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Press Release | E-Verify Harms Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

By September 15, 2011 No Comments
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The 10 Numbers You Need to Know About E-Verify (original source by the Center for American Progress) – Download in Korean & English

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2011

Contact:
Jane Yoo, jyoo@nakasec.org, 202-299-9540

 

E-Verify Harms Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

Today, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) will send a bill known as the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164) to the House Judiciary Committee for mark up. The bill would make E-Verify, an internet-based system to check to see if prospective employees are legally authorized to work in the United States, mandatory for all employers. While four percent of all American businesses utilize E-Verify, to expand it would pose significant financial and logistical issues that would do more harm than good.

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles are particularly concerned about E-Verify’s low accuracy rates and high cost of implementation and the resulting effects on AAPI communities and small businesses. The government’s own study on the program shows that naturalized citizens are 30 times more likely than native born citizens to receive an error message and legal non-immigrants are 50 times more likely to be subject to errors through E-Verify. With more than eight million foreign-born AAPIs living in the United States, the high inaccuracy rates of E-Verify are deeply troubling.

This mandate would also crush small businesses, 1.4 million of which are AAPI-owned, by adding yet another government regulation and requiring small business owners to utilize scarce resources on training, implementation and infrastructure. According to a recent Bloomberg government study, making E-Verify mandatory would cost small businesses $2.6 billion a year. Overall, the Department of Homeland Security estimates it would require $765 million to $838 million over four years to administer the program.

Morna Ha, executive director of NAKASEC, says “With over 50% of the AAPI population already facing language barriers, mandating the complicated and flawed program would only serve to add undue burdens to AAPI workers and small businesses. Rather than implementing enforcement-only measures like E-Verify, we encourage Congress to focus on truly comprehensive fixes to our broken immigration system.”

 

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The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans as a part of a greater goal of building a national movement for social change. NAKASEC is based in Los Angeles and has an office in D.C. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center) and in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center).