Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is offering an amendment to the unemployment extension bill that would require new applicants for unemployment compensation to have their citizenship status verified using E-Verify. The amendment is being offered to H.R.3548, which would extend unemployment benefits for 14 weeks.
Sen. Sessions' amendment states, "No individual may receive unemployment compensation benefits under any State or Federal law until after the date that the individual's identity and employment eligibility are verified through E-Verify Program..."
The amendment would also require the mandatory use of E-Verify for all federal contractors. It would mandate that contractors verify "(1) all individuals hired during the term of the contract by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States; and (2) all individuals assigned by the contractor to perform work within the United States under such contract."
Lastly, the amendment would make the E-Verify program permanent. Currently, E-Verify needs to be re-authorized by Congress, and it was recently extended for three more years.
The Senate has tentatively scheduled a cloture vote on H.R.3548 for Tuesday at 2 p.m. It failed to receive enough votes for cloture last week. Senate leaders are currently negotiating which amendments will be considered for the bill, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to prevent a vote on the amendment altogether.
Updated: Wed, Dec 30th 2009 @ 11:40am EST