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Arizona E-Verify Law & Supreme Court’s Immigration Decision: Dagger in Heart of American Agriculture

by Mahwish Khan on 05/27/2011 at 3:54pm

Crop deadYesterday’s Supreme Court ruling to uphold Arizona’s law requiring state businesses use the E-Verify system strikes a crushing blow to the Arizona agriculture industry.  If other states follow Arizona’s lead, or if Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) gets his wish and rams through a mandatory E-Verify law this summer, it will be the beginning of the end for American farms, domestic food sources, and related jobs held by Americans in production, processing, transportation, and marketing. In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform at the federal level, mandatory E-Verify will deport farms and jobs. This will hurt all Americans.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling is a dagger in the heart of Arizona agriculture.  If this type of law spreads nationwide, we will essentially deport the entire agriculture industry—including jobs held by Americans—and be forced to import more of our nation’s food supply.  Passing a mandatory E-Verify law without comprehensive immigration reform will kill American jobs and farms, burden small businesses, reduce tax revenue, and drive undocumented workers further underground.  This is a dangerous approach, particularly when there is a better plan on the table that would level the playing field for workers and employers and expand tax revenues.  Instead of passing a law that would harm whole industries and fail to fix the problems with our broken immigration system, Congress should pass real immigration reform like AgJOBs, the DREAM Act, and comprehensive immigration reform.

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