Congress to Resume Consideration of Five Immigration Bills

Written by FAIR


September 9, 2008
With just over three weeks remaining in the 110th session of Congress, sources on the Hill note that Democratic leadership in both chambers will attempt passage of five immigration-related bills. The House Judiciary Committee will consider four bills, while the Senate will take up reauthorization of E-Verify - the online, electronically operated system that allows employers to check the work authorization status of their new hires.

Legislation to be considered when the House Judiciary Committee meets this week includes: H.R. 5882; H.R. 5924; H.R. 5950; and H.R. 6020.

On the Senate side, Congressional Quarterly (CQ) has reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to bring a five-year E-Verify reauthorization to the floor at some point in September. The bill - H.R. 6633, the Employee Verification Amendment Act - overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 407 to 2 just prior to the August recess. In addition to the five-year reauthorization, H.R. 6633 contains language requiring DHS and the Social Security Administration to enter into a reimbursement agreement in regards to funding the operation of E-Verify. (Sec. 3(a)) The legislation also requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct two studies on E-Verify to determine what causes errors in non-confirmations and the economic impact of the program on small businesses. (Sec. 5 and 6)

Several other E-Verify reauthorizations have been proposed in the Senate, including S. 3257, sponsored by Arlen Specter (R-PA), which would extend E-Verify for five years and reauthorize several other visa categories. (CQ Today Online News, August 21, 2008; S. 3257) Senator Robert D. Menendez (D-NJ) - who has put a legislative hold on Specter's bill - has introduced S. 3414 which reauthorizes E-Verify for five years, but also includes a provision that would recapture visas that the State Department did not issue in fiscal years 1992 through 2007. (CQ Today Online News, August 21, 2008; S. 3414 Sec. 2) CQ reports that Menendez supports H.R. 6633 and that Specter, along with other Republicans, has petitioned Majority Leader Reid to bring forward an E-Verify reauthorization free of other programs. (Id.)

You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials