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Recent Study Reveals E-Verify Shortcomings

The CATO institute released a highly critical report on the actual impact E-verify has on employers in Arizona. The 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) required statewide businesses to enroll and use the E-Verify system by January of 2008. Arizona industries, including construction, agriculture and real estate, have suffered significantly not only as a result of the economy, but also from the effects of LAWA. While LAWA decreased the unauthorized resident population by 36% between 2008 and 2010, it also suppressed housing sale prices and raised the cost of conducting business, preventing employers from expanding or hiring more workers. In addition, the E-Verify system produces a 4.1% inaccuracy rate for workers, 3.3% of those initially found to be unauthorized actually are authorized to work, and it fails to identify 54% of unauthorized workers, due primarily to employment-based identity-fraud. It is evident that improving the accuracy rate of E-Verify is an essential step towards widespread adoption by businesses. Favorable adoption by businesses of the E-Verify will increase only when the cost of adoption by employers is outweighed by the benefits.

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