Utah Sen. Mitt Romney unveils bill to make immigrant employee verification system permanent

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  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    June 19, 2019 11:46 a.m.

    @unrepentant progressive - Bozeman, MT "If it is wrong that a bigger employer uses undocumented immigrants, why is there an escape clause for smaller employers? Someone please explain the logic of that."

    There is no logic. If any illegal shouldn't be employed per federal law, all illegals shouldn't be allowed to be employed.

    Wait, If a Congress person needs someone to take care of their lawn, they must think it's OK to be able to hire just one or two illegals... Hmmm, Mitt?

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 19, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    Why doesnt Romney really do something to help stop illegal immigration. Make this system permanent and mandatory would help. Also, why not include support of a tracking system of overdue visa holders along with penaltys for overstaying.

    Romney never does anything that could be seen as controversial. That is why he never would get anything done politically.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 19, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    Why doesnt Romney really do something to help stop illegal immigration. Make this system permanent and mandatory would help. Also, why not include support of a tracking system of overdue visa holders along with penaltys for overstaying.

    Romney never does anything that could be seen as controversial. That is why he never would get anything done politically.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 18, 2019 3:16 p.m.

    Well, kudos to Mitt on this issue!

  • Jayson Meline Chubbuck, ID
    June 18, 2019 2:27 p.m.

    Only those with legal permanent residency for five years qualify for federal benefit programs.

    The rate of non-citizens using public benefit programs was less than U.S. born citizens by all measurable data and analysis.

    Immigrants have withheld FICA just like any other employee under false social security numbers or valid ITIN. However, will more than likely never draw social security. You could argue the FICA withholding from the undocumented and documented has added a few more years of precarious solvency to the social security system given our projected demographic shortfall.

    Don't blame immigration under the victim doctrine for the culture of dependency and entitlement fomented by our social welfare system.

    We have a social welfare dependency problem without immigration that indoctrinates citizen and non-citizen alike.

    Let's get our own house in order with permanent E-Verify as part of the I-9 process and welfare reform before we start blaming immigrants for all our problems. We created the problem by non-enforcement of labor law.

    Automation and AI will be the part of solutions to immigration if we really want to think constructively within current reality.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2019 1:27 p.m.

    @Sir Robin
    RE: "Remove the allure of what's inside (in this case, jobs) and the problem solves itself"...
    A job isn't the only thing that draws them here. It's also security. Safety. A safety net.

    Some are told by friends that if they can get to America they will get a great paying job (compared to wages there). And even if you don't... the Americans will take care of you (with their social programs). They won't allow you to go hungry. They will give you food if you can't find a job, healthcare if you need it. They will feed your kids if your income is low. And we do. Every day. Right here in Utah.

    Don't believe me.

    Google "63% of Non-Citizen Households Access Welfare Programs (Center For Immigration Studies)"...

    Google "Fact Sheet: Immigrants and Public Benefits"...
    "29 percent of noncitizen adults have used public benefit programs"..

    "Twenty-six states made undocumented immigrants eligible for state-funded benefit programs"...

    Undocumented Parents don't qualify for SNAP, but their children do. The parents can apply for foodstamps for their children. Think the children who qualify don't share that food with their parents?

    It's not just jobs.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2019 11:01 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin
    RE: "An expensive, ineffective wall is not the solution. The draw of jobs is strong enough that no wall will keep illegals out"...
    The job of a wall (expensive or not) is not to keep all people out forever. That's impossible.

    The job of a wall (or a fence or whatever) is to deter people from entering illegally. Or slow down those who are not deterred long enough for the owner of the land to respond and deal with them.

    Nobody said a wall would keep all people out forever. Quit playing that game.

    I barrier in some areas is still needed. To slow people down long enough for Border Patrol people to get there and respond.


    RE: "Nobody would rob banks if there were no money inside"...
    True. But what are we supposed to do... get rid of all jobs in the USA (because people want to steel them)?

    A wall is not 100% effective, and e-Verify will not be 100% effective. There will be dishonest people who circumvent the wall. And there will be dishonest people who circumvent the e-Verify law. We already know that. We already know human nature.

    e-Verify won't stop all of them. Neither will a wall. So... maybe we need both working together? And more.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 18, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    Romney is spot on. The key to reducing illegal immigration is to not have jobs waiting for illegal immigrants. An expensive, ineffective wall is not the solution. The draw of jobs is strong enough that no wall will keep illegals out.

