The Supremes’ complete repudiation of the Chamber of Commerce/Obama administration opposition to state E-Verify requirements will likely result in such mandates making more progress in the states’ next legislative sessions; Georgia passed a mandate this year, and the Chamber’s strategy of scaring lawmakers away from E-Verify with the bogeyman of Arizona’s SB1070 won’t work any more.
Of course, the point of the push for such state E-Verify mandates isn’t really to get all 50 states to sign on separately, but to move Congress to pass a national E-Verify mandate, something House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith would very much like to do. The state mandates help this along in two ways: First, they obviously create political momentum. But in a more practical sense, as more states require use of E-Verify — whether for all employers or just state agencies and/or state contractors — a larger and larger share of the nation’s hiring will be run through the system, increasingly making it a standard part of the employment process. In other words, the goal is to make E-Verify a fait accompli, so that when Congress finally gets around to passing the national requirement, it will be more of a mopping-up operation than the imposition of an unfamiliar requirement on unsuspecting employers. And I think we’re already getting close to that tipping point.