Concerns with Senate Immigration Bill:
- Creates “The Bureau” – a New, Independent Agency Lacking Oversight – The Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research (“The Bureau”) will be a new independent agency that is self-funded through fees collected from employers participating in the W visa program.
- New DHS Authority is Duplicative – DHS should not be given new authority to establish enhanced penalties for violations of wage, hour, and workplace health and safety. DOL currently holds this authority, so DHS enforcement would be unnecessary and duplicative.
- Construction Industry Discriminated Against – The bill specifically caps W visas for the construction industry at 15,000 per year.
- Penalties Excessively Punitive for Small Business – The civil penalty section of e-verify legislation does not take into account the size of small business. While these penalties may serve as a deterrent to large corporations, they could shutter the doors of a small business.
- Safe Harbor Protections are Critical – E-verify will not be error-free. There should be a strong faith/safe harbor provision that protects businesses that are attempting to comply with the law.
- Financing of Mandatory Training Not Defined – Under S.744, employers must undergo mandatory e-verify training, but does not specify how this will be financed. Small businesses do not have the resources to finance yet another undefined mandate by the federal government.
- Clarification Needed for Independent Contractors – The bill does not address whether employers will need to use e-verify for independent contractors. NFIB has previously supported the inclusion of language to ensure that contractors are not liable for hiring or the continuation of employment of an unauthorized alien by a subcontractor.