Grassley Introduces Mandatory E-Verify Legislation
By RJ Hauman | February 28, 2019
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has introduced the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act – FAIR-supported legislation that would require all employers in the United States to begin using E-Verify within a year.
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Senator Grassley said, “Businesses across the country have opted to use the E-Verify system to help them comply with our immigration laws. E-Verify is a proven tool for employers, including myself, that helps reduce incentives for illegal immigration and safeguards job opportunities for Americans and other legal workers. Expanding the system to every workplace will improve accountability for all businesses and take an important step toward putting American workers first.”
Congressman Brooks said, “American jobs entice illegal aliens to break our laws and come to America. Mandatory e-verify coupled with harsh penalties cuts off illegal aliens from American jobs. The result? Higher pay and more jobs for Americans. An added bonus is that illegal aliens who can’t get jobs will self-deport at no cost to taxpayers. That is a great deal for all Americans! I look forward to working with Senator Grassley to advance this crucial America First legislation.”
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said, “Mandating universal participation in the E-Verify program is an important safeguard for American workers who continue to lose jobs and wages to illegal aliens. The free, electronically-based system allows employers to authenticate the legal work eligibility of prospective applicants— the same way a merchant verifies a credit card purchase— with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate. FAIR commends Senator Grassley and Congressman Brooks for leading on this critical issue, and encourages Congress to honor its commitment to American workers by passing this legislation as soon as possible.”
The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act does the following:
- Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996.
- Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of date of enactment, requires federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately, and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system within 30 days of designation.
- Increases penalties for employers who illegally hire undocumented workers.
- Reduces the liability that employers face if they participate in E-Verify when it involves the wrongful termination of an individual.
- Allows employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired if consent is provided by the employee.
- Requires employers to check the status of all current employees within 3 years.
- Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify.
- Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple uses of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies.
- Establishes a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement.
- Amends the criminal code to make clear that defendants who possess or otherwise use identity information not their own without lawful authority and in the commission of another felony is still punishable for aggravated identity fraud, regardless of the defendant’s “knowledge” of the victim.
- Requires employers to re-verify an employee’s immigration status if the employment authorization is due to expire.
- Establishes an Employer Compliance Inspection Center (ECIC) within ICE to streamline program audits and review compliance with worker eligibility laws.