September 2011

Employer-friendly E-Verify | Capitol Hill

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Employer-friendly E-Verify

New legislation would mandate E-Verify but includes safeguards for employers

by Duane L. Musser
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With Republicans in control of the House and Democrats holding a majority in the Senate, partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill has reached its highest levels in decades. As such, prospects for bipartisan cooperation regarding comprehensive immigration legislation do not appear favorable as is the case with many controversial issues.

With comprehensive reform legislation unlikely for now, Congress may turn its attention to more narrowly focused immigration issues. Most notably, legislation recently was introduced in the House and Senate aimed at strengthening enforcement of workplace immigration laws.

Introduction of the legislation comes in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a 2007 law passed in Arizona requiring all employers to use the federal E-Verify program to determine new employees' immigration status. The Arizona law had been challenged on the grounds that state and local jurisdictions were pre-empted from passing immigration enforcement measures by federal law. As a result of the high court decision, many states and localities are expected to move forward with laws to mandate E-Verify for employers.

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