E-Verify Legislation Introduced in Congress

Published on January 29th, 2023

One of the main incentives for illegal aliens to enter into the United States is the promise of employment opportunities. Illegal aliens are paid under-the-table for jobs such as agricultural field labor, construction site manual labor, and the restaurant industry.

Not only does the attraction of under-the-table work exacerbate the border crisis and contribute to additional population growth, it also negatively affects American workers. As we have written about in the past, immigration has a negative effect on the wages of American workers, particularly those at the lower end of the income spectrum who have a hard time getting by as it is.

A solution to this problem is mandatory E-Verify, a program where employers can verify the immigration status of all employees. Earlier this month, Republican Rep. Calvert (CA-41) proposed a new piece of legislation called the Legal Workforce Act H.R. 319, which would make E-Verify the law of the land.

Here’s an excerpt from Rep. Calvert’s official press release on the legislation:

“The Legal Workforce Act represents a crucial step towards fixing our broken immigration system. Until we have a mandatory workforce verification system – like E-Verify – in place, immigrants will have an incentive to come into our country through illegal means. We want and need immigrants to come to our nation to contribute to our economic success, but we must also remain a sovereign nation governed by the rule of law.”

As mentioned in the release, Rep. Calvert has long been a proponent of E-Verify, having authored the original legislation creating the program (which employers can voluntarily use) and pushing to make it mandatory nationwide.

Calvert’s new bill would eliminate the paper aspects of employer verification and go entirely digital, and it would roll out the verification process for businesses over a two year period. Businesses would have to comply by certain cutoff dates based on the number of employees they have on their payroll.

The legislation also lays out a system of penalties for violators, along with amnesty for an employer that makes a good faith effort to use E-Verify but accidentally hires an illegal laborer.

If passed, this piece of legislation could be a powerful tool for stopping the flow of illegal immigration across our border. As we mentioned in a recent blog, this past December saw a record 251,000+ encounters at the border.

While this seems like the obvious solution, various roadblocks throughout the years have prevented this legislation from becoming federal law. As mentioned in a writeup in Numbers USA’s weekly newsletter by Deputy Director Chris Chmielenski, this legislation has been proposed every single legislative session since its first introduction in the 112th Congress.

There are solutions to ending the border crisis and stopping the flow of illegal immigration. It’s just a matter of how serious our political leaders are about implementing them. Once the bill gets to committees, action alerts will be sent. Please be ready to contact your Representatives.

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