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Texas Lawmakers Think E-Verify System a Bad Idea

The Bush Administration is requiring all federal contractors to use an electronic database to weed-out illegal immigrant employees. But some Texas Congress members think the system is a bad idea. Jodi Breisler reports from Capitol Hill.

The electronic employment verification system (E-Verify) has been a voluntary program for over 10 years. Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee says legal workers who are incorrectly flagged- can be exploited.

“We have 22 percent of employers reported that they’ve restricted work assignments while employees were contesting their particular predicament.”

In addition to Federal contractors, some Congress members want to make E-Verify mandatory for every employer. Texas Republican Sam Johnson says the database should not be monitored by the Department of Homeland Security.

“An agency responsible for tracking terrorists and securing our borders should not be keeping tabs on when and where Americans work.”

Johnson is proposing a different system where U.S. citizens would only be monitored by the Social Security Administration. But legal immigrants would still have to pass Homeland Security scrutiny. Congress has not decided where to go with any of these proposals.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington, I’m Jodi Breisler, Houston Public Radio News.

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