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House Judiciary Committee Schedules Markup for the Legal Workforce Act

author Published by Chris Chmielenski

The House Judiciary Committee will begin marking up Chariman Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act on Thursday morning. The Legal Workforce Act would require national use of E-Verify for all new hires for 100% of businesses within 2 years of enactment. Earlier today, Chairman Smith reintroduced the bill as H.R.2885 with a new subsection that requires the Department of Homeland Security to establish a support center for states that wish to help enforce the law.

The following subsection has been added to Section 8 of the bill original bill (H.R.2164) that defines penalties for businesses that don’t comply with the bill:

(12) OFFICE FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMPLAINTS.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish an office—
(A) to which State and local government agencies may submit information indicating potential violations of subsection (a), (b), or (g)(1) that were generated in the normal course of law enforcement or the normal course of other official activities in the State or locality;
(B) that is required to indicate to the complaining State or local agency within 5 business days of the filing of such a complaint by identifying whether the Secretary will further investigate the information provided;
(C) that is required to investigate those complaints filed by State or local government agencies that, on their face, have a substantial probability of validity;
(D) that is required to notify the complaining State or local agency of the results of any such investigation conducted; and
(E) that is required to report to the Congress annually the number of complaints received under this paragraph, the States and localities that filed such complaints, and the resolution of the complaints investigated by the Secretary.

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885) would:

Require federal, state, and local agencies to use E-Verify for all new hires as well as check the status of all current employees using E-Verify within 6 months;
Require federal and state contractors to use E-Verify for all new hires as well as check the status of all current employees using E-Verify within 6 months;
Phase in the required use of E-Verify for private businesses over a 24 month period;
Require recruiting and referring agencies to begin using E-Verify;
Increase fines and jail time for employers to fail to use E-Verify or show a pattern of missuse;
Require the Department of Homeland Secuirty and Social Security Administration to use triggers to help identify illegal aliens who use fake or stolen documents to obtain jobs or temporary workers whose work authorization has expired; and
Allows states to punish business that do not obey the law by suspending their business licenses.

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