In truth, the business groups that mounted legal resistance to the new regulation are seeking more than just a simple delay. They are seeking a summary judgment to rescind the rule entirely, based on their premise that it causes undue burden on employers. This group of co-plaintiffs is comprised of significant Capital Hill heavy weights: the US Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the American Council on International Personnel, and the HR Policy Association.
- I just need to go off on a brief tangent here. During the US Presidential election campaign, the word Lobbyist took on a very negative connotation, a four letter word of US politics, if you will. At no time did either candidate, or any of the reporter covering the race, stand up and remind us that lobbyists are CRITICAL to a democratic process. Lobbying groups, such as those mentioned above, give voice and action to thousands and thousands of individuals who have neither the resources nor the access to drive change in the government. Lobbyists are groups that represent the needs and wants of differents groups of American citizens, to bring the voice of those citizens to the government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. We can't brush all Lobbyists or Lobbying groups with the same brush. Let's try to remember that. Okay, back to E-Verify-
Essentially, the regulations place much more responsibility on some employers to verify citizenship and legal identities of the people they hire. That doesn't sound like a bad thing, right? The regulations only affect employers who hold any government contracts, and would amend the government’s acquisition processes by requiring federal contracts to stipulate that businesses must use E-Verify to determine if all new hires and existing employees performing work on federal contracts are authorized to work in the United States. Businesses contracting with the federal government would be required to enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date.
Let me just say, in my opinion E-Verify is a generally good thing. It replaced outdated paperwork systems, and has been developed to a point now where about 94% of all verifications completed INSTANTLY, and, based on recent labor statistics 1 in 8 new hires in the US are now checked through the system. This process was developed, however, to be voluntary for organizations, and was designed to ASSIST in HELPING companies avoid hiring illegal workers using false identifications. Our ability to protect US jobs and US companies from illegal workers is important because it leads to our nation's tax base. This isn't an opinion on immigration laws or work visas, merely a statement that we must make sure that we know who is working in the US, and are taking our income tax fairly from all.
The problem arose when the Bush administration, by executive order, bypassed existing immigration law provisions, and mandated this E-Verify process for all federal contractors. Further, it states that the verification process is not only for new hires, but that any current employees that will work on the federally contracted projects would also need to be re-verified through the system. Additionally, while 94% instant verification is very good, the amount of work and time created by the other 6% is creating an undue burden on the employers. Look at it this way, IF this goes into effect, every company that is covered under this regulation would essentially need to hire AT LEAST one extra body to simply handle the extra work created. Think about that. The government is mandating that all these businesses ad $50k to their overhead. (yes, the salary for these folks won't be $50k, but when you account for benefits, insurance, and cost of regular turnover, the cost for a $30 salary can be over $50 annually.)
So, here we are. Employers don't want to take on this additional expense, and feel that the US government has unfairly pushed off the enforcement and oversight of immigration labor laws to the private sector. The US Government is trying to cut back on the volume of illegal workers in the US unidentified. Everybody wants what's best for the country. The question on the table is how to do it fairly without hurting the now fragile economy. Good luck to those making these types of decisions.