Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith Introduces Legal Workforce Act Alongside Immigration Enforcement Bills

Feb 27, 2015
Press Release

Congressman Lamar Smith, (R-Texas), former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced the Legal Workforce Act and three other immigration enforcement measures to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Smith’s bill, which would expand the use of the E-Verify system, would ensure jobs are preserved for Americans and legal workers.

Congressman Smith: “The Legal Workforce Act is crucial legislation that puts legal workers first and enjoys broad support with the American public. It is also free, quick, easy-to-use and effective.

“Almost 20 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Meanwhile, seven million people are working in the United States illegally. By expanding the E-Verify system, this bill will ensure that jobs only go to legal workers.”

A recent Paragon Insights poll showed that 71 percent of voters support Congress passing new legislation that strengthens the rules making it illegal for businesses in the U.S. to hire illegal immigrants.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month Smith described The Legal Workforce Act as a tool that “turns off the jobs magnet that attracts so many illegal immigrants to the United States.”

The bill would require all U.S. employers to use E-Verify. E-Verify is a web-based system that checks the Social Security numbers of newly hired employees against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security records to help ensure that they are genuinely eligible to work in the U.S. Today, nearly 575,000 American employers voluntarily use E-Verify, and an average of 1,400 new businesses sign up each week for E-Verify. The E-Verify system is quick and effective, confirming 99.7% of work-eligible employees.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) also praised the package of bills: “The bills introduced by Representatives Gowdy, Smith, Chaffetz, and Carter end many of the Obama Administration’s disastrous polices that wreak havoc on our immigration system and strengthen the interior enforcement of our immigration laws.”

In addition to The Legal Workforce Act, Smith joined Judiciary Republicans in introducing legislation to strengthen the interior enforcement of our immigration laws, remove the ability of the President to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement, reform the United States’ asylum laws, and make sure unaccompanied alien minors who make the dangerous trek to the United States are safely returned home. The four bills will be marked up by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 3 and Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

 A summary of Smith’s bill can be found here.