Huber on E-Verify

So… anyone have any thoughts on E-Verify?  Evidently so, evidenced by the response to the news that Bob Huber is taking a strong stance on immigration by implementing E-Verify.

E-Verify is a free service offered by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration that allows employers to run a check online to confirm that a prospect employee has the legal right to work in the United States. It conducts a check to confirm the employee’s name, social security number and name match up with federal records. It does not serve as a countermeasure or tool to counteract illegal immigration.

By most accounts E-Verify is quick, accurate and cost-free. There is no charge to sign up for the service as an employer. Most checks take seconds to return results. The accuracy of the reporting has improved dramatically during the life of the program with a margin of error being reported as below 5%. Employers who use E-Verify are required to provide an adequate amount of time for employees to dispute the results in the event of a false positive.

How does it fit in here in Simi Valley, at the city level and among Simi Valley businesses? And what will it cost to get it going? Implementing it at the city level should be relatively straight forward according to the Huber Campaign. Bob Huber elaborates as follows:

As with any new policy that’s adopted by a City, there are some nominal costs associated with staff writing and implementing a policy, and some minimal training. This initial use of staff time is well worth preserving local jobs. The E-Verify service itself is free.

Policy and training is certainly manageable at the city level, but what about enforcing the use of E-Verify among Simi Valley businesses? According to Bob Huber, that’s not quite as simple.

For the City of Simi Valley, the winner of a City contract would demonstrate that they are currently and actively enrolled in E-Verify. For the private sector businesses in the City, E-Verify would be handled much like the existing business tax certificates (licenses). It is the obligation of the business to file for a business tax certificate and to pay the correct amount based upon their sales revenue annually. There would be no E-Verify police as there is no business tax police.

Bob Huber’s complete response to both questions will be posted at the end of this article.

Concern was expressed by Bob Huber as well as those who read the news as to why E-Verify hadn’t already been explored by the city.  According to Councilmember Barbra Williamson, it had. She confirmed the following via email:

Mike, this information is straight from the City Manager’s office in response to my inquiry on the status of E-Verify.

Staff recommended continuing to monitor the E-Verify program for its potential use at a later time should it be warranted or becomes the standard. It was the belief of city staff that the City’s current contract language already requires contractors to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States.

Barbra indicated that the matter was not brought to the Simi Valley residents for their input.

UPDATE: Councilmember Glen Becerra posted the full memo regarding E-Verify on his website.

Mike Judge, candidate for Simi Valley City Council, believes the program is beneficial to the city, focusing on the simple functionality of E-Verify. He said:

I can’t see why anyone would be against this, all it does is verify that the Social Security Number that a potential Employee is using is actually their own number and its easy & free.

It seems like a win all the way around it protects people from being exploited and employers have the piece of mind that they have done what they could to follow the law.

As a resident of Simi Valley, should you despise, dislike or be threatened by E-Verify? I can’t see why you would. But should the system be celebrated as the solution to unauthorized hiring? Probably not. Accuracy reports sway greatly depending on the source and E-Verify still cannot weed out 100% of the identity fraud cases. Further, employers who still WANT to hire unauthorized workers WILL, no matter what.

The I9 document has been the standard requirement for employers for many years. The document serves as proof that all required data has been gathered on an employee and that they are authorized to work. It has never been perfect. The E-Verify program adds an extra layer of verification, tapping employers in to federal databases to conduct a check against the data submitted. That is very compelling.

The E-Verify service is web based. Anyone can claim to be an employer, sign an agreement with E-Verify and begin conducting social security number and birth date checks against anyone if armed with enough data. Fraud or misuse of the system is possible by employers or anyone posing as one. These facts are also compelling.

The bottom line is there’s much to say both for and against the program. As Simi Valley voters, we should discussing these two things:

1 – What problem is this solving for Simi Valley?

2 – How will we know it’s solving this problem?

For me personally, I can’t get overly excited about the proposed ordinance one way or another until I have solid answers to those questions.

I can’t see why anyone would be against this, all it does is verify that the Social Security Number that a potential Employee is using is actually their own number and its easy & free.
It seems like a win all the way around it protects people from being exploited and employers have the piece of mind that they have done what they could to follow the law.

30 thoughts on “Huber on E-Verify

  1. Bob Huber’s full response to questions:

    1 – Is there a measurable cost to the city to implement E-Verify internally (i.e. city employees)?

