Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) in a vote of 22-9. The bill requires all employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires though the E-Verify system. Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) worked with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to draft the Legal Workforce Act and has previously testified before the Judiciary Committee in favor of mandatory use of E-Verify.
“Americans have made it clear that any effort to reform our broken immigration system must include mandatory employment verification,” said Rep Calvert. “When I led the effort in 1996 to establish E-Verify, I did so because we had to develop a tool that allowed employers to determine whether or not workers they hired were legally authorized to work in our country. We all know that American jobs are the primary draw for most immigrants and we must implement laws that ensure only those immigrants who have come to our country through the proper legal process are allowed to work. I am hopeful the Legal Workforce Act will be approved on the House floor in the near future.”
E-Verify, created in 1996 by legislation introduced by Rep. Calvert and operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is a web-based program that checks the Social Security numbers or alien identification numbers of new hires against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security records in order to eliminate fraudulent numbers and help ensure that new hires are eligible to work in the U.S. The program is free to use and quickly confirms 99.7% of work-eligible employees. Today, over 450,000 American employers voluntarily use E-Verify.