Nation & World

Mandatory employment checks eyed

Proposal would require program nationwide

Jared Kushner 

Senior adviser
Jared Kushner Senior adviser

WASHINGTON — Three months after the Trump Organization began using a federal program to check whether new employees were legally allowed to work at its golf clubs and resorts, the White House is strongly considering a proposal to implement the program nationwide.

The plan to institute a mandatory federal employment verification program, known as E-Verify, would be a key part of an immigration overhaul crafted by a team led by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.

According to three sources familiar with the immigration discussions, the White House has been considering pushing for mandatory employment checks as part of the enforcement measures of the new immigration package.

“The plan is taking shape, it’s imminent, (and) you have the two tracks, however, there is a massive reform contained in the enforcement side of E-Verify to calm concerns on the right over the lack of reduction of immigration numbers on the skills side,” a person familiar with the plan said.

Kushner unveiled the broad strokes of the new immigration plan to congressional Republicans on Tuesday.

It included an updated legal immigration system that replaces allowing entry to low-skilled workers with a merit-based system that prioritizes immigrants with special skills.

It also would strengthen border security, increase interior enforcement and tighten asylum procedures.

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The White House declined to address the E-Verify proposal, but a senior White House official told McClatchy the priority was on stopping illegal entry into the country and protecting Americans.

“The illegal immigration portion of the current framework is focused on ensuring a completely and permanently secure southern border, stopping visa overstays and protecting public safety,” the senior White House official said.

Kushner has been working for months with a small group studying specific ways to redistribute employment visas and also leading “listening sessions” with dozens of interest groups important to Trump to see if there was a position that Republicans can rally around before the 2020 elections.

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