House Committee Approves Bill to Mandate E-Verify

September 27, 2011

The House Judiciary Committee marked up the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) last week and approved the measure for consideration by the full House on September 21, 2011. The bill mandates that all employers in the U.S. use E]Verify to determine that their employees are legal. The bill also narrows what are acceptable forms of identification for hiring purposes.

If passed, small businesses will have 12 to 24 months to comply with the law, depending on their size. Businesses will be subject to civil fines up to $25,000 and criminal penalties up to 10 years in prison and criminal fines of $15,000 per illegal immigrant for non-compliance.

Bloomberg news has estimated that the bill will cost employers under 500 employees $2.6 billion annually to comply.

Please click here to view the complete bill.

The committee passed two amendments to the bill. The first would eliminate the exception for seasonal agricultural employees, and the second would relax the attestation requirement by three days.

NSBA is opposed to mandatory use of the E-Verify system because of the burden it will place on small businesses. Moreover, the system is unreliable and its likely to result in many tens of thousands of people annually (potentially more) being denied the right to work because the federal database has incorrect information.