Private sector and civil libertarians weigh in on new mandate for E-Verify
Washington D.C. - At least 2 national groups have organised campaigns expressing concerns about the Legal Workforce Act, a bill being heard in Thursday's House Judiciary Committee. The bill would mandate that States adopt E-Verify technologies , require employers to verify workers social security numbers in a USCIS database and use a new infrastructure integrating State drivers license records with I-9 and W-2 information.
"When chipmaker Intel used E-Verify to screen several of its new hires in 2008, over 12 percent were initially flagged as unauthorized. All were eventually cleared to work, but as Intel put it, "only after significant investment of time and money, lost productivity and, for our affected foreign national staff, many hours of confusion, worry, and upset."
The ACLU released this comment regarding the Legal Workforce Act :
"On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU"), America's oldest and largest civil liberties organization, and its more than half a million members, countless additional supporters and activists, and 53 affiliates across the country, we write to oppose H.R. 2164 because it expands the E-Verify system of electronic employment verification and lays the groundwork for a possible biometric national ID card."
Coalitions in favor of the bill are gathering as well. A coalition in favor of the program was found on the Committee on the Judiciary's website , included this statement of support from the US Chamber of Commerce.
"The Chamber commends Chairman Smith for introducing a new E-Verify bill that ... establishes a fully electronic employment verification obligation with a clear safe harbor for employers that act in good faith ... This legislation represents a legitimate balancing of many competing interests."
The Legal Workforce Act , no longer known as H.R. 2164, is authored by the House Committee on the Judiciary Chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).