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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: November 21, 2003 (Extensions)]
[Page E2367]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr21no03-15]                         



 
        BASIC PILOT PROGRAM EXTENSION AND EXPANSION ACT OF 2003

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                            HON. MARK UDALL

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 19, 2003

  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 
1685, the Basic Pilot Extension Act of 2003.
  The Basic Pilot Verification program was created in 1997 to assist 
employers in verifying the eligibility of prospective employees to work 
in the United States Currently the program is only available to 
employers in six States. Recently I voted against a bill to expand and 
extend the program, H.R. 2359, because I thought an expansion of this 
program deserved more debate and allowance for amendments to fix some 
of the more problematic parts of the bill.
  The Senate-passed measure that we are considering today, S. 1685, is 
an improvement on the House bill.
  Unlike the House bill, this bill does not open up access to the 
databases of the Homeland Security Department and the Social Security 
Administration to other Federal agencies or to State and local 
government agencies. I had grave concerns about the infringement of 
civil liberties in the House bill, which would have permitted 
widespread sharing of employee information. I am also pleased that 
concerns already identified by the Department of Homeland Security 
about the Basic Pilot program are being addressed. I still have 
apprehensions that the data used in this program is not always up-to-
date or accurate, specifically in regard to the visa status of 
employees. However, I am hopeful that the Homeland Security Department 
report required under this legislation will address these concerns so 
that they can be resolved by the time the program is expanded to all 
fifty states.
  The Basic Pilot Verifications program provides an efficient and 
effective method for ensuring that employers are hiring eligible 
employees. I hope that through the extension and expansion provided for 
in this bill, this program will provide accurate information about 
prospective employees and continue to address the needs of American 
employers.

                          ____________________






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