November 11, 2008 1:22PM

More Debunking of DHS E‐​Verify Claims — and the Bureaucrats that Make Them

In past months, I spent a good deal of time debunking advocacy for E‐​Verify from the Department of Homeland Security.

The National Immigration Law Center has been in the fray for quite a while, too — they have a wealth of materials online — and recently added to it with a short, sweet primer on what it takes to comply with E‐​Verify: more than DHS wants to believe, that’s for sure.

That’s typical of bureaucrats, by the way. They study their programs all day every day — unaware of the challenges and priorities of real businesspeople — and come away finding it impossible to believe that someone could find their product complex.

Well, guess what? When your job is running a plumbing business, a grocery store, a restaurant, or a manufacturing plant, you don’t have all day every day to figure out your compliance issues. They’re burdens that destroy productivity.

E‐​Verify has been offered up as a panacea for immigration problems, but the cure is worse than the disease. I wrote at length about the regulatory burdens, complexities, and principled reasons to oppose electronic employment verification on principle in a paper called “Franz Kafka’s Solution to Illegal Immigration.”

I had a friendly chat with Stewart Baker, the foil in many of my “debunking” posts linked above, the other night. Affable as ever, he reported unawareness of my writings on this blog. If true, this illustrates another problem with bureaucracy: Decision‐​makers are insulated to the point of ignorance. Privacy advocates “can’t and won’t tell you precisely how [things like] REAL ID [and E‐​Verify] threaten[] privacy” if you’re not paying attention.