• NRA
    NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • NRAEF
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 19-22, 2018 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - National Restaurant Association Testifies on Importance of National Employment Verification System

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Pressroom

Share:
Email Print

National Restaurant Association Testifies on Importance of National Employment Verification System House Judiciary Subcommittee Hears from NRA on the Association-Supported Legal Workforce Act

(Washington, D.C.) Today, National Restaurant Association (NRA) Senior Vice President of Labor and Workforce Policy Angelo Amador testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security at a hearing to discuss “The Legal Workforce Act” which would create a nationally standardized employer verification (E-Verify) mandate. As the nation’s second largest private sector employer with a workforce of 14 million, a nationwide implementation of E-Verify has been one of NRA’s top priorities in the debate over immigration reform.

“For several years, the National Restaurant Association has provided input on the best ways to improve the E-Verify program,” Amador told the committee. “We believe that the Legal Workforce Act is a thoughtful, balanced approach to implementing a major change related to workplace hiring for employers of all sizes. To be sure, we do not take this attempt at change lightly. Employers in our industry, as in others, do not usually respond with eager excitement about the prospect of a new federal mandate in the workplace. So, we are especially appreciative of the bill sponsors’, and this subcommittee’s, efforts to think through the real-world implementation of a universal E-verify mandate.”

NRA and its members have been early adopters of the voluntary E-Verify program. According to an NRA survey of nearly 800 members on the use and implementation of the current E-Verify system, among all restaurant owners and operators 23 percent told surveyors they currently use E-Verify to check the immigration status of new hires. Among corporate-owned restaurants, a full 49 percent are enrolled in the system. Seventy-nine percent of restaurant operators surveyed said the E-Verify system has been 100 percent accurate, as far as they know.

However, 62 percent of the restaurant operators who are not using E-Verify said they did not enroll because they are small companies with no Human Resources professionals. Amador called on Congress to change part of a broad national mandate that would simplify the current E-Verify process and support wide-spread adoption.

“The current federal employment verification system is clearly in need of an overhaul,” said Amador. “In the current system, employers are boxed in by federal regulations that, on one side, require them to conduct the I-9 process on every person they hire and, on the other side, limit their ability to question the validity of authorization and identity documents used during that process…Out of this frustration, and the frustration caused by the federal government’s inability to move forward on the issue, many states and localities have responded with a patchwork of employment verification laws. This new patchwork of immigration enforcement laws expose employers, who must deal with a broken legal structure, to unfair liability and the burden of numerous state and local laws.”

In addition to Association-backed support of a standardized I-9 process, Amador outlined improvements needed in implementation such as toll-free telephonic option for conducting E-Verify that would not require small businesses to purchase new equipment and a tiered implementation approach with deadline extensions.

“One of the main flaws in the current E-Verify system is the uncomplicated and elementary manner through which an undocumented alien can fool the system through the use of someone else’s documents. The issues of document fraud and identity theft are exacerbated due to the lack of reliable and secure documents acceptable under the current E-Verify system,” Amador told the committee.

In response, the Association voiced support for provisions that would rework and limit documentation to provide employers with a clear and functional way to verify prospective employees and hold the government accountable for proper administration.

To read a full copy of NRA’s testimony before the committee click here



###

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.7 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 20-23, 2017, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRA Educational Foundation's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156