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Yet House GOP Is Motivated by Anti-Immigrant Ideology at the Expense of American Economy
Today on Capitol Hill, House Republicans, led by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), and Steve King (R-IA), unveiled the top bill on their anti-immigration agenda: a plan to make all employers in America use the deeply flawed E-Verify program to check the immigration status of their workers. The theory goes, if all employers use E-Verify, undocumented workers will be unable to get jobs and will pack up their lives and deport themselves. Unfortunately, the mass deportation dream of Smith and crew will have real-life consequences for American workers, businesses, and taxpayers, push immigrant workers deeper into the underground economy, fail to identify undocumented workers 50% of the time, and make the broken immigration system even worse.
“Rather than working with Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration reform and turn undocumented workers into legal taxpayers, Smith and his allies in Congress are hell-bent on pursuing their mass deportation fantasy. It’s outrageous that House Republicans—lead by Lamar Smith of Texas—are so beholden to anti-immigrant politics that they would advance a bill that will fail 50% of the time and place serious burdens and costs on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers. This is just another example of business as usual in Washington: instead of focusing on real solutions to real problems, House Republicans are focusing on their next campaign,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.
It’s clear that Smith, Gallegly, and King are playing politics with the issue, because it’s already against the law for employers to hire undocumented workers. The Smith bill doesn’t change that; what it does is require all employers to use a flawed government system when evaluating who is legal to work. But E-Verify is simply not ready for prime time, and making the program universal and mandatory will harm U.S. workers, businesses, and taxpayers without solving the problem. A real solution would be to require undocumented workers to register with the government, pay taxes, and work their way toward full U.S. citizenship.
Here are the real-life consequences of Lamar Smith’s deportation fantasies:
“Smith’s plan is based on two fantasies: one, that the E-Verify program will work, and two, that undocumented workers will pack up their lives and go home if his bill becomes law. Now, here’s a dose of reality: this legislation will threaten Americans’ jobs, cost taxpayers billions in lost revenue, destabilize the agriculture industry, and fail to work half the time. It’s time for House Republicans to wake up from their dream and work on a bipartisan basis to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Our country needs a real solution to the broken immigration system, not more hot air and wishful thinking,” Tramonte concluded.
For more information about the Smith bill and its impact on workers, taxpayers, and businesses, see:
Summary of the Legal Workforce Act (NILC) http://www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/ircaempverif/Legal-Workforce-Act-summary-2011-06-14.pdf
Lamar Smith’s Employment Eligibility Verification System: Harmful to the Economy and Dangerous for U.S. Workers (NILC) http://www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/ircaempverif/Legal-Workforce-Act-concerns-2011-06-14.pdf
Legal Workforce Act of 2011 (Table of Provisions) (NILC) http://www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/ircaempverif/Legal-Workforce-Act-table-2011-06-14.pdf
Costly and Ineffective: What Arizona’s Experience with Mandatory E-Verify Teaches Us (NILC)
E-Verify Creates Burdens for Small Businesses (NILC)
Deciphering the Numbers on E-Verify’s Accuracy: What DHS’ Numbers Mean and How Well E-Verify Is Performing (IPC)
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