Tell Your Legislators: E-Verify is Wrong for WV

The E-Verify System: Invasive, Inaccurate, Wrong for WV

The E-Verify system is a massive, error-ridden government database that supposeldy contains the names of everyone who can work in the U.S. It is unreliable and unacceptable as a means of verifying work authorization.

In 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimated that 1 in 400 cases wrongly determined an individual was not authorized. With 717,000 workers in West Virginia, that means nearly 1,800 eligible workers could be wrongly flagged.

Errors are often caused by name changes, transliteration problems from non-Roman alphabets, or simple typos. E-Verify errors have a discriminatory impact on foreign-born workers. The Government Accountability Office has found the initial non-confirmation rate for employees who were eventually authorized to work was about 20 times higher for foreign-born applicants.

If the state wants to block a job applicant from working, the burden should be on it to establish ineligibility. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a core principle in our society. E-Verify turns this principle on its head and requires workers to prove they are eligible to work.

HB 4759 would require the state’s construction industry to use this unreliable system for work verification. Contact your legislators and tell them to oppose this bill because E-Verify is invasive, inaccurate, and wrong for West Virginia.

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