A fellow patriot sent me Tom DeWeese’s article voicing his opposition to the E-Verify System that has been used for several years to identify dead-beat dads, but it is mostly known for its recent use by employers to identify illegal aliens and not hire them. The system accurately matches a name and social security number 94.1% of the time, with the overwhelming majority of the mismatches being just that: a mismatch between the name and number provided.
I have been a statistical researcher all of my life. I have dealt with massive databases at the state and federal level as well as in the private sector. Without data there is no research. And we do need research. Information about each of us is out there whether we like it or not. Just go to Google Maps and type in your address. You will see a view of the front of your house and rotate the view 360 degrees to see your neighbors house just as if you were standing in the middle of the street looking around you. Now talk about abuse potential. Don’t you think that the technology is there to get a real close view? We have satellites that can detect movement inside a house or building. Phones are easily tapped. Credit card companies and Credit Bureaus know more about us than anyone would imagine. Our medical information is on the provider’s database, which may be linked to hospitals if you have ever been admitted to one. The IRS conducts silent audits, which means that they can go into our bank accounts without our notices. If they see patterns that are not reflected in your income tax returns, they will do a personal audit. To me, these are really intrusive! Every 10 years the Census collects a wealth of information on each person legally residing in the US. Sometimes they include illegal aliens in their counts. Be that as it may, our era is called “the information age” for some reason: information about anything or anyone is readily available. It’s the nature of the era in which we live and the advancements that we have made.
What I am trying to point out is that if someone wants to abuse a system, they can and will abuse it. In my 30+ years of research, I was fortunate to have always worked with individuals who were ethical. Given my nose for fraud waste and abuse, I never caught anyone abusing their access to sensitive data. I am not saying that this does not happen. It does. I am just saying it is not rampant.
Now, for many years many employers require background checks that are quite intrusive. If you seek employment with the federal government, it sends the FBI to every single city in which you have reside to see what they can find out about you. Private companies have their own private security that does that. This has been going on for years, way before the information age. Should we stop these practices? Are we willing to sacrifice our safety or can we not use technology to facilitate what otherwise would be a tedious task with a high probability of human error?
It’s too bad that people are making a living today by putting fear into other people’s life. On the extreme left you have the global warming exaggerations and on the extreme right you have the “everything technology is Big Brother/Police State.” Remember Y2K? I wonder how many people know that there were actually magazines totally dedicated to the Y2K paranoia campaign? And guess what? Nothing happened. But these magazines made a lot of money. We have individuals today doing the same thing: making money or fame by instilling fear on people on things that just are not so.
I see this new debate over E-Verify as an example of this “put fear in people’s life” syndrome. I am disappointed at Tom DeWeese for taking his stance against E-Verify, as I have agreed with most of the articles that I have read by him.
Let’s examine two comments of the article that appears to be the foundation of his argument.
“E-Verify sets the stage for a national workforce management system, designed ultimately to subject all of us to an intrusive global surveillance system.
E-Verify will not prevent illegals from working in the United States, but rather help identify illegals the government wants converted to ‘authorized aliens.’ ”
Does Tom not understand what E-Verify does? The SSA already has a database with the SSN and information about each of us. From the moment we are born, we are given a SSN. We are already subjected to an intrusive global surveillance system. Google Maps is only a crude example of what is really available to such governmental agencies as the National Security Agency (NSA). That a claim is made that this would set a stage for a national workforce management system is quite a stretch. Has Tom seen how E-Verify works? I have. And I know that it is keeping illegals from being hired. There are over 70,000 businesses using this in the US and more are joining in at a rate of 1000 per week. Ask a business that uses E-Verify. They will tell you how it can catch most people who are using false documents. Yes, most. However, with facial recognition technology the system will improve to near perfection. And if you have a problem with facial recognition technology, don’t go out of your house in a large city. The cameras are out there. And credit cards now contain pictures to avoid fraud. So again, why pick on a system that gives access to employers to limited information about an individual?
DeWeese’s other claim that E-Verify will convert illegal aliens into authorized aliens is another tremendous stretch. What evidence does he have to back up this claim? If the government wanted to convert illegals to resident aliens, it can do this without E-Verify.
E-Verify contains a very small subset of information that is available to the government already and not the other way around. It uses what information the government agencies already have, but it also adds the names and pictures of people who have stolen identities so that they can notify the owner of the social security number that is now being used. The checking of the name with a SSN could be done without E-Verify, but how would you track the numbers that have been stolen? Certainly not by paper. That would be useless and indeed, archaic. E-Verify works and is working better every day. Why do you think that those who hire illegals are adamantly against the use of such system? It’s free, so it’s not about cost. It’s about selfishness and greed.
I too worry about the government or anyone’s ability to intrude into my life. And I do treasure my civil liberties. You see, I already lost them once: in Cuba. I plan to keep them this time around. I just don’t think E-Verify is what we have to fear. Like the large amount of databases that dwarf E-Verify, it’s not the information about which we need to worry. We need to be vigilant of any government that we have chosen to elect.
Labels: big brother, E-Verify, illegal aliens, immigration, paranoia, police state