    Nobody would rob banks if there were no money inside. Remove the allure of what's inside (in this case, jobs) and the problem solves itself.

  • WatchDog Draper, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    I suspect that E-Verify is too little, too late.
    Better to call what is happening at our border, an invasion, and send in our troops to close it. Then, start going after those who have overstayed their VISA, round up and deport all those who have missed their court dates,...and begin enforcing existing laws against those who hire illegal aliens, with or without stolen or fraudulent SSN's.

    After, ONLY after, we get all this done, reopen the border to just those we can vet, who meet our needs, not theirs, but ours. Verify that they can take care of themselves, and if they are on a VISA, that they honor their leave date on the VISA.

    This is not rocket science! All we have to do is have the backbone to start holding everybody accountable to already existing laws.

  • RRB Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    Stealing someones identity got a who lot harder, as Trump started back up the "no match" system and instructed the IRS and social security to notify employers when social security numbers don't match. They will also re-start sending letters (IRS) to people telling them that their social security numbers have been used by someone else. Both were stopped during the Obama years.

    Together with e-verify it will go a long ways to stop the economic draw of jobs without enforcement of laws.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 18, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    Do employers realize if they agree to E-verify that they also agree to turn over their books to the government?! SSNVS is the better way to go. Social Security Number Verification System.

  • RRB Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:46 a.m.

    "How can the seasonal agricultural workers be legal in USA?"

    The h-2a agriculture visa is unlimited.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:43 a.m.

    Problem with e-verify is... the caravans of people don't know we have an e-Verify law. That's no publicized in their home countries. They only hear we have lots of jobs in America, and we pay a lot more than they do in their home country.

    Even a menial no-education no-skills required minimum-wage job in America pays way more than the average college grad gets in their home country.

    They don't know they don't qualify for those jobs when they leave their home country. They only find that out when they get here and try to get one of those jobs.

    If they are turned away because of e-Verify for absolutely any job (even a company with 1 employee)... they will eventually get Very desperate.

    Would you sit here in America and watch your children starve to death? I wouldn't.

    They would either have to self-deport (a concept that freaks Liberals out). Or take employment illegally (take a job that illegally hires people who don't pass e-Verify, work off the books and get paid illegal wages, or steal somebody's identity (so you can pass e-Verify), or if you get REALLY desperate... get involved in drugs or prostitution like our brother in law who's making tons of money.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:21 a.m.

    Having to get permission to obtain employment from the federal government is an authoritarian position not a conservative one. This big government move by Romney isn’t going to stop the hundreds of thousands of people invading the border. Illegal immigrants will still come here to take advantage of our anchor baby laws, free public education, welfare, driver licenses, medical care and so on. Start by sealing up the border instead of forming a burdensome and costly new bureaucracy.

  • BI Orem, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    How can the seasonal agricultural workers be legal in USA?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    E-verify is nice, but there are many ways of getting around it. For instance, if you have a small business you can declare everybody to be a co-owner and now you no longer have to verify legal status. You can hire people as independent contractors. You can just pay them cash under the table.

    E-verify only works for honest businessmen, and they most likely would have verified employment eligibility anyway.

    How about we figure out a way to enforce immigration laws, and we don't allow so many illegals to remain here?

    One thing that has proven to work was to require landlords to verify legal status and to make renting to illegal immigrants against the law.

  • Fabled Soul Provo, UT
    June 18, 2019 7:29 a.m.

    Romney votes against the national emergency on immigration but then drops this bill because we have an immigration emergency?! The emergency is that his constituents are wising up to the fact that he is another RINO for open borders. The House will never pass this bill, and he knows it.

  • Kodiak2014 Cedar City, UT
    June 18, 2019 7:10 a.m.

    E-verify not only needs to be mandatory for every potential employer even if there is only 1 employee, but also provide penalties for those who still provide employment to those here illegally. If we punished CEOs and business owners with a fine and repeat offenders with jail time, this problem would go away and we would have control of our borders. The only continuing problem we would have would be our courts which would find someway to nullify any penalties mandated.

  • Flat foot Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 6:58 a.m.