    As with any new policy that’s adopted by a City, there are some nominal costs associated with staff writing and implementing a policy, and some minimal training. This initial use of staff time is well worth preserving local jobs. The E-Verify service itself is free.

    Right now the Federal Government requires E-Verify for all of their contractors. In the private sector there are over 200,000 business already utilizing E-Verify nationally, with an additional 1000 businesses a week currently joining E-Verify. There is a growing momentum across the nation for concerned Cities and States to implement E-Verify. There are currently 19 States that have either enacted E-Verify or have pending legislation to adopt this program. In fact, just a few days ago on July 15, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA voted unanimously to become the latest City to enact E-Verify to protect jobs for their citizens.

    2 – Is it possible to enforce the ordinance to ensure that all Simi Valley businesses are in compliance? If so, are there costs involved in enforcing this?

    For the City of Simi Valley, the winner of a City contract would demonstrate that they are currently and actively enrolled in E-Verify. For the private sector businesses in the City, E-Verify would be handled much like the existing business tax certificates (licenses). It is the obligation of the business to file for a business tax certificate and to pay the correct amount based upon their sales revenue annually. There would be no E-Verify police as there is no business tax police.

    The E-Verify program has been in place for well over a decade. It was designed to be very narrow in it’s scope. The program is highly successfull with an accuracy rate exceeding 95% and E-Verify has steadily been improving the accuracy of it’s data and models. Of the many Government programs we have, this is one of the most user friendly and efficient ones I’ve ever seen. My intention is to do whatever I can to preserve the precious jobs for the people who have a legal right to work here in Simi Valley.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Bob Huber

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  2. Not to discredit your work here, but I still dont understand the significance of e-verify as a mandate for Smi Valley businesses. States dont even regulate this, its managed by the fed. If the Fed wants this done, great. Otherwise this is Huber’s political posturing. Take a heated issue like immigration and throw it into local politics? In Simi Valley of all places??

    Your going get no comments on this because the supporters are done, this topic is done and yes Huber is done. He will ***NOT*** get my vote and its not because I dont suppoert e-verify its because this makes no…sense…at…all!!!

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  3. Huber still does not explain the impact this will have on local businesses as a government MANDATE on ALL businesses in Simi Valley, so I will re-post what was posted earlier.

    Additionally, Mike Chandler, you need to ask him about this:

    “My intention is to do whatever I can to preserve the precious jobs for the people who have a legal right to work here in Simi Valley.”

    QUESTION TO ASK BOB HUBER: What about people who have the legal right to work here in Simi Valley, yet have been erroneously labeled as illegal citizens by E-Verify (because the system has proven to make errors). Explain how as Mayor he would address this. Taxes to cover the severe litigation? Your free legal services to cover us taxpayers?

    Earlier post:

    Huber’s proposal is neither innovative, nor well researched.

    The City Council already asked for research into the E-Verify matter, and the City’s consideration of the federal government program remains under consideration, though at the moment no action is planned immediately. For good reason. It is just inconclusive whether E-Verify works well enough to apply it to every single new employee. Just one single error can be very, very costly to a municipal entity.

    The City Council has been monitoring E-Verify for months, and the City basically is in a “watch” mode. Which is understandable, considering only a handful of cities in this state engage it. The State of California and the Ventura County Community College District do not use it. And we should ask, do most voters wish to be just like Lancaster and Palmdale?

    City research so far revealed that “evaluation of the E-Verify program was mixed,” noting among other findings that some reports note “E-Verify wrongly authorizes illegal workers about 54% of the time because it cannot identify identity fraud.”

    At this point the City Council already has begun the process of vetting E-Verify. Anyone considering a system that could state, wrongly, that you or I are illegal immigrants should very carefully research and monitor before implementation. A good lawyer understands the considerable risk management element.

    Anyone who called me an illegal immigrant, and denied me a job because of such, better be ready for Hell on Earth. Likewise for the politician who approved any program that would make such an erroneous determination.

    You would figure that a lawyer like Huber would have done his research before kicking in doors guns a-blazin’. No supposition here on the reason for this. This also does not explain Huber’s position that any business getting a business license through the City should have to go through E-Verify for hiring practices. That element of his proposal is questionable; private businesses should be allowed to choose their own screening processes and not be forced by government to use one system (which happens to be a government system). That very stance is anti-business, under the liberal stance that government knows best. Someone stated earlier that Mr. Huber’s position is an assault on the local business community, and I have to agree.

