September 21, 2011

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WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee today completed its markup of the “Legal Work Force Act,” H.R. 2558, a measure that would require all employers to consult the E-Verify program before hiring a new worker. E-Verify is a series of connected databases listing everyone who is legally able to work in the United States.

“Given the way the system currently operates, if this measure is approved, 1.2 million new hires will have to wait in line at the Social Security Administration to fix government mistakes,” said Christopher Calabrese, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel.  “Hundreds of thousands of them won’t succeed and will lose their job. That’s an additional burden Americans don’t need in this tough economic climate.

“It’s been a concern from the start that these databases will eventually extend past the employment realm,” continued Calabrese. “That fear is slowly becoming a reality. Unlike an earlier version, the bill has now been modified to remove the measure’s prohibition on using E-Verify data for other purposes – such as travel, financial or watch list information. E-Verify may quickly evolve into a national identity system, bringing E-Verify’s problems to travel, lending and many other parts of Americans’ lives.”

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