What is the impact of E-Verify?

The House Freedom Caucus demands that e-Verify be mandatory for American employers. Who would benefit?

There appears to be no systematic evidence that native-born American workers gain any benefits from e-Verify, but that there are shifts within the Hispanic immigrant workforce. Consider who will replace undocumented workers in farming — other immigrant workers.

A 2014 study examined the impact of state-mandated E-Verify laws on the workforce. The use of e-Verify is voluntary except in these states with the implementation date of the mandate: Alabama April 2012; Arizona January 2008; Georgia January 2012; Mississippi July 2008; North Carolina October 2012; South Carolina January 2012; Tennessee January 2012; Utah July 2010. A fact sheet on e-Verify is here. Based on estimates from 2007, 4% of new hires in the U.S. workforce went through e-Verify.

The authors wrote,” universal E-Verify mandates appear to reduce hourly earnings by about 8% among male Mexican immigrants who are likely to be unauthorized. The effect is concentrated among long-term U.S. residents. The results indicate that E-Verify mandates to date are largely successful in achieving the goal of worsening labor market outcomes among unauthorized immigrants.

Another goal of E-Verify mandates is to improve labor market outcomes for U.S. natives who may compete with unauthorized immigrants. We find some evidence that the laws achieve this objective, although positive effects are more prominent for Mexican immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens than for U.S.-born Hispanics. The adoption of E-Verify mandates does not appear to affect labor market outcomes among non-Hispanic whites either positively or negatively.”

The authors conclude, “If more states implement employment verification, unauthorized workers will likely have even lower wages and may not be able to avoid disemployment effects by moving to a state that does not have a mandate in place. This suggests E-Verify can be a powerful interior enforcement tool but could also lead to higher poverty and more social assistance needs among the unauthorized immigrant population. E-Verify mandates might be used more effectively and with fewer unintended consequences as part of a comprehensive immigration reform where they would be a deterrent to future unauthorized immigration.”

And this….

“We do not support E-Verify unless there is a fully functioning guest-working program,” said Paul Schlegel, the managing director for public policy and economics at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We don’t want to be in a situation in which a grower has a need for labor and doesn’t know where he’s going to get a legal worker.” From here.

 

 

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