E-Verify program beneficial to unemployed and minorities

Letter date: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Letter publisher: 
Letter author: 
Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
Letter body: 

In his Jan. 21 editorial, "Memo to politicians: Latinos are not interchangeable," Ruben Navarrette insinuates that support for E-Verify alienates Hispanic voters. But Hispanics support E-Verify.

E-Verify is a web-based program that helps ensure jobs are reserved for citizens and legal workers. It doesn't ask race, creed or ethnicity. E-Verify merely checks a worker's name and Social Security number to verify that they are eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify does not discriminate based on race but it does distinguish between legal and illegal, as it should.

The American public has consistently supported E-Verify. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 82 percent of likely voters think businesses should be required to use E-Verify to determine if a potential employee is in the country legally. And the breakdown of the Rasmussen poll shows that individuals from all races support the use of E-Verify. In fact, 78 percent of black voters and 72 percent of other minorities, primarily Hispanics, agreed.

E-Verify could open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans, especially for low-skilled workers who compete most with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. Twenty-five percent of Hispanic Americans with only a high school education can't find a job. The facts show E-Verify actually benefits minorities by opening up jobs, increasing wages and reducing job competition from an illegal workforce.