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Editorial: Business is better at E-Verify than Gov.

Eighteen months ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty ordered state agencies and contractors to verify new workers' immigration status through the federal electronic identify-check system known as E-Verify.

Today, not one state agency has used the E-Verify system to verify immigration status of new employees, according to the office of the Legislative Auditor.

This is classic state government non-performance with a big zero in following Pawlenty's E-Verify order.

However, Pawlenty has not done much better as the governor's own office is not even using the E-Verify system.

At the same time, 43 percent of the 1,400 private businesses required to use the E-Verify system are complying with the state order, according to the Legislative Auditor report.

The study shows that private business in Minnesota is performing significantly better than state government. Is that surprising?

Pawlenty held a big news conference to announce his executive order intended to help curb illegal immigration during his tenure. Now nearly 700 private businesses have implemented the E-Verify system, but Pawlenty's own office has not implemented the system.

It is not fair for Pawlenty to hold private business to a higher expectation than even his office is willing to meet. The governor is not walking his own talk on this issue.