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USA Today Lies About Serious E-Verify Errors

USA Today attributes claims of E-Verify errors to interest groups, but government reports support criticism.

A March 9 USA Todayarticle reported that studies by conservative think tanks stated that "[t]ens of thousands of jobs created by the economic stimulus law could end up filled by illegal immigrants" and quoted a Center for Immigration Studies spokesperson saying a requirement that employers use E-Verify, a program that allows employers to check the eligibility status of newly hired employees through government databases, "could have deterred this." The article later stated that "business groups and immigrant advocacy groups argue that the E-Verify database is riddled with errors that could result in millions of workers being wrongly identified as not authorized for work." However, the article did not note that this "argu[ment]" by "business groups and immigrant advocacy groups" is backed up by federal government reports.

A September 2007 report on a pilot program for E-Verify commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found that "the database used for verification is still not sufficiently up to date to meet the IIRIRA [Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996] requirement for accurate verification, especially for naturalized citizens." In addition, evaluations of the E-Verify program by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Social Security Administration (SSA) have also found that the databases used by the E-Verify system contain errors that can misidentify millions of qualified workers, especially foreign-born citizens, as being potentially ineligible for employment.

The 2007 report prepared for DHS found that: