E-Verify: Will It Stop Illegal Immigration or Just Waste Everyone's Time?

Alex Nowrasteh

Governor DeSantis has been pushing Florida’s legislature to enact an E‑Verify mandate for all new hires as a way to “turn the spigot off the incentive that drives illegal immigration,” as state Senator Joe Gruters said.

So far, state legislators have resisted his efforts and watered down any potential bill that could pass—exempting some small businesses and agriculture. There was then a fierce debate over the exemptions and whether they should stand as the legislature has decided to pause briefly. The compromise bills are better than a mandate, but E‑Verify should be rejected outright.

E‑Verify is a federal system that checks the identity documents of new hires, even Americans, against government data to guarantee that they are legally eligible to work. If they are illegal immigrants, the businesses have to fire the new hires. In theory, E‑Verify is supposed to keep businesses from hiring illegal immigrants. In reality, it doesn’t work and, in the process, harms American workers.

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