June17, 2011

Republican lawmakers proposed Wednesday to require all US businesses to verify workers’ legal status through a database, saying it would curb illicit immigration and bring jobs to lawful residents.

The bill was criticized by Hispanic and Asian American advocates, who said that the database was costly and error-prone, thus aggravating discrimination against legal workers whose names may sound similar to those of illegal aliens.

Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican of Texas, led legislation that would scrap existing paperwork for job applicants and instead require that employers check their status through the E-Verify database.

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