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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed an E-Verify bill that came to her desk on April 26, 2021.
Congress created E-Verify in the 1990s and it allows employers to electronically verify the work authorization of their would be employees. States have gradually adopted laws that mandate businesses to use E-Verify. This kind of legislation addresses one of the migrant magnets to the US — work opportunities — and makes it more difficult for businesses to hire illegal aliens under the table.
States like Florida and Pennsylvania have recently implemented E-Verify mandates, with the caveat that neither made all employers in their respective states use it. Additionally, states like Iowa have seen E-Verify pushes to crack down on illegal workers.
In the case of Kansas, the E-Verify bill being proposed counted on bipartisan support. According to David Jaroslav of the Federation of American Immigration Reform, “Kansas’ proposal was simply to require E-Verify for state agencies and for contractors doing more than $50,000 worth of business with the state. The legislature included the E-Verify language in the state’s budget.”
The main sponsor of Kansas’s E-Verify provision was a Democrat, State Senator Tom Holland, who declared that it would guarantee “that Kansas taxpayer dollars are going to projects that are being staffed by people who can legally work here in the U.S.”
Holland continued, “I think it’s important we show and we provide that transparency to our Kansas taxpayers.” The Democrat State Senator tacked on E-Verify language to the state budget in March and was able to stay in place as it moved through both chambers of the Kansas state legislature.