House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith's Legal Workforce Act is now bi-partisan with the addition of Democrat Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.). Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) also cosponsored the bill today. Chairman Smith's bill would require most employers to use E-Verify within two years of enactment.
Large employers, federal, state, and local agencies and federal and state contractors would need to comply within six months. The bill would also make the E-Verify program permanent and reinstate the no-match letter program to help identify the 7 million illegal aliens currently holding non-agriculture jobs.
The Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2164) would:
- Phase in E-Verify over three years, starting with the largest companies first.
- Require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to target illegal aliens using fake social security numbers by sending out “no match” letters to employers if the name and social security number of a current employee do not match. Requires the employer to check those employees through E-Verify after receiving a “no match” letter.
- Require SSA to send a yearly notification to each owner of a social security number that has multiple employers reporting income to that number indicating that the number may have been stolen and is being used by illegal aliens. Requires employers to run through E-Verify those employees who are likely to have stolen the number from the legitimate owner.
- Establish a phone verification system as an alternative to using the electronic system.
- Require the use of E-Verify for those contracted at day labor sites and other referral or recruitment services.
- Protect employers who use the system in good faith from liability if the system makes an error on eligibility.
- Protect states’ and localities’ authority to revoke business licenses of employers who fail to use E-Verify as required by this Act.
- Significantly increases the penalties for employers who refuse to use the system, or who intentionally try to game it. The fines levied can be up to $25,000 per unauthorized worker and a minimum one-year prison sentence may be imposed on an employer who engages in a “pattern or practice” of violations.
- Require SSA to lock the use of social security numbers when it is being used by someone other than the rightful owner, when the owner has violated immigration laws and been ordered to leave the country, or when the owner’s temporary visa has expired.
Rep. Shuler represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District. He is serving his 3rd term in Congress and has earned a career A grade.
Rep. Wolf represents Virginia's 10th Congressional District. He is serving his 16th term in Congress and has earned a career B+ grade.
For the full list of cosponsors, visit the Thomas section of the Library of Congress' website.
Updated: Mon, Oct 2nd 2017 @ 4:02pm EDT