Public Comments

Statement on H.R. 3711 – “The Legal Workforce Act”

The Legal Workforce Act (LWA) would impose one of the most extensive regulatory schemes in the history of the United States, affecting every single employer and each participant in the U.S workforce. LWA would mandate the use of the federal government’s E-Verify national identification system with violations subject to civil and criminal penalties. E-Verify’s harms are demonstrable and definite, while its supposed benefits are nonexistent.

LWA intends to “turn off the job magnet” for illegal immigration.3 Yet E-Verify fails to stop illegal employment, while imposing concrete harms on legal workers and their employers.4 Database errors will delay or eliminate jobs for hundreds of thousands of legal workers.5 Businesses will have to spend many hours learning and implementing the new system, and their inevitable mistakes will result in significant fines. Since illegal workers easily evade the system, E-Verify audits—costly in and of themselves—often require mass layoffs. For these reasons, very few employers use the system voluntarily.9

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David J. Bier is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.