Group seeks database checks on immigrants

March 8, 2012 at 5:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- A group accuses Republican leaders in the U.S. House of blocking a bill to require employers to use a government database to check workers' legal status.

NumbersUSA, which seeks limits on immigration, is sponsoring radio and TV ads, scheduled to begin airing Thursday, calling for House Speaker John A. Boehner to allow a vote on legislation that would require businesses to use the E-Verify database, The Washington Times reported.

The group says Boehner, the Ohio congressman, and other House leaders have blocked the bill because of concerns it would anger Hispanic voters in an election year.

NumbersUSA says the bill would open to Americans jobs held by unauthorized workers.

"Our gloves are off," said Roy Beck, executive director of the group.

Beck said the group is going public with its campaign after behind-the-scenes efforts failed to result in action.

"At some point, you just have to bring this stuff out into public. We've given the leadership all kinds of time, all kinds of excuses, but it's been six months," Beck said.

Republicans, who won control of the House in 2010, have pledged to take steps to prevent illegal immigration but have not approved any significant crackdown, the Times said.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said the legislative process had delayed the bill.

"Speaker Boehner has supported legislation with E-Verify in the past, and the issue is currently working its way through the committee process," Steel told the Times in an e-mail.

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