The Ventura County Star published an article regarding E-Verify and how it’s become an issue in the race for Mayor. I’ve mentioned in the past that I use E-Verify where I am employed and that I find the service benign and not threatening to our position as an employer, nor do I find it to be a liability.
A report published in January by Westat, a research company hired to evaluate the E-Verify system for the Department of Homeland Security, found the program is unable to detect identity fraud and that about half of the small percentage of unauthorized workers processed by the system were given an inaccurate finding of being authorized to work.
Miller has said that statistic means the E-Verify program is “highly unreliable.”
Citing the same study, Huber accuses Miller of duplicity, saying the research clearly shows E-Verify correctly clears for employment 96 percent of those processed by it.
The unreliability argument should never have happened. I think it’s fair to use the statistics and research to point out the benefits as well as the drawbacks of the program, but calling it unreliable was a bad idea. I think that’s why the city’s move to look into implementing it now comes off as a complete “about-face.” The Mayor’s efforts now look more like a statement of “oops, I was wrong” instead of “let’s take a hard look at this.”
Sojka says City Council members agreed that the E-Verify system might be a good tool but they wanted to wait and be sure they made the right decision. He says Huber is just making politics.
“If it’s such a great program, why hasn’t Mr. Huber applied it to the Ventura County Community College District and why wasn’t he at the City Council meeting in January speaking out about this issue?” Sojka said.
I’ve heard this question posed to me on a couple of occasions and it seems like a fair question. If it’s a groundbreaking program with significant impact on the city, why isn’t it good enough for Bob Huber’s current domain?
But ultimately, the question that I couldn’t answer was what is the expected impact on our city by implementing it? Are we addressing a problem with hiring undocumented workers at City Hall? If the ordinance requires all Simi Valley employers to use it and we’re unable to police the policy, what are we getting and how can we measure those benefits?
Or simply, is there no intended benefit other than it’s a good idea to be as thorough as possible when hiring employees to ensure they are eligible? If that’s the case, then fine. But why all the PR?
One thing’s for sure, we are definitely getting E-Verify headlines now!
Read the whole article here.