Dear Fellow Durham County Republicans and Conservatives,
I am writing to encourage you to contact your NC State representatives regarding a
bill that is currently in the “Rules” Committee of the NC Senate, and which I
believe would greatly improve the financial condition of our state if it were
passed. The bill is: “SB 204″, which requires that new hires made by
local government agencies and their contractors be verified to be legally
qualified to work in the U.S. Currently, hires into positions in the NC State
government have to meet this requirement, so this bill simply extends current law to
include local government workers and contractors. Below are several issues to
help you advocate for this bill if you wish to do so. The sections below are:
first, a summary of information points about E-Verify, the program to be used to
determine if a person is eligible. Second is a listing of the major senators to
contact, with their contact info. Third is an example of an advocacy letter.
Even better is to construct your own letter.
As a point of information, I understand that the single most powerful means of
communicating with your representative is through a personal visit. Second is by
written letter, sent by snail-mail. Third is a personal phone call. Fourth is a
fax. Last is an email.
THANKS, everyone, for weighing in on this or other important conservative
civic issue. Warmest best wishes, Laura Gutman
First, background info on “e-verify”
What is E-Verify?
· Free, safe, secure and simple to use, E-Verify provides participating
employers an automated Internet-based resource to verify the employment
eligibility of newly-hired employees.
· Participating employers electronically compare information taken
from the I-9 Form (the paper-based form currently used to verify the work
eligibility of all new hires) against more than 449 million records in Social
Security Administration’s database and more than 60 million records in Department
of Homeland Security immigration databases.
· E-Verify utilizes special safeguards to ensure that employees are
not discriminated against. Additionally, the program ensures that employees’
privacy and civil liberties are protected.
Why should employers use E-Verify?
· E-Verify enables cheap, efficient, and accurate compliance with
the federal ban on hiring illegal aliens. It is currently the best means
available for employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of
their newly hired employees.
· E-Verify improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting,
protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers, and helps U.S. employers maintain a
· E-Verify provides a safe harbor for businesses that use the
system in good faith. When an employer obtains confirmation of the identity and
employment eligibility of an individual, a rebuttable presumption is established
that the employer has not violated federal law with respect to the hiring of an
What is the E-Verify Accuracy Rate?
· 96.9 percent of all queries are automatically verified as
employment-authorized either instantly or within 24 hours.
· Non-confirmations occur because:
The employee is not authorized to work in the United States;
The employee has failed to update his or her records with SSA (for example, to
reflect changes in name or citizenship status); or
The employer made an error when entering information into the E-Verify system.
· Non-confirmations constitute 3.1 percent of E-Verify queries. Of this
amount, only 0.3 percent are cases where individuals need to clear up errors in
their Social Security Administration records. The rest are not authorized to work
in the U.S. Therefore, the real E-Verify error rate is only 0.3 percent.
· Those who have inaccuracies are given instructions on how to
clear up their records with SSA and time to do so. The bottom line is that nobody
is automatically ruled out for work authorization and those eligible to work in
the U.S. will not lose their job. If a person is not work authorized, it’s not
discrimination. It’s following the law.
How widely is E-Verify used?
· E-Verify is now being used to determine work authorization for
more than 1 in 4 new hires. Over 117,000 employers are registered E-Verify users,
representing over 456,000 work sites
· About 1,000 employers per week are signing up for the E-Verify
program despite that fact that it has remained voluntary at the federal level
except for federal contractors. Only 12 states require its use in some manner by
What is the Federal Government saying about E-Verify?
· On 9/8/09, the Obama Administration began requiring federal
contractors to use E-Verify. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says
that E-Verify is an essential tool for employers to maintain a legal workforce
and a cornerstone of workplace enforcement across the country. She recognizes
that we cannot stop illegal immigration without removing the jobs magnet that
draws illegal workers to communities.
Reasons to Support E-Verify:
· E-Verify will ensure that citizens and legal residents will not
have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs.
There is no excuse for allowing employers to hire illegal workers, not
when there are so many citizens and legal residents struggling to find work.
· The federal government has stepped up to the plate to protect
American workers by requiring its contractors to use E-Verify. Now, it’s time for
states to do their part.
False Allegations About E-Verify:
Claim: Qualified workers won’t have a chance to prove that they are authorized to work.
