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Gov. Perry Orders Most State Agencies To Use E-Verify For Checking Legal Status

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT
Gov. Rick Perry and Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw address Texas-Mexico border operations at a press conference on Dec. 3, 2014.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is ordering all state agencies under control of the governor's office to use E-Verify to check the residency status of employees and prospective employees. According to his office, 17 state agencies already use it. This announcement is something of a change of heart.

In the past, Gov. Perry has criticized E-Verify, a federal electronic system that prevents unlawful immigrants from getting state jobs. He said it wouldn't "make a hill of beans’ difference," but now he supports it.

"E-Verify system’s been improved, streamlined and is currently the most accurate and efficient way to check a person’s legal work in the United States," Perry said at a press conference today.

He also says President Obama’s executive action on immigration will only encourage criminal cartels’ smuggling of drugs, weapons and people.

"President Obama’s actions will create nothing but more chaos for these individuals to exploit," he added.

Earlier this week, the Legislative Budget Board approved funding for the law enforcement surge along the border through August 2015.


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