Immigration

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.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.