Ge­or­gia is a ma­jor user of E-Ver­ify pro­gram

Trump backs tool that pre­vents il­le­gal im­mi­grant work­ers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - NATION - By Jeremy Red­mon jred­mon@ajc.com

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump set his sights on the na­tion’s em­ploy­ers this week when he out­lined his wish list for any deal with Congress that would ex­tend pro­tec­tions for young im­mi­grants who could face de­por­ta­tion.

Among other things, Trump said he wants to re­quire busi­nesses to use E-Ver­ify, a fed­eral work­force au­tho­riza­tion pro­gram. The pro­gram works by check­ing in­for­ma­tion em­ploy­ees pro­vide on a doc­u­ment — called an I-9 — against records held in data­bases man­aged by the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, the State De­part­ment and the So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ge­or­gia al­ready has a head start when it comes to re­quir­ing E-Ver­ify. In 2011, the state Leg­is­la­ture passed a law re­quir­ing pri­vate em­ploy­ers with more than 10 work­ers to use the pro­gram. Also, all city, county and state gov­ern­ment agen­cies in Ge­or­gia — and their con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors — must use it. Some Ge­or­gia busi­ness­men were crit­i­cal of Ge­or­gia’s statute when it was up for con­sid­er­a­tion, wor­ry­ing it would cost them ex­tra time and money to use the pro­gram. But E-Ver­ify’s sup­port­ers point out it is free and say it is fast and easy to use.

As of June 30, 92,683 em­ploy­ers in Ge­or­gia were en­rolled in the pro­gram, fed­eral records show. For com­par­i­son, there are 234,032 em­ploy­ers in the state, ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of La­bor. Na­tion­wide, there were 729,595 em­ploy­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram as of June.

The head of the Ge­or­gia Cham­ber of Com­merce, in a state­ment is­sued Wed­nes­day, ex­pressed con­cerns about Trump’s E-Ver­ify pro­posal.

“In 2011, the Ge­or­gia Gen­eral As­sem­bly passed leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing E-Ver­ify for com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing over 10 em­ploy­ees,” Ge­or­gia Cham­ber Pres­i­dent and CEO Chris Clark said. “As we ar­gued then, we en­cour­age Congress not to put more un­nec­es­sary and bur­den­some un­funded man­dates on the backs of Ge­or­gia’s small busi­nesses as they work through this is­sue.”

The Metro At­lanta Cham­ber had no com­ment.

Trump’s E-Ver­ify pro­posal is now part of the de­bate over the fu­ture of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s De­ferred Ac­tion on Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram. DACA pro­vides re­new­able two-year de­por­ta­tion de­fer­rals and work per­mits to young im­mi­grants known as “Dream­ers” who were brought here be­fore turn­ing 16, who have at­tended school here and who have no felony con­vic­tions. Last month, Trump an­nounced he was phas­ing out DACA.

Im­mi­grant rights ac­tivists are call­ing for fedewral leg­is­la­tion pro­vid­ing a pathway to cit­i­zen­ship for the na­tion’s nearly 700,000 DACA re­cip­i­ents with­out any of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pri­or­i­ties for im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment. But that’s a non­starter in the Repub­li­can-led Congress.

Trump’s daugh­ter Ivanka called Wed­nes­day for a longterm so­lu­tion for DACA re­cip­i­ents. “This is a very com­pli­cated is­sue that needs a longterm, con­gres­sional fix,” she told the For­tune Most Pow­er­ful Women Sum­mit in Wash­ing­ton. “I per­son­ally am of the opin­ion, and the pres­i­dent has stated this, that we have to fig­ure out a good so­lu­tion that pro­tects these in­no­cent peo­ple, many of whom were brought to this coun­try as chil­dren.”

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