Senator Grassley has reintroduced legislation that would permanently authorize and require all employers to use the E-Verify program, currently a mostly voluntary system for employers to authenticate the eligibility of applicants to work in the United States.
"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," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. "Expanding the system to every workplace will improve accountability for all businesses and take an important step toward putting American workers first."
Currently, around 700,000 employers use E-Verify. The system was established in 1996 as a pilot program, funded by taxpayers. It is required for most federal contractors and for all employers in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana and Utah, as well as for public employers in Florida and Texas. Businesses input information reported on a new hire's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the E-Verify system to determine legal status.
The program has been reauthorized several times, however it is set to expire on April 28.
The proposed legislation would permanently reauthorize the E-Verify program and set forth the following conditions:
« Back to News
- Make the program mandatory for all employers within one year of enactment.
- Require federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately.
- Additionally, direct "critical employers," as identified by DHS, to use the system within 30 days.
- Increase penalties for employers that illegally hire undocumented workers.
- Reduce the liability that employers face if they wrongfully terminate a worker due to inaccurate information provided by E-Verify.
- Allow employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired, with consent by the candidate.
- Require employers to check the status of all employees not previously verified through E-Verify within three years of enactment.
- Require employers to terminate employees found to be unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify.
- Require employers to re-verify an employee's immigration status if the employment authorization is due to expire.