E-Verify Would Be An Effective Next Step In Securing The Border

The system allows employers to verify an applicant’s legal immigration status.

Written by Anthony Cash

What’s happening: Some Republicans are pushing E-Verify as a solution to illegal migration. E-Verify is the centerpiece of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recent immigration law requiring most employers in the state to use the system for new hires.

What is E-Verify? It’s a website operated by the Department of Homeland Security that helps employers check the immigration statuses of applicants. A mandate stops big businesses from hiring illegal migrants and ultimately deters these migrants from coming to the U.S. for work.

Why it matters: Record numbers of illegal migrants are driving wages down, especially for low-income workers. E-Verify helps to keep low-income workers from having to compete with cheap labor.

But some have a different vision. Despite E-Verify’s benefits, Democrats and Republicans have pushed against a mandate for years.

  • On the right: After failing to get an E-Verify mandate through Congress, former President Donald Trump backed away from the program, saying it would make hiring difficult for businesses and farmers. Other conservatives and libertarians say the program would give the federal government too much power in deciding who can work.

  • Democrats oppose E-Verify because they claim it is discriminatory. They also prefer allowing illegal migrants to work — as seen with President Joe Biden’s recent move to allow over 470,000 more migrants to work after lobbying from Wall Street and Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Still, E-Verify alone will not solve illegal migration. Many illegal migrants work under the table. Additionally, consistent enforcement is needed for E-Verify to have the most impact.