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Missouri Chamber opposes E-Verify legislation

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The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry joined several groups this week in opposing a bill that would require all Missouri employers to use the E-Verify program to check employees’ ability to legally work in the U.S.

House Bill 1741 sponsor Rep. Rick Brattin, a republican from Harrisonville, testified before the House Workforce Standards and Development Committee this week that mandating participation in the E-Verify system is a way to ensure employers follow immigration laws. The proposed legislation would establish a three-strike system in which a business would lose its license the third time it hires someone unauthorized to work in the country.

Brian Bunten, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber, testified in opposition to the bill.

“The biggest issue that we see are the penalty provisions,” Bunten said. “Nothing in this bill precludes someone being found in violation of this law three times in one day. If you’re found to be in violation three times in one day, you’re effectively put out of business.”

There was no testimony in support of the bill.

A 2008 Missouri law already requires some businesses with government contracts, grants or tax breaks to use E-Verify.

For more information about this issue, please contact Brian Bunten at bbunten@mochamber.com or by phone at 573.634.3511.

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