    The Council brought up E-Verify in May. Here is a June 2, 2010, staff memorandum responding to the City Council’s inquiry:

    “Earlier this year, the City Council requested staff to review the feasibility of using the E-Verify website to ensure that employees hired by City contractors are legally authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration. The system allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9), to determine if that employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. For most employers, the use of E-Verify is voluntary and limited to determining the employment of eligibility of new hires only.

    The City does not require E-Verify but currently maintains language within the City’s standard contract titled “Obligation of the CONTRACTOR”. This section requires City contractors and subcontractors engaged in the performance of a City project (regardless of the funding source) to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States. The Cities of Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Paula and the County of Ventura have indicated they do not include the E-Verify requirement in their contract documents at this time. Also, the State of California is not requiring the use of E-Verify.

    Staff discovered that the Cities of Lancaster and Mission Viejo do include a clause in their contract language requiring that employers verify employment eligibility through the E-Verify system. However, when contacted neither City was able to provide a complete evaluation of the program since it was relatively new, and sufficient historical data was not available.

    Staff also found that an evaluation of the E-Verify system was mixed. An independent evaluation by Westat, a Maryland-based social science research firm under contract to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, reports that 96% of potential employees were found to be eligible to work in the United States. However, other reports indicate that E-Verify wrongly authorizes illegal workers about 54% of the time because it cannot determine identity fraud, which is a flaw of the system.

    Staff recommends continuing to monitor the E-Verify program for its potential use at a later time should it be warranted or becomes the standard. Staff believes the City’s current contract language already requires contractors to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States.”

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  4. I’m flipping on this one. The debate isn’t about E verify, it’s about “what is this about?” and its completely political posturing, well said. He even has his press release as a letter to the editor on the Acorn. Oops, forgot to check if the city looked into it first.

    Yes lets have us some immigration debates at the local level. you sure are a politician aren’t you Huber?

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  5. Really, Mike C., relying on stats accumulated in 2007? If it’s so good, why have only a handful of cities mandated it? (And that does not take into account cities that are mandating it for every single business in their communities, which is an important and questionable part of Huber’s proposal).

    Of all the cities in California, what, 5 have approved it?

    The Simi Valley City Council started looking into this in April. They are vetting it, but at this point it is deemed unnecessary and, according to information so far, a potential significant liability. That does not mean the City won’t one day approve using E-Verify. Maybe when it’s necessary, or more accurate. Even the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the program, sent out a news release in May promising to work on improving E-Verify.

    Why does it need to be “improved.” Even the organization that runs it knows it has flaws.

    It takes just one error for a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. Fuss with figures all you want to tweak statistics, but if one legal citizen is called an illegal immigrant by E-Verify — and this has happened elsewhere — it will make wonderful headlines.

    By that time, if indeed Mr. Huber is mayor, he won’t care about the cost to local taxpayers of lawsuits. He’ll have his little dream in hand. The rest of us will have to pay for it.

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  6. The bottom line is the entire City Council has once again deferred to staff and won’t take a leadership position. Based upon Barbra Williamson’s comments here and Glen Beccera’s facebook comment, the entire council is opposed to E-Verify. Huber is taking a bold and progressive stance with his pushing for enacting e-Verify. The differences could not be more clear.

    Ballot please!!!

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  7. I’m curious, did Bob eVerify his gardeners? Better yet, as the chair of the community colleges, why hasn’t he asked that they take this up? I love how he sent his press release as a letter to the editor of the Acorn. Obviously if the Acorn felt it was news worthy they would have done an article. This is just a waste of every one’s time. Good move Bobby.

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  8. I always love reading “Hubris!” posts. They crack me up.

    I think the real Mike C., Mike Chandler, raises two great questions. How is this “bold” and what problem does this solve for Simi Valley?

    By now, illegals know they shouldn’t hang around in Elton Gallegly’s district. That’s a quick ticket home. But really, have things gotten so bad at the mall, that businesses started hiring what appear to be illegal aliens? And doesn’t that last question raise another important question which is, doesn’t this just make Simi Valley look like a town of racist old white guys?

    Ok, that last part was a joke. But really, what’s the problem?

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  9. Come on Mike. Do I really have to spell it out for you?

    Bold.
    –adjective, -er, -est.
    1. not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring:
    2. beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative:

    I’m sure Huber knew he would have some negative rebuttals and most people seeking office don’t want anything to do with such.

    I’d say by the response from your blog, that this was in fact a very BOLD iniative.

