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Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Chairman LAMAR SMITH and S. 3245 which reauthorizes the E-Verify program for an additional three years.
First, I would like to thank Chairman Smith for his leadership and support of the E-Verify program. The Chairman has steadfastly supported E-Verify, helped expand the program and provided for several reauthorizations. I commend his leadership and value his hard work on E-Verify and immigration issues.
S. 3245 provides for a simple three year reauthorization of the popular E-Verify program. In 1996, when I first wrote the legislation that created the E-Verify pilot program, I had humble expectations. Now, 16 years after its inception it has 399,538 employers participating at 1.2 million employer sites. So far in FY 2012, there have been more than 19.6 million queries run through the system. Congress and the entire Federal Government is required to use the system and several states have made use of the program mandatory for their employers.
E-Verify continues to defy expectations: it is 99.5 percent accurate, free to employers and easy to use. It continues to develop new ways to combat illegal employment such as Photo Tool, Self Lock, and Fraud Alert.
The next step, which Chairman SMITH, Subcommittee Chairman GALLEGLY and I have been working on, is to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S. With unemployment stuck above 8 percent for the 43rd consecutive month, it is time we ensure that American jobs are going to American workers and those legally authorized to work in the U.S. I am hopeful that the House will consider H.R. 2885 before the end of the year; the only way to truly gain control of our borders is to end the jobs magnet that brings people here illegally.
In the meantime, it is necessary that we reauthorize E-Verify for an additional three years and again, I commend Chairman SMITH and look forward to working with him on our efforts to make E-Verify mandatory.
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