    Wow - I'm stunned - I thought that "E Verify" was already a mandatory law, that just like so many others, only law abiding people follow. Shocked !

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 6:17 a.m.

    "He supports sanctioning employers that hire people who are not legally in the U.S".

    Let's hope strict new and damaging sanctions will be implemented on employers, that is one of the few ways to stop this insane flow of illegal immigrants into the USA. It's time to "slow-the-flow" and sanctioning employers would be a big step in that direction.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    June 18, 2019 5:38 a.m.

    Second comment. If it is wrong that a bigger employer uses undocumented immigrants, why is there an escape clause for smaller employers? Someone please explain the logic of that.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    June 18, 2019 5:36 a.m.

    The truth of it is, unscrupulous employers will continue to use undocumented workers as long as they **personally** don't pay a penalty for it. In other words, don't just fine the company or slap its wrist. Make it a criminal activity in which the boss is criminally liable for the practice.

    However, I doubt anyone, even the most ardent of the anti-immigrants is going to go along with that. And IMHO, that shows their hypocrisy.

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 3:31 a.m.

    E-Verify is error prone and does a poor job of dealing with hyphenated names, Hispanic Americans, and legal immigrants, finding many false positives. To do its job properly we would need "papers" to present when hired, or a complete database of all people legally here, or both. "Papers, please," would become a familiar demand at job fairs. At the very least problems with the system need attention.

    As for why these types of programs are authorized for limited times, just think about the 9/11 heroes' fight for continued medical support. Mitch McConnell is happy to have a bargaining chip to use to get something from the Democrats, just as Nancy Pelosi would like an E-Verify bargaining chip to get perhaps some concession from the Republicans.

  • mrjj69 Bountiful, UT
    June 18, 2019 12:41 a.m.

    Romney is on the right track. Now to pass it into law, and enforce that law.

  • WatchDog Draper, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:23 p.m.

    Well, well! Mitt isn't totally Democrat after all. Good for him...finally. Now, if he would just stop carping President Trump, the man WE ALL elected to be our president, I would feel better...and I suspect, so would Mitt.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:59 p.m.

    It was my understanding that hiring illegal immigrants was against federal law already on the books. And that it was the job of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enforce that law.

    E-verify is simply a method for employers to easily and quickly verify that a potential employee was eligible to get employment in the US.

  • mallow Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:57 p.m.

    I'd rather have them employed and paying taxes than doing work under the table and not paying taxes, or worse yet, doing illegal things to survive.

  • RRB Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:08 p.m.

    We would end much of our illegal immigration problems if we made it permanent for all employers. (one with penalties instead of Utahs no penalty version).

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 17, 2019 7:26 p.m.


    And, by the way, many of us do NOT hate Mitt Romney.

    Many of us just wish he would get behind our President and support the many good things he does instead of carping at the President at virtually every turn.

    We just want an EFFECTIVE Senator to represent us and promote issues that are important to us and our families.


  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 7:15 p.m.

    How in the world is this not **already** a permanent AND long-standing policy!?!?

  • Good Mojo Tooele, UT
    June 17, 2019 6:01 p.m.

    Might as well not only make it permanent (duh), but mandatory across all states if they want any federal money (just like background check for firearms). I'd also review green card program to ensure immigrants can work legally (when truly beneficial to US interests).

    When I grew up, it was common for young people to work hard construction to save for college. Most of those jobs have gone to immigrants, and young kids starting out just take out excessive college loans they can't repay. My parents never gave or offered me a dime for college (dad was attorney). I never took a loan or grant either. Every penny spent came out of my pocket from wages earned.

    Now liberals like Bernie want me to pay for the free education of others, or pay off their student loans. No wonder Trump got elected. Much as I despise him, the liberal alternative reality is worse.

  • Silver Stingray St George, UT
    June 17, 2019 5:18 p.m.

    Might as well make it permanent. After all, ts working so well already, isn't it?

    Seriously, is that all he can come up with?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 17, 2019 5:03 p.m.

    This law should be permanent. And it should apply to every employer. Make the system accesible and easy enough to use that the employer with 1 to 14 employees can use it same as the guy with 15 or more employees.

    @The Meliorist: "How sad Trump is in the White House and not Romney."

