HB 615 by Rep. Patricia Harless (R-Spring) prohibits an employer from knowingly employing an unauthorized foreign national. The bill also bars an employer from recruiting or referring for a fee for employment an unauthorized foreign national. As proposed, the bill contains a safe harbor provision for employers who obtain documented lawful resident verification information from an employee (even if the information later turns out to be false) or who have verified the employee’s resident status through the E-Verify Program.

A person with reason to believe that an employer has violated the prohibition against employing unlawful foreign nationals may file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission. The Commission shall compile a biennial report to the governor and legislature based on nonidentifiable, summary data compiled from complaints during the two preceding years. The report may not include information that could reasonably be expected to identify a particular employer or employee or a complaintant.

As the bill is currently drafted, the Workforce Commission has general rulemaking authority, but the bill does not contain any provisions relating to investigation, due process, or enforcement.

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