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Congress considered contentious background check requirements

Oct 06, 2011 Matt Roesly

Legislation currently pending in Congress seeks to put new pressure on employers when it comes to making sure that new hires are eligible to work. In a bill sponsored by Republican Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, all employers in the U.S. would be forced to run potential workers through the E-Verify database to reduce the odds that the person is an illegal immigrant. However, a large number of political groups have written letters to government officials contending that the background screening provisions would intrude on civil rights. "The bill doesn't stem the tide of illegal immigration," said Andrew Langer, president of the Institute for Liberty, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "It adds to the burden on small business when the economy is in the doldrums -a baffling idea." The pending bill, the Legal Workforce Act, was passed by the House Judiciary Committee in recent weeks and will soon be voted on by the full House of Representatives. According to the Houston Chronicle, the bill will likely pass.