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Could employment screening hurt immigrant workers?

 Posted on May 04, 2020 in Immigration

Texas is the fastest-growing state in America. And in industries like construction, retail trade and manufacturing, employers look to immigrant workers to provide for their business.

However, as talks about E-Verify requirements for all Texas employers continue, such rules could cause substantial damage if they get approved.

What is it?

E-Verify is an electronic web-based system that allows certain employers to confirm their workers are U.S. citizens. Employers use E-Verify to check a new hire’s employment eligibility by matching information from their I-9 forms.

Right now, only public employers in Texas must use E-Verify. But requiring businesses across the state to use it could hurt Texas’ economy. Some people say E-Verify has numerous errors. Sadly, local requirements to use the system could hurt business profitability and keep countless Texans out of work.

Common issues with E-Verify

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this is how mandatory E-Verify requirements could hurt immigrant workers:

  • Could put some on an employment blacklist: Most workers don’t want the “unemployable” label looming over them. Unfortunately, E-Verify requirements could cause that to happen due to the system’s “No Work List.” This can make it hard for immigrants to find and keep jobs.
  • It relies on outdated information: The federal government can have a reputation for using obsolete systems that hold incorrect data. For instance, the Social Security Administration reported that more than 17 million of its files hold inaccurate data and about 12.9% of that data regards U.S. citizens.
  • Workers could be subject to data errors: Even those who are eligible to work in the United States can get hurt by E-Verify. If employers enter the slightest mistake from a worker’s I-9 in the system, E-Verify may claim the person isn’t eligible to work. On top of that, it can take longer for such errors to get fixed, which could leave people without income for prolonged periods.

Immigrants provide tremendous value to the Texas economy and anything that hinders their ability to provide for the state’s workforce is detrimental.

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