Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has introduced a major piece of legislation that 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.
"E-Verify is a successful program to help ensure that jobs are reserved for citizens and legal workers," Rep. Smith said. "The 'E' in E-Verify could just as well stand for 'easy' and 'effective.' It takes just a few minutes to use and easily confirms 99.5% percent of work-eligible employees. There is no other legislation that can be enacted that will create more jobs for American workers."
Eleven representatives are original co-sponsors, including Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), John Carter (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Gary Miller (R-Calif.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.).
Rep. Smith is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which dramatically increases the chances that the bill will come to the House floor for a vote. 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.
Updated: Mon, Oct 2nd 2017 @ 4:10pm EDT