I-9 and E-Verify Update
Meeting with Congressional Staff on I-9 and E-Verify, April 7, 2011
On Thursday April 7th, I had the opportunity to accompany members of the American
Immigration Lawyers Association, (AILA), on their National Day of Action and met various
members of the Congressional Staffs of our Missouri Senators and Representatives.
The goal was to bring the employer message that something needs to be done on the
Federal level regarding immigration in general, but more specifically, to alert the
Federal legislators that they need to deal with E-Verify on a national level to stunt
the proliferation of state laws and bills regarding the topic. As of last week,
there had already been some 165+ bills introduced in 38 states dealing with E-Verify
in this session alone.
These meetings were generally with one or two staffers and one AILA immigration attorney
from Kansas City. The staffers engaged were the people who were responsible
for legislative and/or immigration issues for their respective Representative or Senator.
The immigration attorney, (Anthony Weigel), generally opened these advocacy sessions
by talking about immigration issues in general, and the need for the Federal Government
to pass sweeping reforms that would create a clear path for those currently in the
country illegally to gain citizen status. In espousing the employer viewpoint,
it was explained to each member that TALX was a Missouri employer, with around 1,800
employees in the state and that we were agents of some 330 clients—many of which are
large national employers– who made use of our electronic I-9 and E-Verify services.
The real rub for employers, as earlier explained, is the fact that there are so many
bills floating through the various legislatures that deal directly with E-Verify.
It was explained that this is a minefield for employers—especially those who have
a nationwide presence. They have ICE, with their ramped up enforcement efforts
on one side, and the various state regulatory bodies on the other, waiting to pounce
on those who run afoul of the law, regardless of any intent, or lack thereof which
may be involved. This situation is an untenable one for employers, and needs
to be eradicated. The way they—Congress—can make that happen is to pass a law
that essentially wrests control of the issue from the states, and reaffirms their
lack of standing to deal with immigration in general.
The TALX message was met with a good degree of enthusiasm, although the staffers were
somewhat preoccupied with the budget wrangling of last week. When we asked point
blank when and if something might get done, we were met with shrugs and uncertainty.
However, this exercise was invaluable, in that not only were we able to get
our views across directly to those with sway on the issue, but we were able to gain
key contacts within the staffs of our House and Senate representatives, as well as
insight into how things get done behind the scenes regarding such issues.
We will continue to keep this issue at the forefront of the minds of our members of
Congress, and as many of those with sway that we can gain access to. We make
every attempt to be an effective advocate for our employer clients, and we will continue
to work diligently in this effort.
TALX Legal Compliance Specialist for Employee Services
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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