March 4, 2007
Johnson Advances Bill to Make
Tennessee Less Attractive to Illegal
Nashville, Tenn. – Senate Bill 1870, sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Brentwood), cleared the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee Tuesday. The bill would enact the “Employer Responsibility in Hiring Practices Act”.“Illegal immigration is a serious problem,” said Johnson. “We are feeling the effects in our schools, in our hospital emergency rooms and with our law enforcement agencies. Our goal is to make Tennessee less attractive for illegal immigrants. This legislation is a giant step in the right direction.”
The bill would require employers to use the Employment Eligibility Verification Basic Pilot Program to ensure that new hires are eligible to legally work in the United States. The program is a web-based system that is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Under the provisions of the proposed bill, there will be no cost to the employers. If the employer does not have internet access, they may contact the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development by telephone, mail, or facsimile to verify the employee’s employment eligibility.
“We are the first state in the nation to require that all employers use the Employment Eligibility Verification Program,” continued Johnson. “State government must be proactive in providing employers the tools they need to comply with federal immigration laws.”
The bill will now go to the Senate floor for action by the full Senate.