Shikha Dalmia on Rep. Heath Shuler’s SAVE Act

In an op-ed for the Detroit News, Reason Foundation’s Shikha Dalmia examines the latest immigration bill, the SAVE Act and writes, “if this bill becomes law, within four years every employer nationwide would be required to verify the work credentials of its entire work force, including 160 million existing workers plus 60 million new hires. Since the program prior to the huge proposed expansion has a 5 percent error rate, this would mean that more than 12 million legal workers could potentially be thrown out of work by no fault of their own. Nor will improved technology eliminate these errors, as its authors claim, because most of them are the result of data entry mistakes. What’s more, workers — not their employers — would have to clear things with Uncle Sam when their credentials are thrown into question. To do so, they’ll have to deal with the same agencies that issued visas to 9/11 terrorists after they flew planes into buildings. But even if one assumes that the program has 100 percent success in catching every one of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, that would still translate into one American worker being hurt for every illegal snagged. That is a lousy deal. But the fundamental problem with the program is that it would require workers to prove that they are eligible to work rather the government to prove they are not. We’re all guilty until proven innocent.”