NumbersUSA's Roy Beck: SAVE Act Will Protect American Borders And Jobs

February 18, 2010 12:19 pm ET

During an hour-long session at the February 2010 Tea Party Convention, NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck discussed his support for a national e-Verify system to ensure undocumented immigrants are not hired for American jobs.

NumbersUSA: Immigrants Won't Stop Coming In Until They Can't Get Jobs

Roy Beck, Executive Director of NumbersUSA:

Okay. Thank you.  The Number one thing that would do incredible things is the SAVE Act. By the way Congressman Goodlatte and Congressman Gingrey Republican from Georgia. Congressman Goodlatte is a Republican from Virginia, anybody from Virginia?

There's one of your congressmen.  Alright, great guy. 

Congressman Shuler's a Democrat from North Carolina, anyone from North Carolina? I met some of you, yeah. So Shuler's been championing this for two Congresses and he's got over 100 people who are cosponsoring this. That's a lot.

Here's what the SAVE Act does. It's the most important thing, it would do most of what we need.  When you talk, when I talk with the head of the border patrol union. When our staff, especially Rosemary Jakes our Harvard-trained lawyer who runs out government affairs operation, she goes [inaudible] she goes down there and does her behind the scenes tours of the border patrol. Almost every one of them say this: nothing we can do on the border matters until you dry up the jobs magnet. Turn off the jobs magnet.  Because as long as people know that if they can get 20 miles inland, they can get a job, they will risk their lives. People risk their kids' lives. And that's what's been happening. We refuse to turn off the jobs magnet.

So what Shuler and the SAVE Act does, what they do, is they require every employer in America to use the eVerify system. We've been using it for years.  Does anyone in here happen to work in a place, or you have a small business where you use eVerify?  Yeah, several.

It's a little bit of a pain, takes you maybe three hours. Somebody in your organization has to take about three hours to go through a tutorial, mainly to make sure you don't discriminate against somebody while you're doing it.  But then, when you actually hire somebody, it takes maybe a minute. You do not ask the employees for any information you don't already have to ask for on paper.  It's just that you put it on the internet, not the internet, you put it online and it's all protected.  You press a button and usually within about 10-15 seconds it comes back and says "authorized." Sometimes it may take an hour or a couple hours.

We've hired two people that came back, it said "temporary non-confirmation." Now critics would [inaudible] say "these are error rates." Well, they're not error rates, nobody gets fired, you can't fire somebody for a temporary non-confirmation. You have 10 days, they give you something to print out, in each case I printed this thing out, I give it to the two people who we have already hired.  They continue working, but they call the phone number.  In one case it's a case where the woman had not changed her name when she got married. Well, she had to do that, she needed to do that. Social Security. So she needed to do that anyway.  By the way, that woman had previously worked for ICE [laughter] it was kinda neat to run a [inaudible, laughter] previous ICE employee.

And the other person was an immigrant who was born [to the] indigenous people of Columbia, South America and was by now a U.S. citizen and it turned out that her, in the federal records, her records had never been completed.  She needed to know that.

There's only an 0.3 percent real error rate.  And there's never been yet, we've challenged for years, find us one person who has been wrongly fired because eVerify said they should be fired. Not one person. Over 200,000 businesses are using it today.  The National Federation of Independent Businesses that represents small businesses endorsed this bill.  The Chamber of Commerce fights it like crazy. Apparently the small businesses can do it, but the big businesses it's just too tough.

Um. So. It does happen it does [inaudible] because one of the problems with eVerify is it does not pick up people who have stolen or bought somebody's identity. So if you go in and you can convince somebody that you are Roy Beck and you give them by birth date and my Social Security number, eVerify doesn't catch it. It gets you through.  But the SAVE Act, what it does is it says that periodically, every Social Security number that shows up working multiple jobs, it sends out a letter to every address of every person using Roy Beck's name and my Social Security number.  And I would be one of the people that gets that letter. And it says, "somebody here is the real Roy Beck and the rest of you are fakes." Everybody will, will the real Roy Beck stand up? And so, and that means that the person who's the real person has a reason to contact. But what we've discovered when this is done in pilot, is that once the letters are sent out, the illegal aliens do not show up for work. The next day they're gone.

This is an incredible bill that also has a lot of border, it has a lot of border stuff in it.  It goes the opposite direction, I guess you saw this week that last week the President tried to disguise his amnesty by saying, "oh, it's all about more border security." And this week, he submitted a budget that cuts the border patrol by 180 border patrolmen. Not strengthening it, he's gonna decrease it. The SAVE Act adds more border patrol, it gives more help to local governments to enforce immigration law from 287(g).  This is the bill that really resolves most of our illegal immigration problems.