The Corner

Re: Train-wreck, Again

Mark,

I still find your numbers puzzling. If the 6,649,788 E-Verify queries that Janice Kephart reports for 2008 represent actual hires, and if that number constitutes, as she claims, one in eight new hires, then the U.S. labor force, 120 million strong, added 53,198,304 new hires in 2008. And if the 17,727,222 queries she projects for 2009 represent one in four new hires as you claim, then the U.S. labor force, 120 million strong, will add 70,908,888 new hires this year, in the midst of a recession. 

Now. if these numbers are accurate, we are obviously not dealing with 53 million and 70 million newly hired discrete individuals in the two years considered. Job churn cannot account for anywhere near this many. 

Perhaps you could clarify the situation by providing our readers with a link to the Feb 21, 2009 Department of Homeland Security data that Janice cites in her post. I couldn’t find it on the DHS web page.

Three more comments:

  1. Do you have statistics for the percentage of E-Verify users in industries that actually employ illegals on a large scale: i.e., general contractors, subcontractors, hospitality services, foresters, landscapers, contract health care providers, day labor agencies, farmers, ranchers, home builders, seafood processors? What percentage of the queries are from government employers? Is McDonalds, in fact, a national user? (The McDonald’s franchise holder I interviewed was vehemently opposed.)
  2. If E-Verify is applied only to new hires, and not to existing employees, then roughly 7 million currently employed illegals receive a de facto amnesty of indefinite duration. Is this acceptable to you? 
  3. Very few business groups (or their lobbyists) object to using E-Verify going forward, so long as it a) provides a safe harbor for most existing hires, and b) pre-empts a patchwork of state verification laws, appeals procedures, and causes for action. Do you think they have a point, or is this just another symptom of their greed?

— Richard Nadler is president of the Americas Majority Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Overland Park, Kan. 

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