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What other jobs program can guarantee millions of jobs for American workers in two years?
There is a clear need to pass the Legal Workforce Act now.
The U.S. unemployment rate has now hovered at or above 9 percent for the past 24 months, topping 8 percent for the past 29 months, the longest streak since the 1930s.
At its core, E-Verify is an anti-immigrant bill designed to force the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. The legislation would force all American businesses to use a massive, but flawed, federal database to check the legal status of their employees. Mandatory E-Verify would impose new costs and red tape on American businesses and employees, devastate California’s agriculture industry, and further exacerbate the GOP’s political problem with Latino voters.
In a column at the Las Vegas Journal-Review, former Oklahoma GOP Congressman JD Watts echoed the “E-Verify is a jobs bill” talking point. And like Gallegly, he also mentioned the unemployment rate and harkened back to the 1930s.
The truth, which gets lost in the GOP talking points, is that E-Verify will cost jobs, up to 800,000 jobs according to estitmates. That could increase unemployment by .5%. And, the massive mandate is “flawed,” according to a Florida GOP State Senator, J.D. Alexander, also a farmer, who has actually used it.
It’s no wonder Gallegly and Watts evoke memories of the 1930s. Their “jobs” bill is right out of “The Grapes of Wrath.” E-Verify is now the GOP jobs plan. Their scheme is to move unemployed workers from hard-hit states to pick crops in the fields in other states. But that won’t work and there’s fresh evidence to prove it: Georgia. You won’t hear Gallegly, Watts or the mastermind behind E-Verify, Rep. Lamar Smith, ever talk about what’s currently happening in Georgia. The Peach State’s legislature passed E-Verify earlier this year as part of anti-immigrant legislation. Well, they got what they wanted. Undocumented immigrants left Georgia. Now, the crops are rotting in the fields, resulting in massive losses to farmers.
Gallegly’s position is particularly egregious. He’s a member of Congress from California who is determined to do to California’s agricultural industry what Georgia Republicans did to theirs. Over the years, he has staked out a clear and consistent position against sensible immigration reform and is in favor of draconian, enforcement-only policies. In E-Verify, he sees a method toward the mass deportation of California’s undocumented workforce, which is why he’s sponsoring the E-Verify legislation despite the damage it would inflict on his constituents.