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Gang of Eight: National ID Out, E-Verify In

March 13, 2013 (1 min read)

"Senators working on a sweeping immigration bill will likely abandon the idea of a new high-tech ID card for workers because it’s too expensive, a key negotiator said.  That means their emerging legislation, which they’ve promised will crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, likely will seek to expand a little-used system criticized as error-prone and vulnerable to fraud that employers can use to check the legal status of workers, mainly using Social Security numbers.  The system, called E-Verify, is now voluntary, and officials with labor and immigrants’ rights groups say it would have to be greatly improved before being required nationally.  Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., members of the bipartisan Senate immigration negotiating group, had championed creation of a biometric ID card instead that would use personal markers such as fingerprints to make it easy for employers to check the status of prospective hires.  But Graham said cost estimates came back higher than he expected.  “That seems to have been cost-prohibitive, so we’re looking at other ways to achieve the same goal,” Graham told reporters this week at the Capitol." - Erica Werner, Associated Press, Mar. 13, 2013.