tv U.S. Senate Sen. Grassley on E- Verify CSPAN March 12, 2019 7:37pm-7:51pm EDT
or take other action in the course of an investigation. i am more than alarmed. i am strongly opposed to this nomination. i hope my colleagues will join me in voting no on final confirmation. thank you madam president. and i yield the floor. i suggest the access of a quorum. >> recently reintroduced the accountability through electronic verification act this congress as i have in previous congresses. this common sense bill would require all employers to use e-verify programs which would in turn ensure that they are employing nothing but a legal workforce. as most americans have realized, the immigration debate here in the congress
today and for a long time has become highly partisan and obviously been controversial. of course worst of all it's become completely unproductive. i believe that there is a sliver of hope however that is through the passage of heaven e-verify program that makes e-verify mandatory. whether you are democrat or republican, whether you are for open borders or you want secure borders, we all ought to agree that enforcing the law and protecting americans is a bipartisan goal. in 1986 the immigration reform and control act made it, for
the first time, a federal crime to employ undocumented workers. 10 years later in 1996 congress created a new tool to verify employment eligibility known as e-verify. e-verify is a voluntary program today. giving employers a web-based tool to verify the identity and employment of new employees. meeting the eligibility of those new employees. i worked to renew and expand the program for use in all 50 states. and to allow for information sharing between federal
agencies, including the department of homeland security. participating employers then tap into user-friendly free electronic system that crossmatch of documents provided by employees on their i-9 forms with federal records that are available to show the u.s. citizenship and immigration services the social security administration and the department of homeland security. so you get comparisons of records that a worker applying for a job can be compared with government records to know whether somebody is legally in the country. today e-verify provides instant verification for more than 750,000 employers and businesses all across america.
in fact, my office because i higher employees at the taxpayers pay for. but i'm responsible for the employment, my senate office uses e-verify when hiring our staff. and i have found it to be quick and easy to use. in my annual meetings i have to iowa i regularly hear about here about the growing economy, rising wages and the vitality and main streets. iowa ranks first in the nations for the lowest level of unemployment that also means there are growing challenges for employers in my state to hire the workforce needed to grow and expand. and i will bet a lot of my colleagues here that in their respective states as well.
we need to make sure hiring practices don't harm u.s. workers or those authorized to work in the united states. that's why i reintroduce the bill i announced in the first words of my speech today the accountability through electronic verification bill this legislation will help businesses comply with elp immigration laws by certifying the legal status of the workforce. the bill would permanently authorize the e-verify program and require employers to use the program to determine worker eligibility. it would then make every employer have to use it except as contrasted for the last couple decades on a voluntary basis.
e-verify has served as a proven tool for employers that want to use it. it's helped to reduce incentives for illegal immigration and safeguard job opportunities for americans and other legal workers. expanding the system to every workplace will improve accountability for all businesses and take a very another very important tastep toward putting american workers first. current law requires all contractors doing work for the federal government to use e-verify.
ãb policymakers have a responsibility to ensure the growing economy has a workforce that he needs to continue to do the growth of the last two years. as a former chairman of the senate judiciary committee i worked extensively to protect the integrity of employment visas and work permits for foreign workers. a top priority must be to ensure immigration policies are displacing american workers or depressing wages. making e-verify a permanent and mandatory requirement for all c
employers will bring across-the-board certainty to hiring practices throughout our country. certifying the legal status for prospective hires makes common sense and having in place the tools at once fingerprints makes it a simple convenient solution. e-verify is a proven tool to encourage ãband to deter illegal immigration and human trafficking. in addition to making e-verify permit and mandatory within one year of enactment my bill would increase penalties for employers who illegally hire workers unauthorized to work in our country.
the bill would also require employers to check the status of all current employees within one year using e-verify system and terminate employment of those found unauthorized to work in the united states. this bill establishes a demonstration project in rural areas without internet capabilities to assist small businesses. finally, the bill would require social security administration to improve its efforts to detect identity theft using social security numbers. expanding e-verify will help restore integrity and trust in our nations immigration system by curbing the incentives for hiring persons unauthorized to work in america.
i was pleased to hear that my colleague now chairman graham of the judiciary committee highlight the benefits of e-verify in a hearing held last week. he is heright. nation e-verify would go a long ways to relieve concerns about illegal immigration and workforce displacement this bill would not change ration law. all it does is assesses with existing federal law with the cost efficient and food online method of proving that people are legally in the country and legally able to work here. it is a simple first step toward tackling larger issues
within immigration. in other words, bringing credibility to our immigration system where credibility has been lost because for the last 20 or 25 years we in congress have been telling the american people we are going to control the border and only people could come here legally. and we haven't done it so we got to do things to build up credibility if you can deal with issues like what do you do about the 10 or 11 million people better unauthorized to live and unauthorized to work in america? some people say you are going to load them up and get them out of the country. but that isn't realistic. it wouldn't be humanitarian. but to deal with the issue we've got to have credibility for the whole immigration system and e-verify will help that, along with everything we are doing to control the
borders. and we got to do more to control the borders. this is for repeat, simply a first step to tackling larger issues within immigration and best of all it has the support of the american people. a recent poll showed mandatory e-verify enjoys widespread support from voters, 74 percent of all voters polled support mandatory e-verify. the support is very bipartisan. the poll showed roughly 55 percent of the democrats, 78 percent of the independents, and nearly 91 percent of famericans support the idea of e-verify. support for nationwide e-verify is just nonpartisan, it's
supported by americans across all ethnic boundaries, 58 percent of hispanic voters, 52 percent of black voters, 74 percent of asian voters polled all support e-verify. i will close this, perhaps it's t'time that congress in both parties take a very deep breath and listen to the american people instead of to our own echo chambers. before we discuss expanding guestworker programs or discuss comprehensive immigration reform, let's first codify e-verify and restore the american people's trust in our immigration system. i suggest the absence of a quorum. >> mr. president.