Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Foes of illegal immigration put pressure on GOP leadership to vote on E-Verify

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March 2013 compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth. The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. (Photo: Job seekers wait in line to meet with a recruiter during the San Francisco job fair. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
File photo: Job seekers wait in line to meet with a recruiter. The Inland Empire has already implemented E-Verify to curb the hiring of undocumented immigrants. Now, a bill calls for E-Verify to be used nationwide.

A group calling for a crackdown on illegal immigration is pushing a bill that would require businesses nationwide to verify the work status of their employees. They're also running ads accusing House Republican Speaker John Boehner of not letting Congress vote on internet databaseE-Verify:

If the E-Verify measure does become law, the Feds say, they’ll be ready ... eventually.

Right now, only a handful of states require employers to check a nationwide electronic database before hiring new workers. According head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Alejandro Mayorkas, so far, more than a 100,000 have tapped into E-Verify.

"We have the capacity currently to process far more queries than we currently handle," he said.

A bill sponsored by Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas would require nationwide use of Everify. Mayorkas said that would be a challenge.

"If it was mandated across the country, it would take us some time to ramp up for that exponentially greater volume," he explained.

Critics accuse GOP leaders of dragging their feet in an election year for fear of alienating Latino voters. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says the bill is stuck in the legislative process. The Obama administration supports nationwide expansion of E-verify as part of comprehensive immigration reform.