Use of E-Verify Program to be Mandatory for Federal Contract Work, Napolitano Announces; Pro-Immigrant Groups Upset

Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security Security, announced today that federal contractors must use the E-Verify program to help weed out illegal immigrants.

Arizona law already requires use of the federal program for any business making a new hire and in state government contract work. About a third of businesses reportedly use the program in Arizona these days.

Immigrant-rights groups aren't happy with the decision, despite the scrapping of another program designed to stop undocumented foreigners from getting a job. And here's why: The E-Verify program may represent one of the greatest threats to the livelihoods of illegal immigrants.

Former INS agent Neville Cramer, who's lobbied for years for a similar program, told Valley Fever recently that heavy use of E-Verify wouldn't end all illegal immigration -- just 90 percent of it.

We agree it would have a major impact. It works like a national ID system -- you can't get a job if your computer record doesn't check out.

But God help you if there's a computer malfunction or other error.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.