Any serious proposal to reform immigration laws needs to have a universal, all employer mandate to verify legal status of the applicant or actual worker. Both parties in Congress have their own reasons not to endorse this. The federal government has been working on an electronic verification system for close to 30 years.
The 1986 immigration reform act (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986) mandated that employers verify that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. As a result of the 1986, the federal government launched an initiative to provide employers a means to electronically check federal databases to verity legal status. It took ten years (1996) to launch a pilot. It did not become routinely available, voluntarily, and as e-Verify, until the mid 2000s. Starting with Arizona in 2011, some states began to require use of e-Verify.
Alabama (2012), Arizona (2007), Georgia (2011), Mississippi (2008), North Carolina (2012), South Carolina (2012), and Utah (2010, currently have universal mandates that require all or nearly all employers to use the system to Screen new hires.
A Fed Reserve Bank of Dallas study in 2016 estimated that the unauthorized workforce in five states the authors studied declined by these percentages: Alabama 57%, Arizona 33%, Mississippi 83%, Utah 34%, Georgia 14%. In South and North Carolina, there was statistically now change. Tennessee (2016) and Utah (2017) mandated universal use of e-Verity too late to be included in the study. Florida introduced a law this year (Senate 1718).
The Bank wrote, “E-Verify, a federal database, is largely achieving its goals of reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants living and working in states that require all employers to use it….. The report looks at both changes in working-age population and employment of likely unauthorized immigrants using a method that compares what might have occurred in the state without the policy change with what actually occurred. It is the first study [and I believe only study – PFR] to apply this method to multiple states with similar E-Verify mandates.”
I first posted on e-Verify in 2008.