The Look in Brief

Senate committee to vote on expansion of E-Verify program

By: - March 15, 2022 7:00 am
(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

A state Senate committee will vote today on expanding the use of  E-Verify to businesses with 25 employees or more in an effort to crack down on undocumented employment. 

Sponsored by Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, SB1780 would expand the federal program from being required for businesses with 50 employees, which will affect small workforces and organizations such as the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. 

“Tennessee already has one of the strictest EVerify laws in the nation—adding more red tape during one of the most trying economic times, is not only out-of-touch but it’s just bad, redundant policy,” said TIRRC Campaigns and Advocacy Director Judith Clerjeune in a press release. 

Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)
Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

On Feb. 28, a House committee passed the House-equivalent bill, HB1853, sponsored by Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon. 

The E-Verify program works by verifying an employee’s identification through work-authorization status checks to see if the individual is authorized to work in the U.S. 

But according to the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank,  the program has many flaws and is rarely reinforced by states. A 2009 audit conducted by Westat for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security showed that 54% of undocumented workers were approved to work by E-Verify. 

The state Senate Commerce and Labor Committee is set to vote on SB1780 at 2 p.m. 

“We urge the Senate to stop this bill from harming the Tennessee workers and small businesses who are fueling our economy,” said Clerjeune. 


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Dulce Torres Guzman
Dulce Torres Guzman

Dulce has written for the Nashville Scene and Crucero News. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she received the John Seigenthaler Award for Outstanding Graduate in Print Journalism in 2016. Torres Guzman is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about preserving the environment and environmental issues.