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PRESS RELEASE - Georgia State Representative Bobby Reese: PROTECTING THE AMERICAN WORKER TOO CONTROVERSIAL FOR GEORGIA HOUSE LEADERSHIP
Georgia State Representative Bobby Reese :
601 Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg
Atlanta, Ga. 30334
For Immediate Release March 28, 2010
Rep. Bobby Reese reports the Georgia Employer and Worker Protection Act too controversial for Georgia House of Representatives – bill dies without hearing
Today, Representative Bobby Reese (R-Sugar Hill # 98) sadly announces that his 2010 legislation intended to protect jobs for Georgians through employer use of the no-cost federal E-Verify database is dead in the Georgia legislature.
Reese introduced the Georgia Employer and Worker Protection Act, House Bill 1259, in early February, 2010.
E-Verify, created by an act of Congress in 1996, is an internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Form I-9, or Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine the eligibility of a newly hired employee to work in the United States. There is no charge to employers to use E-Verify, a system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration.
Reese’s bill would have required use of the E-Verify system as a condition of obtaining or renewing a business license or occupational tax certificate in Georgia.
“E-Verify helps stop black-market labor from taking Georgia jobs, said Representative Reese, I am saddened but not surprised that House leadership has rejected use of this valuable federal tool. Far too many of Georgia’s jobs have gone to people who escaped capture while crossing our borders in violation of American immigration laws. Statewide use of the proven, effective and successful E-Verify system will stop future jobs from going to illegal labor. In these desperate economic times, while we watch Georgia citizens and legal immigrants struggle with layoffs, it is beyond irresponsible to ignore E-Verify.”
Although there is no penalty for violation, in Georgia, use of E-Verify is currently required by law for public employers and their contractors under the 2006 Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act. Nationwide, more than 184,000 employers are enrolled in the E-Verify program, with over 8.7 million queries run through the system in fiscal year 2009.
“This bill would have served to protect both Georgia employers and lawful workers,” said Representative Reese. “It provided a ‘safe harbor’ for businesses that use E-Verify in good faith and verifies the eligibility of newly hired employees to work in the United States.”
Thirteen states, including South Carolina and Mississippi, use E-Verify to help insure that illegal aliens don’t get American jobs with several more states in various stages of the legislative process.
Reese reports that his bill was regarded as “too controversial” by Georgia House leadership.
Along with various business interests, the Georgia Municipal Association opposed the Georgia Employer and Worker Protection Act.
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