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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?

The St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact gave Thrasher’s assertion a “Pants on Fire” rating:

“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!”

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3 Responses to “Fact check: Would E-Verify have prevented 9/11?”

  1. John Says:

    Well, once again our state and federal goverments have failed us by not providing any substantial immigration reform. The political correctness is getting out of hand, and it makes me sick. BOTTOM LINE, IF YOU ARE HERE ILLEGALLY, YOU MUST GO!

  2. PFM Says:

    The reason it will never get done,is because too many “FAT CATS”, businesses and corporations, want the cheap labor, that comes with these workers.

  3. Grover4 Says:

    E verify would probably not have prevented anything. Studies have shown it is not accurate 53% of the time. There need to be some compromises – businesses need to be able to hire the people they need to do the work in cases where no Americans want to do the work. Also, they need an accurate computer database for verifying someone’s legal status. Divisive rhetoric will not solve the problem.

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