Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Yesterday, I posted my thoughts on the immigration reform proposal unveiled this week in the Senate.  In that post, I noted that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) would soon be reintroducing his E-verify bill this session of Congress and that I would once again join him in this effort.

Soon came faster than we thought it would.

In fact, before the day was over, Senator Grassley introduced the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2013. I followed through with my commitment to sign on as a cosponsor once again.

The bill seeks to require all employers to confirm the legality of their employees through a federally approved system known as E-Verify.

Employers need the right tools to ensure they are hiring a legal workforce. E-verify has a proven track record of combating the hiring of illegal immigrants and is currently used by nearly 270,000 employers nationwide.

Among other things, the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2013 will:

• Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996. 
• Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of date of enactment, requires federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately, and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system immediately upon designation. 
• Increases penalties for employers who illegally hire undocumented workers.
• Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify. 
• Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple uses of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies.

You can learn more about E-Verify in this column.