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Senators Introduce Legislation to Mandate E-Verify for All Employers

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) reintroduced legislation to help businesses comply with immigration laws by certifying the legal status of their workforce. The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act would permanently authorize and expand the E-Verify program, an internet-based system that assists employers in determining whether current or prospective employees are authorized to work in the United States. The bill requires employers to use the program to determine workers’ eligibility.

Grassley’s bill is cosponsored by Senators Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

 

“Businesses across the country have opted to use the E-Verify system to help them comply with our immigration laws. E-Verify is a proven tool for employers, including myself, that helps reduce incentives for illegal immigration and safeguards job opportunities for Americans and other legal workers. Expanding the system to every workplace will improve accountability for all businesses and take an important step toward putting American workers first,” Grassley said.

 

“So many families are struggling to make ends meet. Congress’ top priority should be strengthening American businesses and protecting good-paying jobs. Expanding the E-Verify program to every business across the country will protect jobs for American workers and give employers the tools they need to legally staff their companies. We must get serious about enforcing all of our country’s immigration laws, including those pertaining to participation in the workforce,” Tuberville said.

 

“The Biden Administration continues to incentivize illegal border crossing at the expense of American citizens’ economic security and physical safety. Implementing the E-Verify system will not only help U.S. companies comply with immigration laws but is essential to ensuring our borders are safe and secure. I’m proud to co-sponsor Sen. Grassley’s bill, which will bring us closer to reversing President Biden’s destructive immigration policies and place us back on track to restoring law and order at our southern border,” Lee said.

 

“Expanding the E-Verify program will crack down on the black market for illegal jobs and help enforce our immigration laws. Americans and legal immigrants should be the ones making up our workforce, not illegal immigrants,” Cotton said. 

 

“As our nation faces unprecedented levels of illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border due to President Biden’s Border Crisis, it is imperative that we use the tools at our disposal to disincentivize illegal immigration. E-Verify is one of those tools, and implementing its use nationally is just the first step in making sure we prioritize Americans in our workforce,” Cruz said.

 

“Given the double whammy Americans are facing in regards to the influx of illegal immigrants and skyrocketing prices, the E-Verify system is more important than ever to reduce unauthorized employment and protect good-paying jobs for American workers,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Employers need a commonsense, cost-effective tool that allows them to hire with confidence. Law enforcement must be empowered to hold bad actors accountable when they willfully violate immigration rules while hiring employees. E-Verify does both. It has a proven track record of success and, with a historic illegal immigration crisis raging on our southern border, it’s even more urgent to permanently reauthorize and mandate it,” Boozman said.

 

“It’s important that we streamline the process between our businesses and immigration laws, and E-Verify does just that. Creating ease for our employees and workers, lowering unemployment, and making good-paying jobs accessible are crucial components to the future success of our state, and this legislation move us toward achieving those goals,” Capito said. “The implementation of this system will foster workplace accountability, prioritize American workers, and improve the hiring process in our country. I’m proud to support its reintroduction again this congress”

 

“E-Verify is an important tool for enforcing our immigration laws and helps ensure fair competition and wages for U.S. workers,” said Thune. “This effort is about creating accountability and closing avenues for illegal immigration and trafficking.”

 

“E-Verify is a commonsense, cost-effective way to help deter illegal immigration and support our employers. This bill will help ease the burden on Iowa’s small businesses to comply with our laws and ensure the legal status of our workforce,” Ernst said.

 

The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act does the following:

  • Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996.
  • Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of date of enactment and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system within 30 days of designation.
  • Increases penalties for employers who illegally hire undocumented workers.
  • Allows employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired if consent is provided by the employee.
  • Requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all current employees within one year after enactment if they have not been previously checked through E-Verify.
  • Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify.
  • Establishes a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement.
  • Amends the criminal code to make clear that defendants who possess or otherwise use identity information not their own without lawful authority and in the commission of another felony is still punishable for aggravated identity fraud, regardless of the defendant’s “knowledge” of the victim.
  • Requires employers to re-verify an employee’s work authorization if their work authorization is due to expire.
  • Establishes an Employer Compliance Inspection Center (ECIC) within ICE to streamline program audits and review compliance with worker eligibility laws.

 

Find more information about the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act here:

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