It’s been a long time in coming…immigration reform. Many segments of American society have been working towards immigration reform for many reasons, and US agriculture has been on the front lines the whole way. Scott Prestage of Prestage Farms and current president of the North Carolina Poultry Federation says animal agriculture has also watched immigration reform closely:
“The poultry industry welcomes reform of our nation’s immigration programs. One of the biggest areas of concern for us has been around the e-Verify program. Unfortunately the system is not perfect and people continue to use fake IDs. That puts employers in a precarious position.”
And Prestage explains that even in the best systems there will be mistakes:
“We believe that improvements will be made to help us deal with identity fraud. We think that biometric programs to help establish identity would be a good idea. The government has to be as fair as possible when an employer hires someone erroneously even though they have done their due diligence in terms of checking out who they are.”
While Prestage doesn’t find using e-verify expensive in and of itself, it still can be a costly program to a business:
“Its not expensive unless you begin to look at the cost associated with hiring someone, the e-verify programs works after you hire someone, the government lets you know if there is a problem with their identity. Then there is a period of time that that person has time to prove who they say they are. During that time, the employee generates certain costs to the employer as they are hired.”
President of the North Carolina Poultry Federation, Scott Prestage.