Iowa Senate panel OKs bill requiring businesses use E-Verify
DES MOINES (AP) — A Senate committee has approved a bill that requires all Iowa businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm employees are legally authorized to work in the United States or face losing their business license.
The bill is now eligible for Senate debate.
The bill voted out of a committee Tuesday prohibits businesses from knowingly employing workers with no legal residency status. It requires Iowa Workforce Development to investigate violations and enforce the measure.
Democratic Sen. Rob Hogg echoed the concerns of several business groups who say E-Verify routinely wrongly flags U.S. citizens as not being in the country legally and makes other errors.
Republican Sen. Julian Garrett says employers who pay low wages to workers in the country illegally creates an unfair advantage over companies that follow the rules. He says the bill would help ensure only legal workers are employed in Iowa.
Garrett says more than 20 states have similar measures.