Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Legislators Push for E-Verify System

State Representative John Galloway (D-Bucks) and other state legislators are urging Governor Tom Corbett to sign an executive order that would implement the E-Verify program that ensures state workers are legal citizens.

A bill authored by Galloway has sat in the legislature for some time now, mostly being held up in the Senate after overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. Representative Eugene Depasquale (D-York) says the legislature has been too slow.

“With the budget being such a primary focus of the legislature we need this executive order now. So many bills were being told, ‘Well we’re going to have to wait for the fall to deal with that, we’ve got to get through the budget.’ Well, Pennsylvania workers can’t just wait until the fall, they need this executive order now so the middle class recovery can begin in Pennsylvania.”

Galloway’s bill would not only require the verification of current and prospective state agency employees but in addition, it would require any state contracted worker to be eligible for employment through E-Verify.

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state of Pennsylvania has over 140,000 employees. We have every right to expect that these are legal American workers,” Galloway says.

The E-Verify system is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was recently adopted by executive order in Florida. An executive order would bypass legislative approval, but can be overturned by the next governor more easily than legislative statute. Virginia and Idaho also use the E-Verify system.

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