Washington, D.C. – The Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee today announced that it will hold two hearings in early February to examine legislative proposals introduced last Congress that strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the United States, reform asylum laws in order to eliminate fraud and abuse, end the Obama Administration’s policies that encourage illegal immigration, and require all U.S. employers to use E-Verify. 

First, on Wednesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m., the Immigration Subcommittee will examine the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772), authored by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and introduced in the 113th Congress. This bill brings the I-9 system into the 21st century and discourages illegal immigration by ensuring jobs are only made available to those authorized to work in the U.S. Specifically, it requires employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the web-based E-Verify system. 

Subsequently, on Wednesday, February 11 at 1:30 p.m., the Subcommittee will examine three legislative proposals introduced last Congress:

·         H.R. 2278 (Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.): This legislation improves the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by ensuring the President cannot unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement.  The bill strengthens national security by increasing border security, making it more difficult for foreign nationals who pose a national security risk to enter and remain in the U.S., improving visa security in high risk countries, and protecting American communities from dangerous criminal aliens.

·         H.R. 5143, the Protection of Children Act (Rep. John Carter, R-Texas): This bill ensures unaccompanied alien minors who make the dangerous journey to the United States are returned home safely and quickly. It also closes a commonly exploited loophole that allows people to game the asylum system.

·         H.R. 5137, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah): This legislation ends many of the Obama Administration’s policies that encouraged the border surge, such as weak standards for asylum claims that enable the Administration’s rubberstamping of fraudulent applications.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) issued the statements below on these legislative hearings. 

Chairman Goodlatte: “Our immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. The status quo is unacceptable and these issues must be addressed through legislation. Beginning next week, the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will renew its step-by-step approach to immigration reform, starting with enforcement first. We will examine past legislative proposals that strengthen the enforcement of our immigration laws, reform our asylum laws and crack down on fraud, end many of the Obama Administration’s policies that encourage illegal immigration, and preserve jobs for Americans and legal immigrants.”

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “Our immigration laws have gone unenforced for too long. Real and verifiable border security, robust interior enforcement, and restoring respect for the rule of law are the only guarantee to finding a long-term solution and earning the confidence of the American public. The House Judiciary Committee will continue its work to address our broken immigration system in a step-by-step and deliberate manner necessary for such a multifaceted issue.”

Both of these legislative hearings will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at https://judiciary.house.gov/. Witnesses for the hearings will be announced soon.