Skip to comments.House Vote Expected on Bill to Extend Employment Verification Program
Posted on 11/14/2003 4:40:17 PM PST by Klickitat
House Vote Expected on Bill to Extend Employment Verification Program
Call Your Representatives and Urge Them to Vote for S. 1685 Please call your representatives right away and urge them to vote for S. 1685, the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003, introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). Without this legislation, we will lose the only employment verification program operated by the federal government to prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens! On Nov. 12, the Senate approved S. 1685 by unanimous consent. This bill now heads to the House floor for consideration and is expected to be voted on as early as NEXT MONDAY, Nov. 17.
S. 1685 will likely be considered under the suspensions calendar, which means we need a super-majority of two-thirds of members voting to pass the bill. It is crucial that we shore up votes for the bill, particularly from Democrats who previously opposed the House version of this legislation when it was voted on a few weeks ago. We need their votes to get this passed.
Call to Action (see talking points below): Call your representatives right away and ask them to vote for S. 1685.
Follow this link to our web site and type your zip code into the "take action now" box to send a FREE faxed message urging your representatives to vote for S. 1685.
Forward this message to your likeminded friends and ask them to contact their representatives as well. Background: S. 1685 extends the basic pilot employment verification program, which is set to expire Nov. 30, through 2008. The bill also expands this six-state pilot program to allow employers nationwide to participate on a voluntary basis. All 50 states will have access to the program following a 12 month phase-in period of transition. The Basic Pilot Verification Program was created by a 1996 law to help companies comply with U.S. laws that bar them from knowingly hiring illegal aliens. Employers participating in the free program receive computer software that allows them to access Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases to screen all new hires to determine if they are eligible to work. For more information on employment verification programs, read our issue brief.
Talking Points: The key to deterring illegal immigration is denying job opportunities to illegal aliens. Congress recognized this in 1986 when it adopted sanctions on employers who knowingly hire illegal alien workers.
Congress recognized that the employer sanctions law was not working in 1996 and mandated pilot projects to test how to make the law effective. The Basic Pilot project is designed to allow employers to verify the Social Security number of all new employees, and all foreign-born employees are also verified with the immigration authorities for work eligibility.
The document verification system has been evaluated by an outside contractor and found to function largely as intended, with only minor drawbacks that should be corrected. The immigration service has had more than a year since those recommendations to make further adjustments to the program.
With recent cases of large-scale hiring of illegal aliens and an estimated nine to eleven million illegal aliens residing in the country, it is important that the document verification system be brought on stream as soon as possible.
It is not fair to employers in areas of the country where the document verification system is not currently available to deprive them of the opportunity to verify that their employees are not illegal aliens who might be removed from the country.
It is imperative that employment verification be tested further to establish its value as a tool for weakening the magnet of job opportunities for illegal alien workers and, at the same time, broaden it to provide employers across the country the opportunity to participate in this voluntary program.
Without the capacity to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens through a national worker verification system, the jobs magnet that attracts illegal aliens to the United States will remain.
Without a worker verification system to prevent illegal aliens from gaining jobs in the United States, sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens will never be imposed systematically (in 2002, only 13 employers in the United Sates were prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens).
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