Immigration Reform: E-Verify Amendments

May 16, 2013

Adela de la Torre, 213.400.7822, [email protected]

NILC Responds to E-Verify Amendments

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today began marking up Title III of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744). The senators’ discussion focused on E-Verify, an online employment eligibility verification system that the bill would require all employers in the U.S. to use. Some senators offered amendments that would increase the system’s worker protections, while others offered amendments that would require employers to use the system before it is actually ready for every employer in the U.S. to use. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“The Senate Judiciary Committee reserved a substantial amount of time to discuss E-Verify, and for good reason: Mandatory E-Verify would affect every single American worker, immigrant and U.S.-born alike.

“We remain deeply concerned that E-Verify is not yet ready for prime time. No worker, especially in this economy, should lose her job simply due to a governmental error.

“Senator Grassley offered a barrage of amendments, and revisions to these amendments, that would have resulted in American workers facing complications and delays due to errors in the immigration system’s databases. Thankfully, many of these amendments were rejected, especially the most radical among them, which would have had the effect of repealing an important Supreme Court decision. Once again, the Gang of 8 held strong in mostly protecting the core of the agreement.

“Unfortunately, Grassley’s money-wasting proposal to require the Department of Homeland Security to report people who are flagged by E-Verify as unauthorized to work was approved. This is both a waste of time and money, both for the federal government and for the countless American workers who will be ensnared by this new regulation.

“On the other hand, Senator Franken understands that these burdens could be especially devastating for workers who cannot fix an E-Verify error in a timely way. This important protection for workers can and should get its moment before the committee soon.”

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