The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has slammed the White House and Congress for failing to ensure a permanent reauthorization of a program designed to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs in the U.S.
E-Verify is a verification mechanism that allows employers to determine whether workers are legally authorized to work in the U.S. by electronically checking their Social Security numbers. Many organizations advocating stricter immigration controls have pushed for its permanent extension, but earlier this week a House-Senate committee voted to reauthorize it for only three years.
"Unfortunately, at a time when American workers most need the full commitment of their government to protect their jobs, what they got was a half-hearted gesture," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
"The Obama administration and congressional leaders demonstrated, once again, that their goal is to minimize the enforcement of laws against illegal immigration," he added.
FAIR stresses that E-verify, which it claims is accurate in 99.6 percent of cases, reduces the attractiveness of U.S. labor market to illegal aliens, thus removing incentives for them to come to the country and stay.
However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is challenging the program in a Maryland federal court, and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have claimed that thousands of people could be in danger of losing their jobs as the databases "are not terribly accurate," quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle.