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Perry Orders All State Agencies Use E-Verify System

Ryan E. Poppe

In response to President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration, Rick Perry has issued his own executive action, requiring that all state agencies verify the immigration status of all employees working for the state through private contractors.

The governor said his order prepared the state for what he called a mass migration scenario, which would result from President Obama’s executive action. Perry said the President’s decision to provide immigrant college-students, or ‘Dreamers,’ temporary driver’s licenses, is what initially touched off the influx of crossings seen earlier this year.

“When the President announced orders to officially grant amnesty to millions of people in the United States illegally, his first policy opened up the floodgates. There’s no telling how much damage is going to be done by this executive action that he’s taken now,” said Perry.

Perry said that the President’s action had metaphorically placed a neon sign on the border with Mexico saying “Come to Texas.”  So he issued his own executive action as governor, requiring all state agencies check the immigration status of all of its employees.

“More importantly, this means anyone who is seeking a contract with these agencies, must also use e-verify to determine work eligibility of not only their employees, but also their sub-contractors,” said the governor. 

The head of the Department of Public Safety said there was no specific, credible information that a mass migration would happen but added that it was better to be prepared. Gov. Perry said the state needed to speak with one voice when it came to Texas’ response to the President’s order regarding immigration.   

Perry's executive order falls on the heels of a decision to draw down the National Guard's presence on the border, with the last troops leaving by March 2015, giving the Texas Legislature time to recommit if they choose.  Perry said he'd like to see the Texas National Guard remain on the border until Congress enacts stricter laws concerning border security.