House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced HR 2885 entitled The Legal Workforce Act, a National E-Verify bill that was originally filed as HR 2164.
From Congressman Smith’s press release in June: “With unemployment at 9%, jobs are scarce. Despite record unemployment, seven million people work in the U.S. illegally. These jobs should go to legal workers. “
“E-Verify is a successful program to help ensure that jobs are reserved for citizens and legal workers. The ‘E’ in E-Verify could just as well stand for ‘easy’ and ‘effective.’ It takes just a few minutes to use and easily confirms 99.5% percent of work-eligible employees. There is no other legislation that can be enacted that will create more jobs for American workers.”
Americans overwhelmingly support making E-Verify mandatory. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 82% of likely voters think businesses should be required to use E-Verify.
If passed, The Legal Workforce Act would require federal, state and local agencies to use E-Verify for all new hires as well as check the status of all current employees and allow states to punish businesses that do not obey the law by suspending their business licenses.
HR 2885 has been endorsed by NumbersUSA and has 59 co-sponsors including Texas Congressmen Burgess, Carter, Culberson, Granger, Hall, and McCaul.
Opposition to the bill by several Tea Party and Conservative groups has arisen due to concerns that the legislation would create a de facto national I.D. system for citizens and violate civil liberties such as the right to work and free speech.