In reality, E-Verify will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of legal Americans to get a job. According to a recent independent audit of E-Verify conducted by the firm Westat, between 0.7 to 0.3 percent of all E-Verify queries produced erroneous TNCs [tentative non confirmations], meaning they were issued to legal workers. If 150 million American workers were run through E-Verify tomorrow, somewhere between 450,000 and slightly more than 1 million American workers would be notified that if they do not address the problem then they will lose their jobs. Those American(s) would then have to correct any inconsistencies before the government gave them clearance to be employed full time. That hardly seems fair for these legal workers.

This is from Alex Nowrasteh, “The Economic Costs of E-Verify.” The whole thing is excellent.

Alex’s basis point is that E-Verify will reduce the fluidity of the U.S. labor market because it gives the federal government literal veto power over everyone, legal or illegal, who accepts a new job. And I use the word “literal” literally. If the government does not approve your getting the job, then you can’t get the job until you show that you’re legal. Not a problem? Alex writes:

If the worker and employer are unsuccessful in contesting the TNC, the worker is issued a final nonconfirmation (FNC) which means the worker MUST be fired. The Westat audit found that fully 6.3 percent of the FNCs issued are erroneous. In other words, E-Verify makes it illegal to hire some Americans.

Along with 9 other representatives of groups that are in the Peace Coalition of Monterey County, I met with our Congressman, Sam Farr, on Friday. The main purpose was to talk about war, but the discussion was wide-ranging and one of the topics was immigration. I told Sam that one of the things in the immigration bill I most objected to was E-Verify. Sam was not a fan either, but he stated that if other parts of the bill passed, the various immigrants who used to be illegal would not be illegal. I pointed out that that assumes the government makes no mistakes and that this is pretty heavy regulation of the labor market. I found it interesting that, according to Sam anyway, the big proponents of E-Verify are Republicans. I’m used to Democrats being the more aggressive assaulters of labor markets.