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Homeland Security, May I Earn a Living?

Jay Stanley,
Senior Policy Analyst,
ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
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May 7, 2013

One of the things in play in the current wrangling over immigration reform is whether we will see the E-Verify work authorization program expanded nationwide and made mandatory. We’ve just put out a white paper summarizing “The 10 big Problems With E-Verify.”

Overall, E-Verify represents a move toward the creation of a “Mother may I” or “permission society” in the United States. In an attempt to stop the tiny percentage of those starting jobs in the United States each year who are unauthorized workers, E-Verify would force everyone to obtain affirmative permission from government bureaucracies before engaging in the core life functions of working and earning a living. That not only inverts the relationship between the individual and government, but will lead to a number of other serious problems, which we set forth in the paper.

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