Mandatory E-Verify: Protecting Jobs or Opening Pandora’s Box?

(AP Photo/Matt York)

As the migrant crisis continues to worsen, lawmakers in Congress are looking at ways to manage the problem since the Biden administration doesn’t seem interested. Mandatory E-Verify is one of the solutions on the table in Congress, especially after Florida Republicans passed a similar measure earlier this week. However, some have raised concerns about using the program, warning that it could lead to unintended (or intended) consequences in the future.


As someone who has advocated for enacting mandatory E-Verify in the past, I thought this current debate was interesting. Those on the right opposing the measure have made some pretty compelling arguments that I will explore in this article.

Mandatory E-Verify is a proposed policy requiring employers to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of their workers. The program is an online database maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

It allows employers to electronically verify newly hired employees’ identity and work authorization by cross-referencing the information provided on the employee’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) with government records. The system compares the employee’s name, Social Security number, and other relevant details against databases to determine their eligibility to work in the United States.

Under a mandatory E-Verify policy, employers would be required to submit the employment information of their newly hired employees through the E-Verify system within a specified timeframe, usually a few days after the individual’s start date. The system then provides a response indicating whether the employee’s information matches government records and whether they are authorized to work.

Some, like Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), argue that such a system would grant an unelected government agency the power to control employment and could be abused for purposes beyond its initial intention. They caution against giving the government the authority to determine who can be hired, as it could lead to discrimination based on political views, diversity requirements, or other arbitrary reasons. Massie likens this expansion of government control over employment to the dangers of a central bank digital currency, suggesting that it could pave the way for social credit systems and extensive state control.


“How did Joe Biden force millions of people to take vaccines?” Massie wrote in a tweet. “He threatened to disqualify them from employment, using existing federal bureaucracies like OSHA, CMS and federal contracting authority.”

“I guarantee he would use E-Verify to do the same if it were federally mandated,” he added.

In another tweet, Massie argued that mandatory E-Verify “is a mandate on all Americans in response to a problem the government itself caused by failing to secure our border” and declared that he would vote no on the measure.

Former Rep. Justin Amash also expressed concerns, asserting that E-Verify could lay the groundwork for the creation of national biometric databases, central bank digital currencies, and a social credit system, effectively giving the state a terrifying level of control over our lives.


Supporters of mandatory E-Verify argue that the program can play a crucial role in ensuring workforce integrity and promoting legal employment practices. By requiring employers to use this system to verify workers’ citizenship status, it becomes easier to identify and address the issue of unauthorized employment.

This helps protect job opportunities for American citizens and legal residents, reducing unfair competition and safeguarding the labor market. Mandatory E-Verify can also discourage undocumented immigration by creating a stronger deterrent against hiring unauthorized workers. In addition, it sends a clear message that businesses must comply with immigration laws and hire individuals who have the legal right to work in the country.

Moreover, mandatory E-Verify enhances national security by providing a tool to identify and track individuals who may pose a risk. It can contribute to the prevention of identity theft and fraud, as the system verifies the authenticity of an individual’s identification documents. This reduces the potential for criminals and terrorists to exploit gaps in the employment system. By ensuring a more thorough vetting process, E-Verify helps maintain the safety of workplaces and communities.


I agree.

Passing federal legislation mandating the use of E-Verify would undoubtedly cut down on illegal immigration. It would deter folks from crossing the border illegally because it would be so much harder for them to find work.

However, folks like Massie and Amash bring up some compelling points.

Remember when we were dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Congress began talking about passing the Patriot Act? Even though some warned against it, the government assured us that the legislation, ostensibly designed to protect us from terrorists, would never be used by federal agencies to violate our rights.

Now, we know they were lying.

Granting the state broader authority to conduct surveillance on us resulted in brazen violations of our natural rights that continue even today. As someone who does not trust the government, I have little doubt that, eventually, the government would leverage the E-Verify system as another tool to exert its power over us. Does anyone actually believe the elites who control our government would not weaponize such a program against us?

At this point, I am not convinced giving Big Brother another way to violate our rights is an appropriate tradeoff for reducing illegal immigration. Immigration is a complex issue fraught with intense debate. There are other ways to secure our border and reform our immigration system in a way that actually addresses the issue. But giving this tyrannical state another weapon to use against us is a surefire way to lose even more liberty.



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