Jewish World Review June 11, 2009 / 19 Sivan 5769
E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
By John Kass
With billions of your federal tax dollars gushing forth from
A magic faucet to compel those federal contractors doing all the hiring with all that federal money to make certain the jobs go to people who are legally entitled to work in
Is that kind of magic too much for a beleaguered taxpayer to expect? Actually, the faucet has already been invented.
It's called E-Verify. And it works.
E-Verify is an Internet-based screening system allowing prospective employers to quickly and cheaply determine a job applicant's legal status.
Currently a voluntary program, E-Verify combines
E-Verify has been studied and studied again and again, and works perfectly fine as a purely voluntary program. But making it a federal mandate frightens special interests, so it languishes in legislative purgatory.
The latest delay occurred Wednesday, in a quiet notice sent without fanfare by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to federal contractors. The federal agency said E-Verify wouldn't be up and running to screen those federal contract jobs until at least
And it's a good bet that just before
Last year, former President
But it was dropped. Why?
"There are powerful lobbies lined up against this, and together they make some of the strangest bedfellows in the world," said
"They are deathly afraid of this system being used because it works," Cramer said in a telephone interview.
E-Verify works so well that it's already been credited with a miracle: bringing Republicans and Democrats together.
Republicans in their party's corporate wing support businesses that want unfettered access to cheap labor. Democrats in their party's recruitment wing see a future bright with the votes of Mexican families crossing the border illegally to find jobs and eventually becoming clients of government programs.
But because E-Verify works, politicians figure there's no real rush to actually use the darn thing. If it didn't work, they'd demand its implementation, like almost every other government program.
"We have some businesses who use it voluntarily, and others who find it to be a pain in the butt," said
Before immigrant groups shriek that I'm some kind of immigrantphobe for supporting E-Verify, think again. As the son of immigrants, I'm genetically prohibited from fearing myself.
But this isn't about Immigration, as much as it is about American jobs, about making sure that taxpayer money is used properly. Otherwise, we're participating in a lie, and lies breed cynicism and ugliness, in case you haven't observed
There doesn't seem to be anything more clear than the expectation that government and business follow the law when our taxes are gushing out of the federal spigot.
"E-Verify is crucial because it gets to the source of the problem," said Cramer, who began his career as a border patrol agent in
Despite all their speeches about fiscal responsibility, our bipartisan politicians in
But when it comes to guaranteeing that your federal jobs stimulus money goes to those who legally deserve it, the politicians seem incapable of turning the valve the other way.
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John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.
© 2008, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.