The Legal Workforce Act, which requires all employers in the United States to use the federal identity verification system E-Verify in order to confirm that the workers they hire are legally eligible to be employed in the country, was recently proposed in the House of Representatives.
The bill, which was authored by Lamar Smith, House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Texas Republican, would only apply to new hires and preempts any state legislation regarding the issue of identity authentication
. "E-Verify is a successful program to help ensure that jobs are reserved for citizens and legal workers," said Smith in a statement. "It takes just a few minutes to use and easily confirms 99.5 percent of work-eligible employees. There is no other legislation that can be enacted that will create more jobs for American workers." The E-Verify system would be phased in over a three-year period, with federal, state and local government agencies required to leverage it within six months, along with federal and state contractors and other large employers. Most other employers would be given a two-year deadline for implementation, although those in the agriculture industry will be awarded three years on account of the fact that a high percentage of workers in the field are illegal immigrants, BusinessWeek reports. Under the system, illegal aliens using fake Social Security numbers will be highlighted in letters to their employers from the Social Security Administration, according to nonprofit immigration reduction organization NumbersUSA. Employers will then be required to check the workers using E-Verify. Similarly, any workers who report income to a Social Security number that is used by multiple people will be indicated by the system, and their employers will be required to run them through E-Verify. All employees contracted at day labor sites and other referral or recruitment services will be required to undergo ID verification
. According to a recent poll by Pulse Opinion Research, more than 80 percent of the 1,000 American voters questioned support the mandatory use of E-Verify. "Expanding this successful program to all U.S. employers would send a clear message to illegal aliens that American jobs are no longer available, and would greatly diminish the chances of unsuspecting Americans having their Social Security numbers and identities stolen," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Opponents have raised concerns about the high cost of implementing the system, which is thought to be in excess of 1.73 million, according to the Houston Chronicle.