Ken Calvert

From the office of:

Ken Calvert

Sending Office: Honorable Ken Calvert
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

December 21, 2018

Dear Colleague:

Due to the retirements of both Rep. Lamar Smith and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, and as the original creator of E-Verify, I have taken up the mantle of the Legal Workforce Act and will be reintroducing the legislation in the 116th Congress.  I invite you
to be an original cosponsor of the bill, which has no material changes to the text from its introduction in the 115th Congress.  A Judiciary Committee summary of The Legal Workforce Act is below.

Repeals I-9 System: The Legal Workforce Act repeals the current paper-based I-9 system and replaces it with a completely electronic work eligibility check, bringing the process into the 21st century. However if an employer chooses to keep
using the paper-based I-9 system they may do so.

Gradual Phase-In: Phases-in mandatory E-Verify participation for new hires in six month increments beginning on the date of enactment. Within six months of enactment, businesses having more than 10,000 employees are required to use E-Verify.
Within 12 months of enactment, businesses having 500 to 9,999 employees are required to use E-Verify. Eighteen months after enactment, businesses having 20 to 499 employees must use E-Verify. And 24 months after enactment, businesses having 1 to 19 employees
must use E-Verify. Allows a one-time six month extension of the initial phase-in. It also requires that employees performing “agricultural labor or services” are subject to an E-Verify check within 30 months of the date of enactment.

Voluntary Use: In addition to new hires, the bill allows employers to use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of their current employees as long as they do so in a nondiscriminatory manner and of all employees who are in the same geographic
location or in the same job category.

States as Partners: Preempts duplicative state laws mandating E-Verify use but gives states prominent roles in enforcing the law. Specifically, it retains the ability of states and localities to condition business licenses on the requirement
that the employer use E-Verify in good faith under federal law. In addition, the bill allows states to enforce the federal E-Verify requirement and incentivizes them to do so by letting them keep the fines they recover from employers who violate the law.

Protects Against Identity Theft: The bill allows individuals to lock their Social Security number (SSN) so that it can’t be used by another person to get a job. It also allows parents or legal guardians to lock the SSN of their minor child.
And if a SSN shows a pattern of unusual multiple use, DHS is required to lock the SSN and alert the owner that their personal information may have been compromised.

Safe Harbor: Grants employers safe harbor from prosecution if they use the E-Verify program in good faith, and through no fault of their own, receive an incorrect eligibility confirmation.

Strengthened Penalties: The bill raises penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants in violation of the requirements of the bill. The bill also creates a penalty for individuals (employees or employers) who knowingly submit
false information to the E-Verify system.

Identity Authentication Pilot Programs: The bill requires DHS to conduct at least two pilot programs aimed at using technology within the E-Verify system to help further prevent identity theft in the system.

E-Verify is 99.8% accurate, free to employers and in a 2016 survey, 83% of employers support mandatory employment verification.  The only way to end the incentive that brings people to the U.S. illegally, is to cut off the job magnet.  If you are interested
in being an original cosponsor, please reach out to Allyson McReynolds on my staff at 


Ken Calvert

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Homeland Security, Immigration, Labor

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