Verify.

In her last debate with Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman again called for measures that in the end really just hurt people like guest worker programs and E-Verify systems that really don’t support comprehensive immigration reform .  Watch the clip here.

What Chris Matthews failed to mention is that a guest worker program and E-Verify are two measures that have been largely criticized as demeaning and discriminatory.  The National Immigration Law Center has documented examples of rampant cases of discrimination because of E-Verify:

Database errors incorrectly identify U.S. citizens as not authorized for employment.

• A U.S. citizen and former captain in the U.S. Navy with 34 years of service and a history of having maintained high security clearance was flagged by E-Verify as not eligible for employment. It took him and his wife, an attorney, two months to resolve the discrepancy.

• A U.S. citizen was hired for a job at a poultry company in Georgia but received a "tentative nonconfirmation" (TNC) notice. The employee wanted to contest the TNC, but the company did not grant her time off to do so. As a result, the employee had no time to contest the TNC and was fired.

• Juan Carlos Ochoa became a citizen in 2000. When he was offered a job at a car dealership in 2008, his employer used E-Verify to verify his employment eligibility. The employer received a TNCnotice due to an error in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) database; SSA did not have any record of Ochoa’s naturalization. Upon receiving the notice, Ochoa’s employer fired him, a violation of E-Verify rules. Because he is out of work, he is late on his rent and his electricity has been shut off. Though Ochoa has a U.S. passport, the local SSA office told him he must bring in his naturalization certificate to prove his U.S. citizenship. Ochoa, however, lost his naturalization certificate years ago and will now have to pay close to $400 and wait up to ten months for a replacement certificate.

• A naturalized U.S. citizen was hired by an Oregon telecommunications company but received a TNC because SSA records did not accurately reflect his citizenship status. He successfully contested the TNC at an SSA office, but the SSA representative did not correct his record. E-Verify then automatically issued a final nonconfirmation, at which point the employer is required to dismiss the nonconfirmed worker. The employer did not immediately terminate the worker, however, but ran another query in E-Verify and got another TNC. The employee went back to SSA, and this time a representative updated his record but still failed to post the change to E-Verify. Once again, the employee received a final nonconfirmation. Finally, he called the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), which called the SSA field office to explain proper E-Verify procedures so that the employee could keep his job.

Read more examples of how E-Verify has screwed up people's jobs here (PDF).

Furthemore, if employers are forced by law to utilize E-Verify in its current broken form, what will the full impact be on discriminatory practices at the job site?  Imagine2050 highlights the troubling implications:

Here is the truth: E-verify encourages discrimination in hiring. The harder it is for employers to properly utilize the system (and it sounds nearly impossible), the more potential employees they will pass over. Don’t be surprised to one day hear reports of employers who admit to resorting to racial profiling because it was easier than E-verify.

Originally posted to economic refugee on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 02:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The E-Verify law was sponsored by CA-44... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast

    ...Repug Calvert;

    In 1996, Calvert authored legislation that created E-Verify, the only tool available to employers to check the veracity of a name and Social Security number given on an I-9 form for employment. In 1995 Rep. Calvert toured the southern border and a Border Patrol agent remarked on the job magnet that brings hundreds of thousands of people illegally to the United States. Rep. Calvert, a former small business owner and employer, concluded that the best and quickest way to enable employers to check the legal status of newly hired employees was to set up a system that could check the name against the Social Security number. Since the decade it was created, E-Verify has been made mandatory in two states (Arizona and Mississippi) and as of July 2009 it serves over 130,000 employers nationwide. Congressman Calvert has introduced legislation in the 111th Congress that would make employment verification mandatory over a period of seven years.

    Meg wants California to join Arizona and Mississippi!  That will put us in great company.

    I am donating more to Jerry right now.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 02:27:10 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    I had no idea the whole thing was that screwed up. T&Red for important info.

    Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

    by marketgeek on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 02:30:35 PM PDT

  •  Sorry, E-Verify works for me (3+ / 0-)

    I clicked through to your link. So, they have 17 cases over a 10 year period.  17. Out of how many millions hired? Slim anecdotal evidence such as this is no basis to declare E-Verify broken or hard to use.  It is in fact very simple to use, free of charge, and a great tool.

    My company hired over 9,000 workers over a 7 year period.  In that entire time, there was one eligible person flagged, a woman who used a hyphenated last name (maiden name - husband's name) on the application but had not actually changed it legally. We simply corrected the application and she was hired.

    Meanwhile, over 400 undocumented workers trying to present fraudulent documentation, fake ID cards, etc. were caught by E-Verify.

    No database is perfect, but if the opponents of E-Verify can only come up with 17 cases in a 10 year period, this is an astoundingingly good record of integrity. The fact is E-Verify works.

    The truth is, the companies that don't use E-Verify are the small businesses that deliberately look the other way and are glad to hire undocumented workers who they can pay less, provide no benefits, and continue the decline of the middle class and social mobility. In other words, its the REPUBS that don't use it. Just like Meg, they have been two-faced on this issue for years.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 02:42:31 PM PDT

  •  If you are going to punish employers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatsNotFunny, CaliSista, absdoggy

    for hiring illegal workers, then you have to give them the tools to tell that they are doing so.  If you don't you are simply encouraging racism as there will be a hesitation to hire anyone who 'looks hispanic'.

    Since the federal government has authority over immigration and is the sole determininer of who is legally allowed to move here and become employed, it is the federal government's obligation to provide a mechanism to verify that an applicant may be hired.

    'Comprehensive immigration reform' has nothing to do with this need, unless your idea of reform is completely open borders where you don't have to worry about someone's immigration status.  Anything less than that will still leave an employer liable.

  •  Obama supports E-Verify... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    absdoggy

    ...and it's included as part of the DREAM Act, along with national identification cards.

  •  If E-Verify applies to all, (0+ / 0-)

    how would we

    ...one day hear reports of employers who admit to resorting to racial profiling because it was easier....

  •  As for the charge that E-Verify would cause (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CaliSista

    discrimination. A study of E-Verify by Westat, a large contract research organization found that companies using E-Verify were more willing to hire immigrants as a result of using E-Verify. The reason is that it relieves them of the risk of making a bad guess about possibly fraudulent documents and thereby hiring someone illegally.

    A large body of government statistics show that E-Verify is extremely accurate. Its only shortcoming is that it cannot catch people who have fraudulently assumed the identities of U.S. citizens. If the data all match the name, they get hired.

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