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August 2, 2011

Will Employers Be Required to Verify

their Workers Immigration Status Using E-Verify?

A new bill in Congress, proposed by Representative Lamar Smith of San Antonio, would require farmers and other employers to start using the government’s E-Verify system in all cases where they hire workers. As Jesse McKinley and Julia Preston note in an article you can see here, this could create many problems for the farming industry. While having a system to check employees’ immigration status is considered by many as a good concept, it is a concept that is fraught with peril. One concern, of course, is that this system would cause employers to unlawfully discriminate in the hiring process. However, an even bigger concern is that the government’s E-Verify system is woefully inadequate and prone to errors. This article from the Society for Human Resource Management highlights some of those problems, and discusses a study that was released this year that shows major problems with the E-Verify system.

One of the major problems with this type of piecemeal legislation is that it only seeks to remedy one of the symptoms of the problem without first treating the entire problem with a systematic approach. Most immigration lawyers and those who work with immigration law daily agree that in order to fully solve our nation’s immigration problems, a comprehensive immigration bill must be pushed through Congress and signed by the President. Such a bill would need to cover many issues, and provide solutions to many problems, including the status of persons who have lived in the U.S. illegally for many years, the status of the E-Verify system for employers, the current quotas and waiting periods for legal immigration, and much more. Let’s hope that sooner rather than later our political leaders can see the need for our nation to grapple with all of these issues in a comprehensive way rather than through piecemeal legislation.

If you have any questions about this or any other immigration question, give the Dallas Immigration Attorneys at Cook & Gore a call at 214-236-2712.

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