House Committee approves mandatory work authorization for farmers

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 - The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation (H.R. 1772) today, with a 22-9 vote, which would mandate the use of the federal work authorization program, E-Verify, by all employers, including farm owners.

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Under the Legal Workforce Act, companies with more than 10,000 employees would have six months from enactment of the bill to comply while companies with 500 to 9,999 employees would have one year. Companies with 20 to 499 employees would have 18 months, and companies with 1 to 19 employees would have two years to comply.

Employers with workers performing “agricultural labor or services” also would have to comply within two years.

Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the expansion of the current voluntary program would be a critical component of the enforcement of immigration laws.

“This web-based program takes less than two minutes to use and is easier than completing a purchase on Amazon or some other online shopping website,” Goodlatte said. “By requiring all U.S. employers to use this successful program, we will discourage illegal immigration and protect jobs for legal workers.”

By comparison, the proposed immigration reform bill being debate in the Senate would give farmers five years to comply.

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