- The Washington Times - Friday, February 24, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Washington Times recently published a two-part series on youth unemployment (“Young and Jobless: Millennials forced to put lives on hold,” Page 1 Monday and “Suspended Lives: Youths show frustration in streets around world,” Page 1 Tuesday) but didn’t mention one of the options to open up jobs for those workers: E-Verify.

E-Verify is a Web-based program that quickly identifies persons working illegally in the United States and protects jobs for legal workers by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires. It’s free, quick and easy to use. More than 99 percent of the time, people eligible to work in the country are confirmed immediately.

With this sort of track record, it’s no wonder both businesses and the American people support E-Verify. Nearly 320,000 employers voluntarily use this program, and an additional 3,000 new businesses sign up each week.

According to a recent poll, 82 percent of Americans think all employers should be required to use E-Verify. The breakdown in race and political affiliation of those polled shows support for E-Verify is widespread. In fact, 78 percent of black voters, 72 percent of other minorities (primarily Hispanics) and 73 percent of Democrats agreed.

The House Judiciary Committee last year approved the Legal Workforce Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide employment opportunities to American youth. Congress should pass this bill, and the president should sign it into law. If we opened up to Americans the jobs held by illegal workers, our country’s youth would be able to develop the necessary workplace skills for future success.

REP. LAMAR SMITH

Chairman

House Judiciary Committee

Washington

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