California Makes Government Enforcement of E-Verify Illegal


California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law last week which makes it illegal for the state, cities and counties to mandate that private employers use E-Verify.

California employers are able to use E-Verify on a voluntary basis or as required by federal contracts.

E-Verify was set up under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

It compares information from an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem; they must contact the appropriate agency to resolve the mismatch within eight federal government work days from the referral date.

The program is not mandated by federal law and the progress of a bill to make it mandatory is stalled in Congress. The program has been marked by a high error rate, estimated at 8%.

The error rate has been one of the main arguments used by proponents of California’s new law. But they have also argued that it is a financial burden on business.

The bill says that the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the net societal cost of all federal contractors using the E-Verify program would amount to $10 billion a year, federally” and that California businesses “would face considerable odds in implementing such a program.”

Following local pressure, the Southeastern Californian town of Murrieta adopted E-Verify but Brian Ambrose, a senior analyst in the city manager’s office, told the LA Times:

“We have not received a single phone call… We did not believe there was ever a problem with illegal immigration here in Murrieta.”

Strong opposition to E-Verify has come from California’s large agribusinesses. The American Farm Bureau said in July that:

“[E-Verify] could have a significant, negative impact on U.S. farm production, threatening the livelihoods of many farmers and ranchers in labor intensive agriculture.”

In Georgia, a study has found that labor shortages heavily exacerbated by that state’s new anti-immigration legislation cost fruit and vegetable farms at least $70 million in crop losses this spring. The University of Georgia study surveyed farmers, who said they had 40 percent fewer workers than they needed this year.

Daniel Altschuler reported for CS Monitor in June that farmers are shifting from fruit and vegetables to grain, because it requires less labor.

Last week the Louisiana Associated General Contractors association launched a lawsuit against that state’s use of E-Verify in public contracts.

Eighteen states now have an E-Verify requirement in such contracts.

California Governor Jerry Brown picture by Steve Rhodes


Vince D.
Vince D6 years ago

Again, E-Verify clears legal workers >99% accurately. This is amazing. Workers who are incorrectly flagged are given the opportunity to update their records. Any LEGAL, NORMAL person, with nothing to hide, would want to do this anyways.

So if within that 1% of errors, the errors are "skewed", so what. That is statistically insignifigcant. If true, it should be simple to figure our why those persons would have inaccurate records. Spelling errors? Fix them and get on with it.

E-Verify is piloting a self check feature so that you can check yourself before applying for a job.

If they ever get around to integrating the database with the photos on your driver's licenses, it will be almost foolproof.

There is no logical reason to oppose E-Verify, unless you are profitting from the ability to hire illegals.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K6 years ago

"The government's own study shows that E-Verify's current error rate is 20 times higher for foreign-born workers than U.S.-born workers and 30 times higher for naturalized citizens, said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Making the system mandatory would adversely affect all immigrants, but especially the nation's Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, of whom more than two-thirds are foreign-born.

And those who are authorized to work in this country, including U.S. citizens, could be deemed unauthorized simply because of an old database system that doesn't reflect current work authorization status. Because of errors in E-Verify, between 144,000 and 415,000 U.S. citizens and other legal workers in California alone could lose their jobs if they do not know to or are unable to correct their records, according to the Immigration Policy Center."

Vince D.
Vince D6 years ago

E-Verify clears a legal worker instantly 99% of the time. The 1% is due to things like someone not recording a name change after marriage which any normal person would want cleared up anyways. Where E-Verify can miss is when an illegal alien (the proper term!) has a good fake ID.

What can catch those is a simple algorithm that detects multiple uses of the same SS# for employment and send our letters to those employers.

So the errors are in complete favor of workers, legal and otherwise. Legal workers have the oportunity to clear up their recored, and employers who use E-Verify have a record of their attempt to comply with the law in case an illegal does slip through. It's a win for everyone but the illegals and their scumbag employers.

The claims that E-Verify is inaccurate are propaganda from the open borders and cheap labor lobbies. In other words, BS.
Want more info, have a look at

Cora B.
Cora Bird6 years ago

Why shouldn't any business have to hire legal Americans first? This is just another way to give illegals more and more and more at the expense of American citizens. If you don't want to become a citizen here, go back to wherever you came from.

Grant Shafer
Grant Shafer6 years ago

I don't favor mass deportations of illegal aliens because it seems inhumane. On the other hand, I don't think that we owe everyone who chooses to come here a job. The error rate of 8% is not bad; 92% is an A- in my class. It doesn't surprise me that farm organizations oppose immigration restrictions since they want to pay sub-minimum wages. Likewise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants us all to work for peanuts. Given the high number of unemployed citizens, we should not be employing illegals. I support E-verify. Further, businesses who knowingly and willingly employ illegals should be punished with heavy fines and imprisonment for their managers.

Dayane C.
Dayane C.6 years ago

"illegals" how are WE illegals? go through your history books and find the truth.. this territory once belonged to MEXICO. you guys claim to be better than us but when you guys really think about it Americans are lazy!! no LEGAL person wants to work out in the fields in the hot burning son and wants to get payed minimum wage. the hell, no LEGAL person wants to work the jobs that ILLEGALS work. so stop complaining. start adapting to these illegal people, because trust me WE ARE NOT GOING No Where!!
** to those that have been a victim of identity theft, I'm so sorry! but we are not the same. some of us just want a better future.

Pam miner
Pam miner6 years ago

There is really something wrong with the malfeasance of the pubs these days. No body IS illegal! If they are here without papers that means they are "undocumented workers" I refuse to use the I word for any person.

Michael MacDonald


sorry, I'm just full of typos today

Michael MacDonald

*being an "illegal" immigrant

Michael MacDonald

oh, and for everyone who thinks that someone being an "illegal" immigrants justifies any of this behavior.. go look at the ALCU's stance on illegal immigration.
"no human being is illegal"

The ALCU is the civil liberties union that fought with Malcom X and all those guys by the way so they have more integrity on civil liberties than any other group in America.