As was illustrated by a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on April 18, immigration enforcement is nowhere near consensus. A bill introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), HR 2885, would make use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers. Rep. Smith regards the bill as a measure to stop identity theft, especially including theft of children’s identities by unauthorized workers. Such theft is often not uncovered for many years, by which time the futures of the children may be seriously impacted. On the other hand, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal) contended that the new law, if passed, would aggravate the problem while costing taxpayers billions. Her position is that E-Verify cannot uncover identity theft, since it only matches social security numbers with names. She noted that the real problem is with immigration. Even Rep. Smith conceded that the underground market for false identity papers grew after the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which required employers to obtain documentation of identity and work eligibility for all new hires. Other issues for E-Verify requirements include fair and efficient ways to deal with incorrect responses from the system. With millions of people being hired at new jobs each year, even a low percentage of false replies on work eligibility means that thousands of eligible workers would be denied jobs for as long as it takes the government to correct the mistake. The National Small Business Association (NSBA) has noted this problem as a major concern with mandatory E-Verify. Members of both parties have spent enough time on this issue (the April 18th hearing was the sixth hearing in this Congress just on E-Verify) to know that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary. E-Verify is just a tool, and doesn’t approach being a solution to the underlying problem. Unless coupled with sensible changes in immigration policy, using it (and especially making it mandatory) is likely to do more harm than good.