Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has proposed a new bill to the Senate, The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2013, that would obligate US employers to utilize E-Verify within 12 months of the bill’s passing. Sen. Grassley is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which supervises the Senate’s immigration policy, and is also a member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. Grassley’s bill was cosponsored by 10 other Republican Senators.
Details of the Proposed Bill
In addition to requiring E-Verify for all American employers, Sen. Grassley’s legislation would:
- Increases penalties for employers who don’t use the system or 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 the applicant consents;
- Requires employers to check the status of existing employees within 3 years;
- Requires employers to re-verify a person’s status if their employment authorization is due to expire;
- Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify; and
- Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple use of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies.
In addition to the various labor and employment laws mandated by the States and the Federal Government, mandatory E-verify would impose a larger burden on companies. Perhaps we should address what causes employers to use workers who are not authorized to work, and why these undocumented individuals exist in the workforce despite efforts to root them out!
Let us emulate Canada, which imports low skilled workers every year — who return to their home countries every winter season. The US needs to increase the number of work visas for both the low skilled, agricultural, hospitality and construction workers. Most of them would like to work legally (less stress) and return. This will reduce ‘coyote’ activity at the border: why would a person risk crossing illegally when they can enter through the border, and return to their homes without the fear of being caught and living in the shadows.
Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Lowenbaum Partnership, LLC
St. Louis, Missouri
The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.
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