Letters to the Editor

Readers write about electronic employment verification and vacationing in Canada.

US citizens, residents must overcome E-Verify glitches

Regarding the July 7 article "With E-Verify, too many errors to expand its use?": The article has a major shortcoming in that it makes no attribution for the cause of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) database error that resulted in Fernando Tinoco's nonconfirmation. Instead, the article starts from the premise that the database error is somehow a fault of the system – even though this may not be the case.

Although it is not discussed in the article, it is quite possible that Mr. Tinoco's nonconfirmation was caused by an error of his own making, especially since he is a naturalized citizen.

According to testimony provided by the US Government Accountability Office, "The majority of SSA erroneous tentative nonconfirmations occur because employees' citizenship or other information, such as name changes, is not up to date in the SSA database, generally because individuals do not request that SSA make these updates."

Note that it is not the responsibility of the SSA to search out changes of status. Rather, it is the responsibility of the individual to update the SSA with changes of status.

Dennis Pollet
Redondo Beach, Calif.

In response to the article on E-Verify: I have direct experience with the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification program and the legal immigration process.

Employers who fire new hires before they are allowed to contest a "nonconfirmation letter" are putting themselves in a sticky legal situation.

An immigrant who went through the work of becoming a legal resident will usually contest a nonconfirmation. My wife became a legal resident recently. The amount of time, money, and paperwork required to become a legal resident of this country is ridiculous – even for someone whose first language is English.

Those who have successfully become legal residents can be expected to fight tooth and nail for their rights (including contesting nonconfirmations). Therefore, I am sure 90 percent of the nonconfirmations that are not contested are because the individuals are illegal immigrants.

Those who have worked hard to become legal residents should be given priority for work over illegal immigrants, considering the amount of trouble they went through to become legal residents.

Furthermore, considering the state of the economy in the United States, I am sure there are many citizens who would be happy to have these lower-paying jobs, especially when it comes to union labor positions.

Jason Parsons
Richmond, Calif.

Offer US tourists bargain trips to Canada

Regarding the July 7 article, "American visits to Canada hit 36-year low": After reading this story on decreased American travel to Canada, I thought this would be a great time to find a bargain to visit Montreal.

After going online to search for hotel accommodation, I was stunned to see the highest hotel room rates I have seen during the past years.

If Montreal and other Canadian cities want to encourage visitors, then they might want to consider offering a reason to visit – like a bargain or other economic incentive to entice Americans north of the border.

For years, hotels in New Hampshire enticed Canadians by treating their dollar on par with the US dollar.

I have yet to see any Canadian hotels willing to accept the US dollar on par with the Canadian dollar.

J.L. Jacobson
Jackson, N.H.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.