E-VERIFY IN THE
HOUSE AND SENATE

EMPLOYERS REACT TO LEGISLATION MANDATING NEW WORKSITE ENFORCEMENT

 
In June 2013, IW held a briefing for congressional staffers on E-Verify. Members of the House and Senate have introduced legislation mandating that all U.S. employers enroll in E-Verify or a similar electronic program to verify the work eligibility of new hires. What's in the legislation? How do the two bills differ? Are these proposals workable – usable and user-friendly – for employers? What are employers' concerns about the bills? Speakers included a Gang of Eight Republican staffer and representatives from a range of industries that rely on immigrant workers.
 
MODERATOR Tamar Jacoby President, ImmigrationWorks USA.

"Since 1986, it has been illegal for employers to hire unauthorized immigrants but employers have no way to tell if their employees are legal or not. All they do is eyeball identity documents and guess. E-Verify is meant to remedy this."
   
Chandler Morse Legislative director, Sen. Jeff Flake

"In the Senate bill, we tried to accommodate business concerns as much as possible. We provide a strong safe harbor for employers. If E-Verify says an employee is authorized to work but it turns out they're not authorized to work, an employer will not be held liable."
 
Jenna Hamilton Partner, Capitol Legislative Strategies
 
“E-Verify tells an employer whether the name and Social Security number provided by an employee matches a name and Social Security number in the system. What it doesn't tell you: whether the name and Social Security number belong to the employee. This is why we need a better sense of how an identity verification program would work.”
 
Angelo Amador Vice president of labor and workforce policy, National Restaurant Association

“The E-Verify system has improved a lot. The error rate has dropped to .26 percent. According to an IW-NRA survey on E-Verify, 80 percent of restaurant owners and operators said they would recommend the program to a colleague.”

Pat Shen Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy

“E-Verify is meant to make employers partners with law enforcement. But under the Senate bill, they're treated as suspects. Employers can either help law enforcement or be suspects, but not both.”