Fact check: Would E-Verify have prevented 9/11?by Dara Kam | May 4th, 2011
An Arizona-style immigration law is off the table in Florida, and any immigration overhaul is likely doomed, GOP lawmakers said yesterday after the Senate killed a watered-down E-Verify amendment.
During debate on the amendment, its sponsor John Thrasher argued that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may have been avoided had the federal verification system been in effect at the time.
“I want to remind everyone in here that 10 of the 19 terrorists who attacked our country, directed by Osama bin Laden in doing that, lived in the state of Florida. I wish we would have had the E-Verify system … we might have saved the lives of 3,000 Americans,” Thrasher, a St. Petersburg Republican and one-time House speaker who recently served as the Republican Party of Florida chairman.
Thrasher prefaced his comments by asserting he wasn’t being “overly dramatic” but was he?
“Hijackers did live in Florida and obtain Florida driver’s licenses. But in order to potentially be flagged by the E-Verify system, they would have had to work in the state. There is no record that any of them ever tried to get jobs here. And as such, E-Verify — had it been used by Florida employers as Thrasher wanted — wouldn’t have found them or stopped their plotting. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!”