The Hill

E-Verify expansion nixed

Sen. Charles Grassley

Sen. Charles Grassley proposed an amendment to expand the E-Verify system, but it failed in committee. (File photo)

A bid to expand the online database system used to verify employment eligibility for U.S. employers as part of comprehensive immigration reform was voted down in a Senate committee on May 16.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Judiciary committee, proposed an amendment to scale up the e-Verify system to require the participation of all U.S. employers within 18 months of passage of an immigration bill. The measure was defeated by a vote of 13-5, with three Republican senators joining the 10 Democrats on the panel to defeat the measure.

E-Verify is an online system that checks information from employee I-9 forms against Social Security and Department of Homeland Security Data to determine employee eligibility to work in the U.S. According to Citizenship and Immigration Services, the system is used by 409,000 employers, and adds about 1,300 new employers weekly. Currently, employers are not required to use the system.

"We all want E-Verify to work as quickly as possible. The problem is, it would be virtually impossible to have it work in 18 months," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), one of the senators crafting the immigration reform legislation, as quoted in the Hill.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is a staff writer covering Congress, the FCC and other key agencies. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.

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