LB 165: The E-Verify System is Ineffective
TUES., FEB 21, 2017 — Representing JFON-NE on Tuesday in Lincoln, Alexis Steele, JFON-NE’s Immigrant Worker Attorney, testified against LB 165, which would mandate E-Verify for all Nebraska employers.
E-Verify is an online federal system that checks personal information of employees against immigration & citizenship information from federal agencies to determine whether an employee is eligible to work. Ms. Steele argued that mandating this system for all employers in Nebraska would be ineffective and harmful. JFON-NE’s testimony spoke to how the E-Verify system in practice is incredibly ineffective, pointing out how other states with mandatory E-Verify policies have compliance rates just above 50%. JFON-NE’s testimony pointed out that there are even problems when employers comply with the system, because there are false positives—meaning eligible workers are erroneously found to be ineligible—because of data entry errors that one in every four employers encounter and other systemic errors at a rate of .15%. While the general .15% error rate might seem small, as applied to the Nebraska workforce this error could affect 1,000 to 2,000 eligible Nebraskan employees, regardless of their immigration status or national origin.
JFON-NE’s testimony concluded with the point that there are various ways that mandating E-Verify for all employers could hurt the Nebraska economy, to which our immigrant neighbors contribute greatly alongside citizens. All statistics and facts Ms. Steele offered came from reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
This article was written under the Justice For Our Neighbors – Nebraska name. On January 12, 2018, the organization changed its name to Immigrant Legal Center.