Monday, June 15, 2009

FAIR Legislative Update, Obama Delays E-Verify

Administration Delays E-Verify Rule for Fourth Time; House Subcommittee to Consider Reauthorization

The Obama Administration announced last week that it would delay - for the fourth time - the implementation of a rule requiring most federal contractors to use the federal E-Verify system to check the work authorization status of their new hires. The rule is now set to take effect on September 8, 2009 - nearly nine months after the original effective date. (USCIS Update, June 3, 2009; See also FAIR's Legislative Update, January 5, 2009).

The delay of the E-Verify requirement comes as special interest groups are challenging the rule in court. Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a coalition of special interest groups sued the federal government in December 2008 to prevent the final rule (issued by the Bush Administration) from taking effect on its originally scheduled implementation date: January 15, 2009. The Bush Administration caved to the special interests, and, in January, announced that it would delay the implementation of the final rule until February. (See FAIR's Legislative Update, January 12, 2009). The Obama Administration has now postponed the implementation of the final rule three additional times and has used the same reason each time to justify the delay: "to permit the new Administration an adequate opportunity to review the rule." (See Federal Register, January 30, 2009; Federal Register, April 17, 2009; and Federal Register, June 5, 2009).

While the administration took steps last week to undermine the program, signs of support for E-Verify were evident in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) introduced a bill on Wednesday, June 3 that seeks to reauthorize E-Verify for five years, through the end of September 2014. The bill also contains provisions that would reauthorize three separate visa programs, including the controversial Religious Worker Visa Program. (See H.R. 2679's Legislative Text, June 3, 2009; See also USCIS Benefit Fraud Assessment, July 2006). However, the portion concerning E-Verify is practically identical to H.R.6633, legislation that passed the House of Representatives last year by a vote of 407 - 2. (See H.R. 6633's Legislative Text, August 1, 2008; See also FAIR's Legislative Update, August 4, 2008). The House Immigration Subcommittee had originally scheduled consideration of the new Giffords bill for last Thursday, June 4, but this markup was postponed to a date to be announced.

E-Verify is a proven, successful tool operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration. It allows employers to quickly and easily check the work authorization status of their new hires. According to DHS, the program has an impressive accuracy rate: "About 99.6% of all work-authorized employees verified through E-Verify are verified without receiving a tentative non-confirmation or having to take any type of corrective action." (USCIS Fact Sheet, January 8, 2009). In early May 2009, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that more than 122,000 employers were enrolled in the program, with another 1,000 signing up each week. (Testimony of DHS Secretary Napolitano, May 6, 2009).

In spite of the program's documented success and popularity, recent efforts to pass a long-term E-Verify reauthorization have stalled in the U.S. Senate. (See FAIR's News Release, July 29, 2008 and Immigration Issues, April 2009). Earlier this year, the House added a five-year reauthorization to the stimulus bill, but the Senate did not pass the same provision in their version of the bill and Congressional Leadership then stripped the reauthorization during conference committee. (See FAIR's Legislative Update, February 17, 2009). Then, in March, Congressional Leaders agreed to reauthorize E-Verify for another six months, through the end of September 2009. True immigration reformers are concerned that recent short-term reauthorizations have left E-Verify vulnerable to proponents of amnesty using the program as a bargaining chip the next time Congress debates a massive amnesty bill.

1 comment:

  1. Obama Committee Votes to Give Stimulus Jobs to Illegal immigrants.
    The American people are wondering if the Obama administration is holding back E-Verify, as a pawn in an immigration game of chess. Is this one of their political ploys to force through another Amnesty like in 1986, then I guess--THE PEOPLE--will have no say in their future? But with hundreds of pro-sovereignty groups, it’s—NOT--going to be an easy task? E-Verify which has been compromised over and over again, to satisfy the US Chamber of commerce, some unions, mainly the Catholic church, ACLU and organizations that is anti-American such as La Raza. E-verify as it is upgraded would start the rollback of illegal immigration in the workplace, removing the cheap labor dilemma.
    Worried about their bountiful profits from cheap labor the business community, have used any means possible to demonize this tool. They have afforded many errors to its use, complaining that thousands of people have been ejected from jobs. Yet they have never informed the avid population, that errors can be resolved by stopping off at the local Social Security office. Only the illegal workers are not going to trespass in this government agency. You would think with the massive public outcry about using E-Verify, politicians would be weary of voters in the next re-election. But--NO--35 members voted not to identify all employees and new hires through the E-Verify.
    A relative of mine in a Los Angeles neighborhood, told me that the large franchise "El Pollo Loco" was displaying a sign that they had adopted E-verify to identify who they were hiring? However there are hundreds of thousands of predatory businesses and contractors out there employing illegal foreign nationals instead of US workers, to satisfy the profit margins of free traders.
    Three separate E-Verify amendments failed to pass through the House Appropriations Committee earlier today. Two amendments were introduced by Rep. Jack Kingston and another by Rep. Ken Calvert. E-Verify should be a permanent tool and everybody on the payroll must be identified as legal. With a dark cloud of second AMNESTY looming very soon, it can only be foiled by the American people. Only your frustrated voices erupting in Washington will freeze another Blanket Amnesty.
    The costs will be astronomical to the American taxpayer, but not to the corporate world. Say--YES--to e-verify! Say--NO--to any AMNESTY. Call your Senator or Congressman. Digest more of the facts and unbiased truth at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH, CAPSWEB, and ALIPAC. At AMERICANPATROL, learn about the massive upsurge on illegal alien criminal activity.