California Republicans are pushing a bill that would require employers to electronically verify the immigration status of potential hires, despite warnings from farmers that it will devastate their work force.The Legal Workforce Act is aimed at using a system known as E-Verify to prevent undocumented immigrants from taking jobs away from legal workers.
As it turns out, undocumented workers aren’t really big fans of being targeted while they’re doing their job, and farmers aren’t so keen on having their workers picked on either. As a result of anti-immigrant legislators passing legislation that scares off undocumented workers, farmers are suffering, and a multi-billion dollar industry is at a significant loss.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is promoting his E-Verify program as a “jobs” bill that will ease unemployed Americans’ woes. It’s telling that the first GOP “jobs plan” introduced this year would send unemployed manufacturing workers in Ohio or Michigan to the fields to pick fruit and vegetables. It’s best described as a 21st Century Grapes of Wrath.
The California Assembly approved a bill Thursday to allow counties to opt out of a federal program to combat illegal immigration that opponents say rips families apart, leads to racial profiling and erodes trust between law enforcement and immigrants.
Even though the DREAM Act, a bill to legalize undocumented youth, was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress earlier this month, the legislative fight up next is not over that measure but instead, a bill to mandate nationwide use of the E-verify system to determine if employees have their papers in order.
An attempt to crack down on illegal immigration through new state laws creating mandatory checks by businesses, police and government agencies appears to be running out of steam, largely over concerns about the costs of the programs.
There’s more news for those naysayers who claim that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Last week, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimated that in 2010, the state and local taxes paid by households that are headed by undocumented immigrants came to approximately $11.2 billion in state and local taxes.
Ending the day on a positive note, our neighboring state of Maryland passed an in-state tuition bill for undocumented youth, Tuesday evening. The bill now goes to the desk of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who is expected to sign the legislation into law, thereby bringing Maryland communities together.
Elton Gallegly’s zeal to get touch on immigrants would have profound consequences for California and the rest of the United States.
Rep. Elton Gallegly is the most important California Member of Congress dealing with immigration that you’ve never heard of. But if his hard-line views become law, he could ruin the state’s economy – and his party’s prospects with Latino voters.