House Bill Requiring Nationwide Use of E-Verify is Critical Step to Controlling Illegal Immigration, Says FAIR
New Opinion Poll Shows Overwhelming Public Support
(June 14, 2011 — Washington, D.C.) — The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) called today’s introduction of the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164) “a critical and necessary step toward controlling illegal immigration and protecting American workers.” The legislation, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) would require that all U.S. employers use the federal E-Verify system to check that the workers they hire are legally eligible to be employed in the United States. E-Verify is a federally run program that allows employers to electronically verify the Social Security numbers of new hires with existing records.
Mandatory use of E-Verify is not only long overdue, but is supported by more than 80 percent of American voters, according to a new nationwide poll. The poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research this month, finds that 81 percent support “Congress requiring all employers to use E-Verify to ensure that workers are legally eligible to work in the U.S.” Only 17 percent said they oppose such a requirement.
“There is clear consensus that the availability of jobs in the U.S. is the single largest draw for illegal immigration and there is equally widespread support for requiring all employers to use E-Verify,” stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “E-Verify is already used by some quarter million employers with near 100 percent accuracy. 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. Most importantly, it will open up desperately needed jobs for U.S. legal workers.”
FAIR has long supported requiring employers to participate in E-Verify and commends Chairman Smith on his important and foresighted legislation. “Chairman Smith has been a staunch advocate of controlling illegal immigration and protecting American workers by requiring a simple and universal employment verification process. With the introduction of the Legal Workforce Act, he is offering a common sense and popular approach to dealing with our nation’s illegal immigration crisis,” Stein said.
FAIR does maintain serious concerns about one provision of H.R. 2164 which preempts almost all state and local laws regarding the hiring of illegal aliens. “A federal law that mandates the use of E-Verify would be an invaluable tool to combat illegal immigration, but it should not strip away a state’s right to do so as well,” observed Stein. “E-Verify’s effectiveness depends upon the willingness of the administration to enforce the law,” said Stein. “If this administration – or any future one – continues to obstruct immigration enforcement, states must retain the right to implement and enforce their own laws that sanction employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. The ideal bill mandates E-Verify nationally while allowing states to retain the right to enforce the law and protect their citizens.”
The complete results of the Pulse Opinion Research poll on the use of E-Verify, which was commissioned by FAIR, can be found here.