(KCPW News) Utah Congressman Jim Matheson says the Obama Administration should stop dragging its feet on implementing a rule that would require federal contractors to use the E-Verify system to ensure the legal immigration status of their employees. Matheson believes there's no reason to delay it any longer.
"Quite frankly, this is a system where employers are given, through the Internet, an immediate way to verify employment status, and this has got to be part of a bargain with the business community," he told KCPW. "If we want people to hire appropriately, then we've got to give them the tools to make that decision appropriately as well."
Congressman Matheson joined a dozen other Blue Dog Democrats in sending a letter to the administration asking it to proceed with implementing the E-Verify rule immediately. It was recently delayed until September, the fourth such delay this year.
The ACLU of Utah has criticized E-Verify, arguing it has a high error rate and intrudes on privacy. But Matheson believes the kinks in the program have been fixed.
"This is a system that has gone through a pilot phase for many, many months now, and I think a lot of the problems that were initially experienced have been addressed, so I'm looking for an explanation for why we wouldn't want to move forward now, because I think the problems have been ironed out and I think the program works," he said.
As for broader immigration reform in Congress, Matheson says he hasn't heard of any progress so far this year, and he doesn't see it happening anytime soon.