E-verify: An effective no-return policy



The evidence is mounting: An Arizona law requiring employers to verify legal residency of job applicants is deterring illegal aliens from coming and staying in the state.

“We find that an Arizona law reducing employment opportunities for unauthorized migrants decreased emigration from and increased return migration to Mexican source regions with strong initial ties to Arizona,” concluded researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The study examined the impact of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which took effect January 2008. It requires employers in Arizona to use E-Verify, the federal online system that verifies a worker’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S.

Analyzing Mexican ID card (matricula consulare) data, researchers found the rate of illegal immigrants returning to Mexico from Arizona nearly quadrupled from 2005 to 2010.

The increases were especially large for Mexican states closest to Arizona. Sonora, for example, saw a 30 percent increase  in the number of migrants returning compared to more distant locales.

The study dovetails with other research showing the influx of illegal aliens fell by almost 50 percent in the seven U.S. states with universal E-Verify laws.

Brian Cadena, associate professor of economics at the University of Colorado and co-author of the Arizona study, noted a Congressional Budget Office estimate that E-Verify could be implemented nationwide for $1.3 billion over 10 years. That would be a drop in the bucket compared to the $135 billion that illegal immigration costs the U.S. annually.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

5 Comments

  1. avatar

    Arizona prides itself as being a tough-on-immigration state and to me that is plain hypocrisy. I want to tell you of this case from just a couple of years ago. This actually happened.
    in 2015 a farmer from Mexico made a some bad choices about his crops that he ended up broke, with no money to plant for the following harvest. He rented his land for the next season, left the money to his family and moved to Arizona to look for a job, and save some money to restart his farm. He crossed the border with a tourist Visa and He had no trouble finding work for a State government contractor doing road work. It turns out that it’s very hard to find Americans who want to work outside in the sun when everyday it gets to 110-115F and people connected to the government can hire cheap illegal immigrants because they WILL NOT be audited like private companies.
    A similar case was in the news in Alabama where a truck full of illegal immigrants crashed in their way to work. They were hired by a government contractor to do road work. The company was connected to a republican state congressman.
    No legal immigrant will take a low paying hard or dangerous job; and American employers don’t want to pay more to find American workers who might be willing to do them. And this is true even for government jobs in the toughest immigration state in America

    • avatar

      First of all, there is an entire study here that examined this question. It does not support what you say. Second, you say American employers don’t want to pay more. If you make it illegal to employ people here without permission and enforce it through e-verify, they will have no choice but to pay more.

    • avatar

      America has been very patient and gracious with the huge influx of illegal aliens. Most nations would simply execute them for what they are: a foreign invader.
      Time for the US to do the same.

  2. avatar

    This conclusion, which most illegal advocates would have dismissed when the program began ten years ago, is beyond obvious. Make life difficult for illegals, oh the horror of it all, and they will not persist in their illegal activity. In other words, don’t reward illegal behavior by letting them work and they will not bother to come. There was a guy on Tucker Carlson who was saying that everyone should be able to work “without a piece of paper from the government”. There is no other conclusion to draw except that this person wants open borders. No doubt he would deny that, they always do, but the practical effect would be exactly that. Even the La Raza web site always said the same thing. It’s always “we have a right to protect our borders, but….”. Always the same con job. Like “I’m for free speech, but….”.

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