During the current contentious and highly emotional national debate over U.S. immigration policy, many pundits and policymakers have tried to draw a connection between undocumented immigrants and high rates of crime and incarceration. However, the
Many who support deportation-only immigration measures are advocating for a universal electronic employment verification system (EEVS). Bills such as the “Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act” (H.R. 4088) and the “New Employee Verification Act of 2008” (H.R. 5515) would place enormous additional responsibilities on the Social Security Administration (SSA)—a critical but overburdened agency. In fact, H.R. 5515, authored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), would saddle the SSA with the job of administering the new mandatory and massive employment verification system.
With the failure of Congress to reform the immigration laws last year, political leaders are searching for election-year achievements in this area. But the emerging consensus in favor of "electronic employment eligibility verification" will collapse when Americans learn the details of the technical and regulatory contraption being proposed. By the fall, Congress will decide whether to renew, expand, or perhaps discard such a program. The lines of debate are being drawn now.