H.R. 2164 – the Legal Workforce Act – is exceptional in the way it not only tries to prevent employers from HIRING illegal aliens but in the many aggressive ways it will search out and order the FIRING of millions of illegal aliens in their current jobs.
This bill that is working its way to a vote on the floor of the U.S. House this summer radically changes the “Grandfather-Amnesty Loophole” that is in current federal E-Verify law and which has resulted in that loophole also being in all the state laws that mandate E-Verify for hiring.
The problem is that all current laws are about stopping the hiring when an illegal aliens changes jobs. That means that illegal aliens who choose to remain the rest of their working lives in the same job can be outside the reach of E-Verify.
H.R. 2164 ELIMINATES THE 'GRANDFATHER AMNESTY ONCE AND FOR ALL WITH SIX AGGRESSIVE TOOLS
TOOL No. 1 – ENDS Ban on Running Existing Illegal Workers Through E-Verify.
The Legal Workforce Act would finally overturn the federal ban that prohibits employers from running their existing employees through E-Verify so they can voluntarily move illegal aliens out of their workforce.
The ban is the reason that many of the companies that now use E-Verify to screen new hires still seem to have a lot of illegal aliens working for them. This usually isn’t the company’s fault. Once they start using E-Verify for new hires, it is against the law for them to use E-Verify on their existing employees.
Businesses that have wanted to be certain that their entire workforce is legal are currently prevented from doing so. This leaves them susceptible to government audits later on that may easily find the old illegal workforce and then create a public relations nightmare and a severe sudden disruption of the company’s operations.
Many companies have begged the government to allow them to find the illegal aliens in their workforce and to allow them to fire them without facing lawsuits from civil liberties groups and unions.
I hope you can see how insane it is for our government to prevent employers from ridding their workforce of previously hired illegal aliens.
House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s H.R. 2164 would end this insanity and allow any employer to choose to run 100% of its workers through E-Verify.
TOOL No. 2 – Mandates Running All Existing Federal, State & Local Government Workers Through E-Verify
Many of you are probably like me and live in a city or country where it is hard to imagine the government insisting that all of its employees be legal workers.
But H.R. 2164 would make this happen at the six-month mark!
Every government agency, at every level, would have to run its entire workforce through E-Verify within six months. That means your tax dollars would no longer be used directly to employ illegal aliens.
TOOL No. 3 – Private Companies with Federal & State Contracts Would Have to Run Contract Employees Through E-Verify
H.R. 2164 would make this happen by the six-month mark.
Perhaps one-quarter of all private jobs in America are in companies with contracts with state and federal governments.
These companies would have to run every employee working on the contract through E-Verify, so that your tax dollars would no longer be used even indirectly to employ illegal aliens.
TOOL No. 4 – Annual ‘No-Match’ Letters Would Require Firing of Illegal Aliens with Fictitious or Mismatched Social Security Numbers
All illegal aliens who got their jobs before mandatory E-Verify and who made up a Social Security number would be identified through a ‘No-Match’ notification system and ordered run through E-Verify.
This would start happening with the largest firms at the six-month mark and with 99% of firms by the two-year mark.
Unlike the E-Verify requirement for new hires (which can happen only once during a worker’s term of employment with a particular company), the no-match computers would run their dragnet for illegal aliens.
TOOL No. 5 – Goes After Over-Stayed & Deported Aliens Who Have Valid Social Security Numbers
The fact that almost every alien with permission to work in the United States I issued a Social Security number has created a huge loophole in our current system. The problem is that Social Security numbers don’t ever expire, even if the permission to work here does. The SS numbers don’t even expire if persons holding them are deported.
This means that temporary workers who overstay their visas and illegal aliens who are ordered to leave the country can still get through E-Verify if they have an unexpired driver’s license because they have a valid SS number in the federal database.
Chairman Smith’s bill slams the door shut on the egregious loophole by locking out Social Security numbers that are attached to expired visas and deportees. Illegal aliens with these locked SS numbers would not get through E-Verify as new hires and would be identified in the no-match process if they are already in the workforce.
TOOL No. 6 – Identifying and Firing Identity Thieves
Perhaps the biggest valid knock against E-Verify by its critics has been the claim that it fails to catch illegal aliens who are using stolen identities, allowing them to keep their jobs.
The E-Verify process has been getting better and better each year in detecting stolen identities, but it still has a long way to go.
This is another reason why state or federal laws based solely on E-Verify are not nearly strong enough.
Fortunately, H.R. 2164 includes a process that we first worked on with Rep. Shuler (D-N.C.) for his SAVE Act.
Keep in mind that the problem with identity fraud is that illegal aliens are using names, birth dates and Social Security numbers that all match within the federal database. Thus, they slip through the tools listed above.
H.R. 2164 tackles this problem by ordering the Social Security Administration to identify the valid names/numbers that most likely are being used by identity thieves. The process starts by identifying employees with more than one employer reporting income to their Social Security number. Then, it looks for “unusual use patterns,” such as that the employers are in different geographic regions or represent different occupations, and so on.
The SS Administration would send a letter to that name at each address listed on a W-2 form with information on all the jobs that person supposedly is holding (some Social Security numbers are used for hundreds of jobs) and a toll-free number to call if the person is not working for all those employers and so believes he or she is the victim of identity theft.
Once the actual owner of the SS number comes forward and is identified, along with his/her place(s) of employment, that SS number will be locked down as belonging only to the actual owner, and all other employers will be notified to run the persons of that name and number through E-Verify, at which point they will be ordered fired. (All the safeguards for Americans and legal immigrants under E-Verify will be there under this “Multiple-Workplace Notification” system.)
This tool is essential to avoid the threat of E-Verify critics that mandatory E-Verify will just create a giant increase in the stolen and forged documents industry. H.R. 2164’s annual Multiple-Workplace Notification will actually reduce the profits of that industry by reducing the value of such documents.
BETTER THAN THE BEST WE HAD HOPED FOR
The approaches that H.R. 2164 takes toward existing illegal employees are not the only ones that could have been ordered. Perhaps there are better ones. But the combination of the Six Tools seems to us at NumbersUSA to be a better overall attack on the illegal workforce than any combination we had previously hoped for.
Upon passage of this bill, we have no doubt – based on what we have seen in the few states that have passed far-narrower E-Verify laws – that we will see an immediate surge in illegal aliens losing jobs and in illegal aliens just giving up and moving home before the system even gets to them.
Then at the six-month mark, the first deadline will kick in, and the surge will continue. In fact, that surge will accelerate through the two-year deadline for 100% of employers and 99% of new hires.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Jul 8th 2011 @ 11:42am EDT