Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) stated in an op-ed, published today by Bloomberg, that requiring mandatory use of E-Verify for all employers would protect American workers and reduce fraud by helping businesses ensure that all new hires are legal to work in the United States.
In the op-ed, Sen. Grassley and Rep. Smith say that despite Congress’ decision to pass the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, which made it a federal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens, failure to enforce the bill has perpetuated the illegal jobs magnet.
“When Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, it was hailed as a victory for border security in exchange for an amnesty that addressed illegal immigration …
“But much of the bill was never enforced, and 32 years later, it is clear that Congress must do more to protect American workers and to combat illegal immigration.
“Instead of shutting off the jobs magnet, the 1986 amnesty encouraged more illegal immigration by incentivizing employment-document fraud and identity theft. To make matters worse, employers have very little ability to determine the validity of employment documents … Because of this combination of factors, the demand for unlawful employment remains.
They go on to say that there are currently between 11 million and 15 million illegal aliens residing in the U.S.
Additionally, Sen. Grassley and Rep. Smith say that mandatory use of E-Verify for all U.S. employers would help “reduce unlawful employment and to remove future incentives for illegal immigration.”
“There is a proven, cost-effective tool to help reduce unlawful employment and to remove future incentives for illegal immigration. That tool is E-Verify. E-Verify is a voluntary, quick and free workforce verification system provided by the federal government that instantly checks an individual’s employment eligibility. E-Verify is the most effective tool available to fight illegal immigration because it drastically reduces or eliminates the illegal jobs magnet.
They cite a recent study, which reviewed the Legal Arizona Workers Act, that shows mandatory E-Verify would not only decrease illegal immigration but also encourage illegal aliens currently living in the U.S. to return to their countries of origin. The act requires every employer in the state of Arizona to use E-Verify.
“… This study mirrors other research that demonstrates unlawful immigration fell by as much as 50 percent in a single year in states with mandatory E-Verify laws …
“E-Verify is supported by the vast majority of voters — 82 percent — and many businesses, particularly those that already follow the law and seek to employ a legal workforce, want to see it implemented. One-third of employers voluntarily use the E-Verify program and 1,500 more employers sign up for E-Verify each week.
“… [I]n order for Congress to address broader legal workforce issues, the American people must first have trust in our nation’s lawful immigration system. The only way to do that is to stop illegal immigration. E-Verify does that, and it is a critical first and necessary step toward building that trust.
“It is our sincere hope that the administration and congressional leaders will commit to making mandatory E-Verify part of any immigration reform proposal.”
For more on this story, see Bloomberg.
E-Verify