The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
For years, former Gov. Rick Perry didn’t like E-Verify, the federal electronic employment verification system, and said it wasn’t a good option for Texas. Last year, shortly after President Obama’s executive order to halt deportations for as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, Perry changed his mind, ordering all state agencies to begin using the system to crack down on hiring of unauthorized workers.
Before Perry’s order, some Republicans had already filed legislation mandating use of E-verify. During the 2015 legislative session, they codified it, passing a measure requiring state agencies and public universities to use it.
The measure as passed also clears up some confusion that followed Perry's executive order. It specifies that, in accordance with federal guidelines, the system cannot be used to verify the status of current employees, which Perry’s mandate initially required. It also charges the Texas Workforce Commission with enforcing the measure. Perry's order did not direct an agency to make sure the order is being followed.
Updated: April 7, 2015
See all the topics we’re following.