On September 21, 2011, H.R. 2885, legislation to make E-Verify mandatory across the nation, passed the House Judiciary Committee by a party line vote of 22-13. Does that mean the bill is on a smooth path to become law?
If E-Verify legislation passes the House, it faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate. No Democrats voted for the bill in the House Judiciary Committee. While that does not mean the same will happen in the Senate, it’s reasonable to assume the bill would get limited Democratic support.
The primary large agriculture organizations, including the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR), oppose the bill. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) said in the Judiciary Committee that making E-Verify mandatory would “devastate” California’s agriculture industry unless a workable agricultural temporary visa system was instituted at the same time. Since the agriculture industry has been an important Republican supporter it remains to be seen whether Republicans in the House or Senate want to fight for legislation opposed by growers.
For more, see: Analysis: What's the Next Step for E-Verify?