WASHINGTON - The method the Obama administration and Congress are touting to catch illegal workers is not working in more than half the cases, the Washington Times reports.
E-Verify, an online tool employers use voluntarily, cleared unauthorized workers 54 percent of the time, a research company hired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found. E-Verify runs a personï¿½ï¿½s data against DHS and Social Security databases to verify his U.S. work status. The program wrongly cleared the employees because it has no ability to uncover impostors, according to Westat, the research company.
"Clearly, it means itï¿½ï¿½s not doing its No. 1 job well enough," said Marc Rosenblum, a researcher at the Migration Policy Institute.
President Barack Obama has said tracking down employers who hire illegals is central to his immigration policy. There are rumblings that some Republicans in Congress might try to make E-Verify a mandatory step for businesses.
In her House hearing testimony relating to her agencyï¿½ï¿½s budget proposal, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was skeptical of the high inaccuracy rate. "E-Verify is absolutely where we are going in terms of incentivizing employers and making sure we are using a legal work force," she said.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has opposed expansion of E-Verify because of these concerns. "This is a wake-up call to anyone who thinks E-Verify is an effective remedy to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants," said Schumer.