ACLU to Testify Before House Judiciary Subcommittee on Electronic Employment Verification

June 10, 2008 12:00 am

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E-Verify Would Dramatically Increase ID Theft And Create A ‘No-Work’ List

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WASHINGTON – Timothy Sparapani, senior legislative counsel for the ACLU, will testify today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law about the effects of implementing a mandatory electronic employment verification system in the United States. Sparapani will explain that imposing a mandatory system will endanger the privacy of American citizens, and that its inevitable systemic errors will create a ‘No-Work’ list of eligible Americans who are wrongly prevented from working by the U.S. government. Six members of Congress will also testify before the subcommittee, marking the growing significance of this issue to both members of Congress and the American people.

“Errors in any mandatory employment verification system are inevitable, and when they arise, innocent American workers will be denied the right to work and earn an income – effectively creating a ‘No-Work’ list and wreaking havoc on our economic vitality,” said Sparapani. “American citizens will also face an increased risk of identity theft by those individuals desperate to stay and work in America. Identities for work-eligible individuals will become commodities for borrowing, sale and theft.

“Employers will need to worry about lost productivity when they go to hire qualified individuals who are then caught in the massive backlog of errors, and the burdensome and painfully long process to correct these records.

“Lastly, all Americans will be stuck with the needless and wasteful tab for implementing any verification system. Ineligible workers will fool the system using forged documents making this program an enormous waste. The Congressional Budget Office projected that implementing the SAVE Act, introduced by Representatives Shuler (D-NC) and Tancredo (R-CO), would cost American taxpayers more than $40 billion over 10 years. Both Social Security and tax revenues would suffer losses, with other federal programs surely feeling the ripple effect of this wasteful legislation. Congress must scrap E-Verify and begin discussing reasonable approaches to our immigration policy that won’t jeopardize innocent Americans’ ability to work in our current state of economic hardship.”

Following Sparapani’s testimony, thousands of ACLU members from across the nation will be lobbying their elected officials to oppose any employment verification system as part of the 2008 ACLU Membership Conference.

To see the ACLU’s submitted testimony to the subcommittee, go to: www.aclu.org/immigrants/workplace/35580leg20080610.html

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