Whether REAL ID or E-Verify, Both Systems Would Improperly Subject Citizens Further to National Control

CONCORD, N.H.—The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire applauds the New Hampshire House for upholding the state’s precedent that it will not participate in a national identification system by opposing the national E-Verify System with two votes today.

This afternoon, the House passed HB 1549, which would prohibit the state’s participation in the E-Verify system, with a nearly unanimous voice vote. The House also killed HB 1492, which would require employers to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States using the E-Verify System, with a 226-59 vote.

E-Verify is essentially a national identification system that requires employers to verify all job applicants’ citizenship in a national database system before they can employ them. If the state agreed to participate, all citizens would have to be listed in this national database as a U.S. citizen in order to get a job.

“We agree that illegal immigration is a serious problem in this country, but it’s a problem that should be solved by the federal government, it is not a problem that the federal government should force private businesses to solve for it,” said Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “E-Verify is a system that treats every person in the country as guilty until proven innocent, a principle that flies in the face of the American ideals that citizens are innocent until proven guilty.

“In 2007, the House almost unanimously prohibited state officials from enforcing the REAL ID system and, working with other states, effectively prevented that federal law from taking effect,” McKinney added. “The Legislature’s strong stance today against another national identification system is consistent with its strong stance in 2007 to support the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions.”

In 2007, the Legislature prohibited state officials from participating in a national identification system with a unanimous vote in the Senate and a bipartisan 268-9 vote in the House. HB 685, which prohibited the Department of Safety from expanding the motor vehicle records it shares with other states, found that the REAL ID Act of 2005 was “contrary and repugnant to Articles 1 through 10 of the New Hampshire Constitution as well as Amendments 4 through 10 of the Constitution for the United States of America. The E-Verify system is ostensibly the same constitutional violation with a different purpose, and the current Legislature has upheld the 2007 nullification with its actions today.