Julie Myers Wood

Julie Myers Wood blogs about a variety of immigration, national security and transnational crime issues.

Myers Wood began her government service as a career prosecutor, and her views are shaped by her law enforcement work at four different cabinet agencies – Justice, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security. From January 2006 to November 2008, Myers Wood served as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). During that time, the agency set numerous enforcement records, developed oversight mechanisms, and created solid infrastructures to support the agency’s operations. Myers Wood is President of Compliance, Federal Practice and Software Solutions of Guidepost Solutions LLC.

Fixes for E-Verify Require Congressional Help

The recent GAO report, “Federal Agencies Have Taken Steps to Improve E-Verify but Significant Challenges Remain,” paints a fairly optimistic picture of what the executive branch has done to improve E-Verify. Although the federal agencies responsible for E-Verify should be asked many tough questions, many of the issues identified in the report could actually be resolved by Congressional action, such as by comprehensively implementing Real ID.

Immigration Report Shows Continued DHS Enforcement Successes

The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics report “Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2009” is a must read for those interested in immigration enforcement. The report sheds an interesting light on the federal government’s argument against portions of Arizona law, S.B. 1070, and it also contains some positive long-term metrics that demonstrate the sustained work of law enforcement in this area. The American public’s view that the government does not have a long-term commitment to enforcement has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to immigration reform. But results demonstrate some progress and a bipartisan commitment.

E-Verify Gets Critical Improvements but Still Lacks Identity Verification

The Department of Homeland Security’s continued commitment to E-Verify is apparent from the new E-Verify re-design, which will be launching on Sunday, June 12, 2010. The new re-design is a huge improvement in terms of the look and feel of the E-Verify program, giving users enhanced security, accuracy and efficiency. Unfortunately, the new system still does not address the most pressing need of many employers – an ability to address prevalent identity theft and false claims of U.S. citizenship. Regardless, the system should be a welcome improvement for employers. The enhanced tools and information also demonstrate the broader DHS commitment to enhance the E-Verify system. This commitment is a positive sign that the government is serious about helping employers successfully determine employment verification.

Admitting past mistakes key to effective immigration reform

Here is a piece I wrote for The Daily Caller about effective immigration reform – Like many Americans, I believe that the current system has failed and, in my view, reform is essential. In looking to reform this system, we must make it easier for those who wish to come to our country legally to become productive members of society, and make removal more certain for those who choose to come here illegally.

Nice Guys Finish Last

The Department of Homeland Security’s new focus seems to target well-intentioned employers and neglect the rest. In tough economic times, DHS should focus on ensuring a level playing field for honest businesses, and regulating unscrupulous firms who use illegal workers to cut costs and gain a competitive advantage.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on Employment Verification

Absent an identity tool tied to E-Verify, employers have been left to serve as document detectives. Senator Schumer’s suggestion for a biometric employment card doesn’t sound all that different than enhanced security goals hoped to be achieved by Real ID. Regrettably this identity solution received a major blow in the past few weeks when the Administration announced that it was retreating from Real ID’s implementation.

E-Verify Employers Should Prepare For USCIS’s Announced Increase in Monitoring

E-Verify is a critical tool for employers who want to prevent hiring unauthorized workers. And yet, employers who voluntarily sign up for E-Verify often wonder what happens to the information that they provide to the E-Verify system, and whether their activities are subject to additional scrutiny because of their participation.

Worksite Enforcement Questions

Over the next two days, Secretary Napolitano will testify before four different congressional committees to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed budget for 2010. Given the budget implications on worksite enforcement and the Department’s issuance of new worksite guidelines, the appropriations and authorizing committees should have no shortage of questions. However, if any member is looking for questions, here are just a few that I would propose.

Free to Be Someone Else?

Yesterday, the FBI announced that more than 7,000 schoolchildren in Puerto Rico had their identities stolen by an identity-ring supplying illegal aliens with Puerto Rican birth certificates and Social Security numbers. With this information, the aliens could get drivers licenses, credit, and, of course, jobs.