    As far as what problem does it fix? Well seeing as the county’s unemployment is 10.5%, up from a year ago at 10% and is currently in an uptrend (contrary to what Steve Sojka pronounced at the City council meeting in June that the worst was behind us), this program is about making sure that the few jobs that are out there, do in fact go to the people who are entitled to get them. You yourself early in this subject said your company just joined E-Verify and you found it to be no big deal. So whats with the turnabout?

    Now I noticed that you have been conspicuously quite regarding the City’s announcement this month, that they are hiring a beaurocrat at cost of $130,000 plus benefits to give “tours” (as Keith Mashburn referred it in today’s Acorn) of how to navigate the obstacles in doing business. How does that solve a problem or does it merely mask it. And much on this blog has focused on the miniscule cost of E-Verify while nothing is mentioned at spending $130,000 on the “tour guide” position while weve elimated 80 jobs in the City, 14 of them at Police Dept. and 4 of them Officers on the street. Don’t you think that is worthy of discussion? Mike you have 3 current Council Members running for election and you haven’t once, with the exception of discussing the budget, talked about their performance during this election.

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  10. Tom R: So are you saying E-Verify solves a problem our city has of hiring undocumented workers? And if so, how will we know it solves this problem? Is this an immigration issue?

    You’re correct, I do not believe E-Verify is a big deal. What turnabout are you referring to?

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  11. .01% still represents between 400 – 700 American workers wrongfully disallowed to work in Simi Valley because of Bob Huber’s no nonsense policy. Why does Bob Huber want to pile on American workers when jobs are scarce enough?

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  12. Mike: Ask Bob Huber if he would take a case against the City of Simi Valley that involved an American citizen who lost his job because of a false positive on Everify?

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  13. Mike,

    the reason I asked about the turnabout is because yesterday you stated “I agree that EVerify is an excellent free government resource that should be used at all levels where employees are hired”.
    Now it seems like you are requiring that there must be a problem that e-verify is addressing and what are the measurable results. I’m sorry but you appear to be inconsistant. Either the program is excellent free resource that makes an antiquated system better or it doesn’t. It is but one more effctive tool available through technology.

    And since when do we enact anything that is 100% failsafe. I’m mean really…….the IRS has a 92% accuracy rating and I don’t see anyone jumping up and down over abolishing the IRS. And even when they are wrong they still come and cause you to spend Thousands of dollars to clear your name.

    And as far as Donny’s notion that 400-700 workers here in Simi Valley would possibly be affected, thats ridiculous. No one loses a job due to E-Verify. it’s a PRE-EMPLOYMENT screening tool. And if your here legally, and it denies you, then all you have do is show the proper documentation, just like you currently have to with the I-9 forms. So please stop the scare tactics.

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  14. Tom R: I’m pretty solid with my position and understanding of the program. I view E-Verify as an excellent free resource. What I’m failing to see is how this proposed ordinance serves the community. Bob Huber titled his press release as his “No nonsense stance on Immigration.”

    So does this serve to combat an immigration problem in Simi Valley? And if so, how will we know it’s working?

    I do not challenge E-Verify’s accuracy rating because the results differ based on the source. My questions are in the short paragraph above.

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  15. Mike Chandler, ask teh same question 100 different ways and maybe you get an answer, yer crackin me up! first answer you got on this was this morning (or thats when I read it anyways) from William. Stick a fork in this one bro lol!

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  16. Huber plays the divisive immigration card, then is upset that people express opinions contrary to his own opinion.

    Leaders bring diverse people together around common cause. Bob is playing on voter divisions rather than bringing people together.

    Beat back divisive Huber politics. Defeat Bob 2010!!!

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  17. Ted, your comments surprise me. I’ve been referred to as both a “Huber Stooge” and a “Sojka Fan” so your comments on my objectivity are nothing new (Huber supporter, right?). But to take notice of the negative commentary on E-Verify and not the positive commentary on E-Verify leads me to believe you’re going to see what you want to see, and there’s not a lot I can do to convince you otherwise.

    To say there doesn’t need to be a problem to solve is not something I stand by. For such excitement, for such dramatics and to grab headlines, there god damn better be a problem to solve. Otherwise it’s just a headline grabber, and the voters aren’t meant to determine what it means or even understand it.

    I’ll put these issues out there and ask questions because that’s why I put this website together. For years, candidates have put their messages out there and voters were supposed to just take them at face value and vote. Paul Miller hadn’t updated his website since 2004 when he ran for re-election in 2008. He just knew he’d win. He’d promise to balance the budget, sync the traffic lights for better flow of traffic and he’d be our mayor. Bottom line, this website is meant to question all candidates, no matter how much the world loves them or thinks they should be nicknamed “Mr. Simi Valley.”

