March 5, 2009
The Senate is currently debating the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105), which the House passed last week. As our prior action alert highlighted, H.R. 1105 is a consolidated version of the nine unfinished appropriations bills from the previous session of congress. Aside from its gargantuan price tag---$410 billion---which represents the largest annual spending increase since the Carter Administration, the omnibus bill does contain one good thing: a temporary, six-month extension of the E-Verify program.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been working for months to pass a full, five-year reauthorization of this important workplace tool that allows employers to verify the legal status and work eligibility of their potential new hires, but Senate liberals have objected to his motion to offer his amendment every single time.
This morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attempted to call up Sen. Sessions' amendment (#604) to reauthorize E-Verify for the next five years, but Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) objected. This marks the 4th objection to full reauthorization by the Majority party in the last month, which should be taken as a signal of Democrat opposition to immigration enforcement measures that actually work and those that protect jobs for lawful Americans.
Here are some quick facts about E-Verify:
- E-Verify is a real-time, web-based verification system run by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
- E-Verify can determine with great accuracy the authenticity of the personal information and credentials offered by employees and new hires. In most cases, verification occurs almost instantly.
- Approximately 99.4 percent of lawful workers receive immediate positive verification, while the other 0.6 percent of lawful workers receive positive verification after a brief visit to their local Social Security office.
- E-Verify is inexpensive for employers to use, costing between $4 and $20 for each employee screened.
- E-Verify is in wide use. Currently, 1 in 10 new hires in the U.S. economy are screened through the E-Verify system.
Because E-Verify has been proven to successfully verify employees queried through the system within five seconds, opponents of this program, to date, have been unable to find a single instance in which legal, U.S. citizens have lost their jobs due to an E-Verify error.
1. Senator Sessions' office is working to offer this amendment again later this afternoon. Even if you are not a Nevada resident, please call (phone calls only) Majority Leader Reid's (D-NV) office and tell him to stop objecting to this highly valuable, non-controversial workplace verification program!
2. After you contact Sen. Reid, please proceed to contact your own Senators so they know you want them to support Sen. Sessions' amendment to fully reauthorize E-Verify for the next five years!
Watch Lou Dobbs highlight how effective E-Verify is, how it was stripped from the stimulus bill, and that unless action is taken, it will expire on March 6, 2009!