Advocates acknowledge that E-Verify's 94 percent accuracy rate could be improved, but they insist that its benefits outweigh any imperfections. They contend that it's an easy, straightforward way for employers to comply with immigration law. Better education of employers can ensure it's used properly, they say.
In the middle are many immigration experts and economists. Worksite enforcement, they say, is crucial to controlling illegal immigration. But they also note that America's current immigration system is broken and not meeting the needs of the economy. That's why there's a steady flow of illegal, low-wage workers entering the US. These experts are concerned that imposing E-Verify nationwide now without broad immigration reform would severely damage the economy.
"We have significant sectors of the economy that need large numbers of low-skill workers, yet we don't have legal channels for these immigrants to come in," says Judy Gans, manager of immigration policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "The question is: What are we doing to the economy by imposing worksite enforcement before the legal channels are there to meet the economy's needs?"