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Washington, DC - Senator Jim Risch supported two amendments today that survived close votes on the floor of the Senate. The first amendment will make permanent a pilot program to improve the verification of potential employees through a system known as E-Verify.

As Governor, Risch signed an Executive Order that required every state agency considering a person for state employment to use a federal program known as Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. The check ensures the person was lawfully entitled to work in the state and country.

"What we did at the state level to require verification of the legal residency of a potential employee should also be used at the federal level. Only those in this country legally should be entitled to jobs, especially those that are taxpayer funded," said Risch.

A motion to table the amendment failed 44-53 and it was then adopted by voice vote.

The second amendment, which passed on a 54 - 44 vote, requires the completion of at least 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the southwest border of the U.S. by December 31, 2010.

"Border security is critical to every country. The problems of drugs, weapons, and illegal entry into our country need to be stopped and a physical barrier will help do that," Risch said. "There are many legal ways to enter this country, but as long as we have unsecured areas of our border, some will take advantage of this to the detriment of our nation."

The amendments will be added to the 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, now on the floor of the Senate.


To link to EO 2006-40 click here.