Americans Oppose eVerify If Costs Are Considered

According to the latest Reason-Rupe poll, few Americans see much reason to oppose eVerify when it is first presented to them as a federal government database that employers use to ensure they hire workers eligible to work in the US. However, once costs to small businesses are introduced, support for eVerify plummets, even among those with the greatest anxiety over immigration.

Fully 79 percent of Americans, including majorities of all political groups, support requiring employers to check with a federal government database that verifies the legal immigration status of any job applicant they consider hiring. They say this even when they are aware that both native-born and foreign-born applicants would be in the database. While 73 percent of Democrats favor eVerify, their opposition is double that of Republicans (22 percent to 10 percent).

When respondents learn their own name would be kept in the database, opposition rises from 17 percent to 28 percent, but support still hovers around two-thirds. However, 58 percent of respondents would oppose eVerify if business owners were required to pay $150 for every worker they are considering hiring. Republicans are especially sensitive to this cost with opposition jumping 53 points from 10 percent to 63 percent. Democratic and Independent opposition also rises from roughly 18 percent to 57 percent.

Even a majority of those who fear immigration’s impact would oppose eVerify if its costs fell upon employers and small business owners. In fact, among the 27 percent of Americans who favor deportation of all unauthorized immigrants, support for eVerify drops from 88 percent to 33 percent once these costs are considered. This means even those less enthusiastic about immigration could be persuaded to oppose eVerify once they learn about the costs. It also suggests that one need not be convinced immigrants benefit the economy and do not steal jobs to oppose eVerify.

Among the 8 in 10 Americans who initially supported eVerify, half changed their minds upon learning that eVerify could cost employers $150 per person. These Americans tend to be more Republican, older, church-going protestants, and more likely to support the tea party movement.

As a benefits-only proposition, Americans support eVerify as a method to check the legal status of workers in the US. However, they do not support shifting the financial burden of border enforcement onto the shoulders of businesses.

Reason-Rupe Feb 2013 Full Immigration Findings

Nationwide telephone poll conducted February 21-25 2013 interviewed 1002 adults on both mobile (502) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.8%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here. A full analysis of the poll’s immigration results can be found here

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  • AlmightyJB||

    I try to explain this concept tp folks who say they are for smaller government but they want to test welfare recipients for drug use. Usually to no avail.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Just make the potential recipients pay for the tests and they'd be on board.

  • Zeb||

    Welfare bureaucrats would still find a way to make that cost a lot in administration. Can't have them getting tested just anywhere.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I'm not saying any form of welfare should exist, but if it does it might as well be an untaxed direct transfer of currency that recipients can do whatever they want with for all I give a shit.

  • thom||

    No! We must spend an enormous amount of money to make sure that a very tiny minority of welfare recipients won't spend even less money on things we don't approve of.

  • mr simple||

    Why would anyone think about costs when considering new legislation or regulation? They should only think of the children. Laws don't cost money; they're just there to help everyone.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    As a benefits-only proposition, Americans support X as a method to Y in the US.
  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The default position when told of a new government database should be horror.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Things that are justified as "public needs" should always be paid for with general funds... or abolished.

    Also, fuck everify, and other forms of e background checks both public and "private".

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And don't worry about some clerk mistakenly transposing the numbers when typing your SSN into the database, or a computer glitch or cyber attack deleting your info - if that happens and you're unable to get a job as a result, there's always unemployment benefits.

    There's no need at all to worry about your right to work being dependent on the competence and integrity of people operating a federal government computer database. They're all trained professionals, Top Men who wouldn't allow anything to go wrong.

  • ||

    Americans Oppose eVerify Government If Costs Are Considered

  • Matrix||

    If it does cost $150 per applicant, you will see them tossing many applications out the window. Anyone with a foreign sounding name would be quickly cut. If you don't sound American, you probably won't even get checked. Your application will be trashed. This will hurt many legal immigrants, even those who are American citizens.

  • Acosmist||

    Because you check every applicant, not everyone who survives the interview process and that you want to hire.

    Immigration makes libertarians stupid.

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