The Problem with E-Verify: ACLU's Chris Calabrese on Immigration Reform


"If E-Verify becomes mandatory, the result will be that you will essentially have to get cleared with a government right-to-work list before you can start a job. And that's a huge change," argues Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union. 

E-Verify, a government-operated database of everyone legally permitted to work in the United States, is currently used by hundreds of thousands of employers to check the status of their workers. Yet a national identification system has no precedent in the United States. Can E-Verify certify work status for immigrants and native-born workers alike without trampling on our civil liberties?

Chris Calabrese sat down with Todd Krainin of ReasonTV to discuss the problems with national identification cards, new proposals for immigration reform, and how social networking has changed our expectations of personal privacy.

Camera by Josh Swain. Edited by Todd Krainin. 

Time: 7:25.

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  1. Disappearing comments...interesting.

    /conspiracy theorist

  2. I'm not going to comment until I can E-Verify it won't get erased.

  3. I forgot what I said. I'm sure it was fatuous.

  4. Data bases now exist which have the ability of an employer to check the history of an applicant. The average cost of a search is only 25 bucks; the data base is also available to ladies who would like to know more about their potential date.

  5. Sounds like a pretty solid plan dude.

  6. "...we don't ask employers to go out...and enforce the drug laws..."

    We don't ask them to do that because they have nothing to do with drug laws. They are however the front line of employment so "yes" they should be expected to adhere to employment laws.

    1. Yep, just like Oskar Schindler.

  7. OK, couple of points:

    1. Employers DO enforce drug laws, its referred to as a piss test....although that is admittedly for insurance, not the gov...

    2. most is E-Verify any different in principle than what happens now? As far back as 1991 I lost a job and had an employer refuse to pay me because I had lost my Social Security card right before being hired, and couldn't satisfy the requirements of the w-2 form. The Feds already require you to prove that you are allowed to work in this country. Are people objecting to the increased efficiency? Does the proposed system infringe on our rights more than the current system? Its not not like employers are exempt from verifying employment status now.

  8. Also, I understand the objections to a national id card, but your social security number is your defacto national id, despite the law forbidding it being used that way.

    Stop puttering around the edges...all that you object to is already here, or close. I come close to believing that we either roll over and accept it, or start the revolution. Changing the oil on an engine with a blown head is not going to get you any further down the road, its just wasting your time

  9. Gay Chinese computer engineers and medical technicians face everyday harassment; millions have applied to be admitted to the US where alternate sexual lifestyles are accepted. But they are being put in back of the line while Mexican garden cutters and their large families are flowing like chili sauce over a weakening nation.

  10. This is not a very well thought out position for the ACLU. I wonder how they feel about a national database for gun owners. How about the national ID using passports? National don't fly database should be eliminated for Calabrese's flights. Every database has errors-check out your credit score. This does not invalidate the concept. Fix the errors!! And god forbid, a national database for voting to eliminate abuse and insure agreement with unfair.

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