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Over the next couple weeks and months, we’re expecting an anti-immigrant piece of legislation — better known as E-Verify — to start moving in the U.S. House. Sponsored by Representatives Lamar Smith (TX), Elton Gallegly (CA) and Steve King (IA), a.k.a. “The Three Amigos” on immigration, E-Verify is a mandatory program that would affect every worker in the country, and not positively. The system is deeply flawed, with a failure to detect undocumented immigrants over fifty percent of the time (54% to be precise).
But the Three Amigos are obsessed with deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants – and if that ruins the economy or causes a dramatic loss of jobs, then so be it. It’s seemingly not their problem.
Fortunately, a strong coalition is building to fight E-Verify, and it includes a united front from the labor movement. From the National Journal (subscription required):
The AFL-CIO and its offshoot Change to Win, labor groups that once disagreed over the inclusion of guest-worker programs in an immigration overhaul, can now stand as one in opposition to Republican proposals that push for more enforcement.
Labor will get the chance to flex its unified muscle, along with civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups, as they go into battle against legislation to require employers to electronically verify that their workers are in the country legally.
Other alliances crumble around them. Business groups that were once hand-in-hand with the advocacy community on a sweeping immigration overhaul have this time declined the invitation to the party. They are cutting a deal with Republicans on an employer-verification bill, even though the talks are making some of them squirm.