David R. Henderson  

Nowrasteh on E-Verify

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I asked Alex Nowrasteh for his input on the E-Verify issue that I posted about yesterday.

Here's what he wrote:

E-Verify won't work because employers ignore it in states where it is required with virtually zero legal consequences (see blog post). Enforcing E-Verify laws is about as difficult as enforcing current I-9 violations. If Arizona won't enforce its own E-Verify mandate and the Feds won't enforce their own I-9 mandate, there is no good reason to expect them to enforce E-Verify.

As Nowrasteh and Harper write in their policy analysis on pages 10-11, E-Verify has barely turned off the wage magnet that attracts illegal immigrants in Arizona (second link). E-Verify is a failed program that will raise hiring costs. What's worse is that its failure will prompt calls for a national biometric identity system to plug E-Verify's "loopholes." That system's potential will be abused in short order. Best to forestall that.


The policy analysis he refers to is Alex Nowrasteh and Jim Harper, "Checking E-Verify: The Costs and Consequences of a National Worker Screening Mandate," July 7, 2015.




COMMENTS (7 to date)
Bahrum Lamehdasht writes:

[Comment removed. Please consult our comment policies and check your email for explanation.--Econlib Ed.]

pyroseed13 writes:

This would seem to contradict the claims in the previous post on this, no? Alex is arguing that E-Verify is not enforced, whereas his colleague is arguing that it is enforced poorly.

Glen writes:

Arizona did not want to turn off the wage magnet for illegal immigrants but to make it easier and cheaper for the employer to keep that (even when that no longer illegal) labor while appearing to do something about it.

Jay writes:

I'm confused, if its poorly enforced and therefore only sparsely followed by employers, how does it raise hiring costs?

David Seltzer writes:

"What's worse is that its failure will prompt calls for a national biometric identity system to plug E-Verify's "loopholes." That system's potential will be abused in short order. Best to forestall that." As per my post yesterday, does this approach a national ID card wherein the feds bind you to their caprice? After all, we have a quasi ID card now in the form of a SS number. Try finding employment, opening a bank account enrolling in school, getting a license or anything else that requires a SS number, without one. Without that gov designated ID one's life becomes onerous. In effect, the feds tell us we can do very little without their permission. That concerns we Libertarians.

Jon Murphy writes:

@Jay-

I'm confused, if its poorly enforced and therefore only sparsely followed by employers, how does it raise hiring costs?

Evasion has costs, too. That's one of the reasons why taxes and regulation have deadweight loss.

Jay writes:

@ Jon Murphy

Thanks for the reply, I didn't know evading it wasn't merely a matter of "hiring anyway and just skipping that step hoping someone won't ask for proof".

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