It's too early for members of the Texas Legislature to start filing bills ahead of the 2009 session of the Texas Legislature. But PoliTex is going to go out on a limb and predict that somebody will propose legislation that would require Texas employers to use the federal "E-Verify" system to ensure folks have valid work papers.
The idea is catching on across the country, and the government estimates that 1,000 employers a week are signing up for E-Verify -- prompting Homeland Security to request more funding to keep up.
It was conceived as a voluntary program, whereby personnel managers can electronically verify whether a prospective employee has a valid social security number and authorization to work in the United States. But now several legislatures have passed bills requiring companies doing business in their states to make use of it.
Critics say the system is too error-prone. But at least a dozen states have some version of the requirement, and Rhode Island is poised to jump on board, according to an AP story out today.
-- Jay Root
P.S. The photo, by Tom Pennington, shows illegal immigrants being processed at a federal detention center in Nogales, Arizona.