D.C. lawmakers move to implement E-Verify for some government contracts
In an effort to protect American jobs, the U.S. Congress adopted an amendment to the FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that mandates the government hold contractors accountable by using the E-Verify program.
The Amendment was successfully introduced by Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss). “This is a common-sense amendment that simply uses the appropriations process to enforce the E-Verify system that is currently in place. While nearly 14 million Americans are looking for work, research estimates that more than 7 million illegal aliens hold jobs in the U.S. workforce.”
Rep. Nunnlee says the Amendment will help eliminate illegal employment that is costing U.S citizens jobs and money.
“Illegal employment is one of the driving forces of illegal immigration and a contributing factor to our nation’s current debt problem. Illegal immigrants use our medical services, draw on state and federal assistance and take advantage of our educational system for their children – all at the cost of hardworking taxpayers,” Nunnlee said. “As a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, I am committed to identifying legislative solutions that address the issue of illegal immigration. Similar E-Verify language has been included in the Homeland Security bill, and this amendment is a step in the right direction.”
E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine the eligibility of that employee to work in the United States, according to DHS’s website.
The easy to use, web-based, E-Verify program is a free verification service offered by DHS and the Social Security Administration. While the program is voluntary for most employers, those seeking certain government contracts must enroll their future employees. The process is straightforward and takes less than a minute per identification and is 96.9 percent accurate.
To date more than 238,000 employers are enrolled in E-Verify, with more than 16 million queries run through the system in 2010. So far this year there have been more than three million cases run through the system.
The Amendment to Energy and Water Appropriations Bill offered by Congressman Alan Nunnelee read; “None of the funds made available under this Act may be expended for any new hire by any Federal agency funded in this Act that is not verified through the E-Verify Program established under section 403(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note).”
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