    Ted, you’ve researched E-Verify. Pretty exciting and ground-breaking stuff, right? No. No, it really isn’t. It’s an added layer of verification in the hiring process. Nevertheless, Huber is claiming to be “taking a stance on Immigration” and “preserving jobs in a touch economical time.” Really? Then point me to that problem, I want to see that problem measurably and I want to watch it dissolve away when he’s elected. If that problem isn’t there, then we’ve just had an emotional issue such as “immigration” injected into a local race for mayor in an effort to grab attention.

    Personally, this whole thing frustrates me. I think this is what we can continue to expect from both of these candidates until we can get them next to each other in an open forum.

    So until that happens, you’ll have to continue to be disappointed in me.

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  18. I completely agree with Ted. This is no more an attention grabber than the council’s decision to hire an analyst to hold peoples hand throught the obstacle maze at the City. Even Council Woman Williamson has said in THIS blog that E-Verify is good for Simi Valley. Although she thinks there are kinks to be worked out. Thats at least debateable point. You come across very condescending with your quote, “For such excitement, for such dramatics and to grab headlines, there god damn better be a problem to solve.” Wheres the excitement and headlines? You posted it as you have posted many things. Other than that, I havent seen any drama, protests, headlines in the paper other than a letter to Acorn from Huber himself. Ted is right, you have very smooth and subtle way of twisting the facts to be percieved a certain way and appears disingenious.

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  19. I’ve said time and time again that E-Verify is a benign service and not something that should concern people. Anything I’ve said to the contrary simply echoes Williamson’s sentiments that kinks need to work out. And unlike most people who tend to argue against E-Verify, I do not believe there’s enough of a margin of error NOT to use it and that it is perfectly acceptable to use now, taking it above and beyond Williamson’s position. And to reiterate that fact, I can tell you that I use E-Verify.

    There is no twisting of facts, there is asking of questions, which you’re free to disagree with but are my rights as a voter. What problem does this solve and how will I know its working?

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  20. Ted, can you text me or email me. I have an idea on how we can discuss this and ensure that nothing is taken out of context. How about a live internet streamed discussion on this topic and others. We can stream live and include a chat room for feedback and questions. You can set me straight and I can clarify my position. What do you think? Email me?

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  21. Mike C.: You’re partially right. I am trying to get someone to tell me that Huber’s announcement is an attempt to solve an illegal immigrant problem in Simi Valley. I keep asking the question because until just now, no one has bluntly spelled it out. Now I’d like to know if the Huber camp concurs with your position.

    It really has nothing to do with whether or not I think the issue exists or is valid, which is why you think I’m coming off as subtle.

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  22. Mike C.: You seem pretty passionate and vocal on the subject which is why I’m asking you, so don’t think I’m picking on you.

    You say it doesn’t fight immigration, but the Huber announcement flags the issue as Bob Huber’s stance on immigration. What does he mean?

    And when you say illegals are going to be here, do you mean in the State or in Simi Valley?

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  23. MIke C…I totally agree with you regarding the printing of documents in Spanish, even the Vote guides and ballots. That’s crazy!

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  24. Oh look Huber people attacking another blogger. These are great questions Mike Chandler. Is it about immigration? No you say?

    Then why title the press release “Huber Proposes no-nonsense IMMIGRATION ordinance for city?”

    This is about jobs? Why not put something in the title about jobs then?

    How about something about jobs in the first paragraph?

    Can’t calculate how many jobs this will open up? Answer: Mike Chandler is being unfair.

    How many jobs have been saved in Lancaster, Palmdale, Mission Viejo, and Temecula? Answer: Mike Chandler isn’t talking about business analyst issue under this immigration thread. He is unfair.

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  25. Isaac, where were you at before? No where, that’s where. We all call ’em like we see ’em. And if you dont think this is unfair, your as blind as a bat!!!!

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  26. All you need to pass by EVerify is a fake driver’s license and SS card. EVerify will be good for business in Simi Valley – businesses that make fake identification documents, that is! Studies show 54% of the time people get around EVerify this way. It’s a computer program, it cannot detect identity fraud. City workers will just input what is handed to them. Just pay someone for cards with legal residents’ names on it, and you’re in.

    The federal government does everything in its power, like invent computer programs like EVerify, to avoid doing what it should, and that is enforcing the immigration laws already in place.

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