    If every Democrat/Liberal and Moderate/Independent who has pined for Romney over Trump or used Romney as a battering ram against Trump, had actually voted for Romney rather than Obama back in 2012, we'd likely now be on our 2nd Romney term and Trump would still be hosting bad reality TV. It would als have helped for the anti-LDS religious conservatives to have turned out and voted for Romney rather than staying home or writing in Mickey Mouse or Jerry Falwell because the idea of a Mormon as President was so distastful to them.

    But when people vote for the most liberal candidate possible in every election, they can hardly turn around and complain that Romney isn't president instead of Trump. Ditto for those who allow bigotry rather than policy to guide their voting.

    I'm not much of a Romney fan. But he would have made a moderate president and got my vote in 2012. He did not get my vote for Senator.

  • The Meliorist CA, 00
    June 17, 2019 3:33 p.m.

    How sad Trump is in the White House and not Romney.

    Romney is common sense but compassionate, wise but not arrogant, and a true leader.

    Hindsight is 2020.

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 3:19 p.m.


    "we depend on these workers and until we open up legal immigration, they will come illegally."

    Fear-mongering rationalization. "We" are the unscrupulous businessmen who don't feel like cutting into their profit margins to hire an American and pay him a fair wage.

    The answer is not more legal immigration -- we have too much already.

    The answer instead is 1. Consider America and Americans first; 2. Declare that EVERY single person in this country illegally is subject to arrest and deportation if caught, then methodically and on an ongoing basis deport and patrol, including raids -- just like every other country does. The real magnet is promising them the opposite -- that we will NOT deport you unless you are in the worst one tenth of one percent of criminals. If we had a policy like that for speeding most everyone would be driving 95 miles an hour on I-15 across Salt Lake County together. It is because each and every motorist knows that he, too, is subject to the law that prevailing speeds are far slower and safer.

    Beware of this smoke and mirrors bill by Romney -- no teeth and even if there were, you know an Amnesty would come with it, which is unacceptable!

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:39 p.m.

    Every once in a while he has to appear conservative.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:20 p.m.

    Don't know why it wouldn't need to be permanent. It's not like this problem is going away...

    Don't know why Congress doesn't see why it needs to be permanent.

    The only reason to leave it non-permanent is... so some politicians can use it over and over as a re-election wedge issue.

    We need to stop playing these games intended to get people re-elected.

  • Granny Barton Austin, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:26 p.m.

    I don't get it. Do all you Romney haters wait in line to critasize anything he does, even before he does it. He is a good man and has shown throughout his life to be compassionate, honest and kind and an astute problem solver. If we had more polititions like him our counry would be in better shape.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:02 p.m.

    Mitt the politician splitting the baby by placating the right to make the E-verify "system" permanent, but evading criticism from the left by not requiring it to actually be used. Then he sells this as a "fist step" knowing full well that the Democrats will never go along with making it mandatory.

    We have too many politicians and too few leaders in Congress.

    Failure to secure our borders against a massive invasion is second only to failure to curb excessive spending on the list of Congressional failures, and Mitt has done nothing to change either.

    It is interesting that Romney's office has a new thing for the media several times a week to keep his name in the public's eye. Almost like someone thinking of running for higher office...

  • northland55 Provo, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:52 p.m.

    I think we need governmental employee verification systems to instantly verify potential foolishness with people like Mr. Romney and other congressmen who vacuum suck taxpayers funds for a handsome and undeserved salary and contribute nothing back to the country. Like it or not, we depend on these workers and until we open up legal immigration, they will come illegally. Just like how people smoked marijuana when it was illegal in certain states.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:48 p.m.

    Romney is till hedging here. As the story says, "permanent," doesn't mean "mandatory." Unless an employer is required to check, the cheaters won't. This parsing of words sounds like you are doing something when you aren't.

    The Dem House would never go for it anyway, so it's just an exercise on Mitt's part.

    It needs to be mandatory, as does the SAVE check for benefits applications at social service benefits.

    Why is this so hard for politicians to understand?

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    Bravo to Mitt Romney. I have been saying for years that we need strict laws forbidding the employment of illegals with stiff penalties for employers who hire them. I would also like to see as many people as the nation can absorb come here legally each year. Trump is the only president in the past 30 years who has had the guts to try and do something about this huge problem. All the Dems fight his common sense. They don't want to limit the number of voters who might get them re-elected.