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Blanket ID Requirement Won't Solve Immigration

Caroline Fredrickson,
Washington Legislative Office
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April 3, 2007

Immigration reform is something that’s on everyone’s mind lately. There have been several legislative fixes proposed, the most recent being the [1] STRIVE Act introduced by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The STRIVE Act has good intentions, but a major flaw is the inclusion of an electronic employment verification system (EEVS). The EEVS proposal would require everyone — both citizens and non-citizens — to obtain and present newly proposed documents such as a Social Security Card and a [2] Real ID Act-compliant driver’s license in order to work. These documentation requirements are not feasible and will cost the country billions of dollars. Additionally, a database that expansive would be a tempting target for identity thieves. Worse still, the EEVS would mean that hard working Americans would have to obtain a permission slip from the government every time they sought a new job –- and with the high error rate of the much smaller pilot program likely to get worse, this could be a major headache for all of us.

There is no easy answer to immigration reform, but we all understand the system is broken. The government’s reactionary policies are simply making the crisis worse. We commend Representatives Gutierrez and Flake for attempting to fix the problem. However, we need to make sure our immigration reform is a system based on American values of fairness and responsibility. America can only benefit from an evenhanded and reasonable approach to immigration reform.

– Cross-posted at

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