Coalition targets employer verification in immigration bill

A business coalition that did not participate in talks leading to a bipartisan agreement on immigration has launched what it terms a grassroots campaign among employers urging the Senate to revise the deal.

Business groups that participated in talks leading to the deal also have expressed unhappiness with the agreement, but the relative distance the HR Coalition for a Legal Workforce kept from the discussions makes it easier for it to generate public opposition. The coalition comprises tech firms, manufacturers and human resource organizations, and it has focused solely on employment verification requirements.

The group aims to generate thousands of calls to senators this week from individual HR managers and other business owners asking them to change the proposed mandatory employment verification system. The coalition is hosting a Web cast Monday for members to describe the new employer responsibilities under the immigration deal. It also will set up a toll-free number for employers to call and be connected with their senators. Next week, the group will launch an ad campaign.

Society for Human Resource Management Director of Government Affairs Mike Aitken, who chairs the coalition, said the Homeland Security Department would have to enroll 30,000 employers a day in its now voluntary "Basic Pilot" electronic employment verification system to meet Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's 18-month deadline for implementing the mandatory system. "That's laughable," he said.

Under the immigration package, the new guestworker program could not begin until the employment verification system is in place, and Chertoff told lawmakers he could meet the enforcement demands within 18 months of enactment.

The coalition also plans to outline other new employer responsibilities under the bill, such as a requirement to maintain both paper and electronic versions of worker documents. "The increase in administrative workload on employers is, I would argue, tenfold," Aitken said. "All it does is put together a nice little portfolio for DHS to nail employers on paperwork violations."

Ben Schneider contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.