Senator Sessions cannot leave his hands off of E-Verify. Now in “stealth” mode, Senator Sessions has slyly introduced an E-Verify amendment (SB 1371) during today’s full Senate vote on the DHS appropriations bill.

The Sessions amendment calls for a permanent reauthorization of the Basic Pilot/E-Verify program, and mandates its use for all federal contractors and subcontractors – including the verification of all existing employees. This amounts to a massive expansion of a program that is still not ready for prime-time.

We must call our Senators and tell them to oppose this sneak attack by Senator Sessions for the following reasons:

It would impose exorbitant costs on businesses at a time when our economy is most vulnerable:

An economic analysis commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
concluded that the net societal costs of the program would be $10 billion a year
– a cost that would be felt disproportionately by small businesses.

It would make Basic Pilot/E-Verify permanent without addressing its well documented database inaccuracies:

A 2007 independent evaluation of the program commissioned by DHS found that
the Basic Pilot/E-Verify database “is still not sufficiently up to date” to meet
the requirements for “accurate verification.”

SSA has estimated that if Basic Pilot/E-Verify were to become mandatory and
the databases were not improved, SSA database errors alone could result in 3.6
million workers a year being misidentified as not authorized for employment.
This would result in 6 out of every 100 workers having to visit an SSA office to
correct their records or lose their job.

It would force workers and businesses to pay a high price for Basic Pilot/E-Verify’s inaccuracies:

Queries submitted to Basic Pilot/E-Verify by Intel Corporation in 2008 resulted
in nearly 13 percent of all workers being initially flagged as unauthorized for
employment. All of these workers were cleared by Basic Pilot/E-Verify as
work-authorized, but only after “significant investment of time and money”
and “lost productivity.”

We urge all AILA members to call their Congressman today and oppose the Sessions amendment (SB 1371). Don’t let Senator Session’s stealth tactics create a nationwide crisis for employers!