Miss. Senators Cosponsor Permanent E-Verify Program

Wicker & Cochran Push for Expansion of Successful Mississippi Program

June 1, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced their renewed support for legislation to expand the use of the E-Verify program, already mandatory under Mississippi law, that allows employers to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the United States.

The Mississippi Senators are among 17 current cosponsors of the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2015 (S.1032), which would permanently authorize and require employers to use the E-Verify program. Since 2011, Mississippi has been among those states that require employers to use this Internet-based system to verify the work status of their employees.

“American employers need a reliable means of ensuring that they do not inadvertently hire illegal workers,” Wicker said. “E-Verify is a concept that offers employers a way to confirm a prospective employee’s eligibility immediately. Our next step should be to make the information provided by E-Verify more dependable and accurate.”

“The E-Verify program is an effective tool to help maintain a legal workforce and reduce unauthorized employment,” Cochran said. “As it works in Mississippi, the E-Verify system helps businesses conform to our immigration laws and serves as a disincentive for hiring illegal workers. It can be just as effective on a national basis.”

Under the existing law, employers voluntarily submit information reported on an employee’s Form I-9 through the E-Verify system to the Department of Homeland Security, which works with the Social Security Administration to determine worker eligibility. There is no cost for employers to use E-Verify. The current program expires on Sept. 30.

Introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), S.1032 would permanently authorize the program, which was started in 1996, and require all employers to use the program. Among other things, the bill directs the Department of Homeland Security to establish a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement program. It would also ease the liability faced by employers participating in E-Verify when it involves wrongful termination accusations.

In addition to Wicker and Cochran, the Grassley legislation is cosponsored by Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), David Purdue (R-Ga.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and David Vitter (R-La.).