Response: Every individual who gets a tentative non-confirmation is given
instructions on how to clear up their records with the Social Security
Administration and time to do so. Most cases can be taken care of by phone and
involve married or divorced women who did not update their records with SSA. The
bottom line is that nobody is automatically ruled out for work authorization and
those eligible to work in the U.S. will not lose their job. No citizen or
work-eligible legal immigrant has ever lost his/her job because of E-Verify. If
there is an inaccuracy in the SSA database, it is best to know about it and
rectify it prior to applying for retirement benefits.
Claim: Mandatory E-Verify participation would be a burden and increase the cost of doing business.
Response: According to a 2007 study by Westat, 96% of long-term E-Verify users
disagreed or strongly disagreed that the tasks required by the system overburden
their staff. Any human resources employee assigned to collect information for
the Federal I-9 form would simply spend a few extra seconds typing the same data
into the E-Verify system. 96.9% of responses come either instantly or within 24
hours. If the business does not have a human resources employee, vendors are
available to provide this service on a per-employee or subscription basis. Rates
are very affordable.
Claim: E-Verify could lead to discrimination.
Response: E-Verify does not cause hiring discrimination. The system cannot even
be used until after a person is hired and cannot be used selectively for
verification based on foreign appearance. It actually eliminates hiring
discrimination because all new hires must be checked.
Claim: SSA Database error rates make E-Verify unworkable.
Response: The real error rate is only 0.3 percent. What other government program can boast that it works correctly 99.6% of the time?
Claim: E-Verify doesn’t protect against identity theft cases.
Response: The one weak point that remains in E-Verify is the false positives that
occur when a legitimate identity is stolen. This issue had been addressed before
the Obama Administration discontinued sending “no-match” letters to employers where
a Social Security Number did not match Social Security Administration records.
For now, DHS is adding to E-Verify the digital photos from IDs issued to
non-citizens as well as passport photos to help with visual identification. The
bottom line, though, is that (1) without E-Verify, 100% of the illegal aliens
acquiring jobs get to keep them, and (2) employers are provided a safe harbor for
using E-Verify, so a false positive does not adversely affect the employer.
Senators to contact:
1. Sen Phil Berger (733-5708). He is the President pro tem of the Senate,
and his support is needed if the bill is to move forward.
2. Sen Austin Allran (733-5876). He is the primary sponsor for the bill..
3. Sen Tom Apodaca (733-5745). He is Chair of the Rules committee, where the
bill now sits.
4. Sen Brent Jackson (733-5705). He is Vice Chair for Rules.
5. Sen Peter Brunstetter (733-7850). He is also Vice Chair of Rules.
After these Senators, please contact any other Senator you have had any reason
to be in touch with. Just jump in.
An example of a possible letter (or, best of all, write it from
Dear Senator XXX,
I am a North Carolinean who supports strong immigration-enforcement measures.
The Senate on which you serve needs to pass E-Verify legislation (SB 204) to help
unemployed North Carolinians get back to work! This important bill is now
reported to be in the Senate Rules Committee, and so I am writing to urge you to
use your influence to move the bill forward.
If you are serious about putting North Carolinians back to work and guarding
taxpayer dollars, you will support SB 204, which requires local governments to
use E-Verify to check whether new hires are legal workers. It’s just common
sense that unemployed citizens should not have to compete with illegal workers
for taxpayer-funded jobs, and by the same token, why should North Carolina
taxpayers be forced to underwrite the cost of cheap illegal labor?
If you reduce the likelihood that illegal aliens will find jobs and increase the
likelihood they will be apprehended, they will migrate elsewhere or return home.
North Carolina unemployment stands at 9.9 percent. There are over 440,000
unemployed North Carolinians while around 325,000 illegal aliens hold our jobs.
We can free up jobs for legal workers by engaging local governments in the
enforcement of federal workplace laws. Illegal workers tend to migrate out of
communities that are serious about curtailing illegal immigration. When local
governments are required to use E-Verify like our state agencies, illegal aliens
will no longer access their jobs. This will free up jobs for citizens and save
taxpayer dollars as fewer public benefits are wrongly extended to illegal aliens.
Your constituents want quick committee action on SB 204. We are counting on you
to get this done.
Sincere regards and best wishes, XXXXX