According to the ACLU, Rep. Lamar Smith’s deceptively named “Keep Our Communities Safe Act” bill “would in fact lead to the detention of thousands more immigrants for years without first having a hearing before a judge.”

July 15, 2011

E-Verify

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) are pushing legislation that would force all employers to use the federal government’s flawed E-Verify program before hiring any workers. This may sound simple, but making E-Verify mandatory would actually jeopardize the jobs of millions of Americans, expand red tape for businesses, cost taxpayers billions, and fail to identify undocumented workers more than half the time. What’s worse, it won’t actually fix the broken immigration system.

MANDATORY E-VERIFY LEGISLATION: JUST THE FACTS

Summary of the Legal Workforce Act (Smith Bill) (NILC, June 2011)

Lamar Smith’s Employment Eligibility Verification System: Harmful to the Economy and Dangerous for U.S. Workers (NILC, June 2011) 

Summary of the Accountability through Electronic Verification Act (Grassley Bill) (NILC, June 2011)

E-Verify Has 50% Failure Rate, Throws Hundreds of Thousands of Legal Workers Out of a Job (America’s Voice, June 2011)


WHAT’S THEIR REAL AGENDA? MASS DEPORTATION

Report: “Attrition through Enforcement’: Just Another Name for Mass Deportation” (America’s Voice, February 2011)

The Anti-Worker Truth about the Republican House Judiciary Committee (America’s Voice Education Fund, January 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME

“Findings of the E-Verify Program Evaluation,” report conducted for the federal government showing 54% error rate for undocumented workers who go through E-Verify (Westat, December 2009)

Employment Verification: Federal Agencies Have Taken Steps to Improve E-Verify, But Significant Challenges Remain (Government Accountability Office, December 2010)

How Errors in E-Verify Databases Impact U.S. Citizens and Lawfully Present Immigrants (NILC, February 2011)

Quotations from Lawmakers: State Policymakers Critique E-Verify (NILC, Jan 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY WOULD COST AMERICAN TAXPAYERS

Letter from the Congressional Budget Office on the SAVE Act of 2008, another mandatory E-Verify bill (Congressional Budget Office, April 2008)

The True Costs of E-Verify (Center for American Progress, June 2011)

Costly and Ineffective: What Arizona’s Experience with Mandatory E-Verify Teaches Us (NILC, May 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY WOULD DESTROY AMERICAN AGRICULTURE

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Holds a News Teleconference on Immigration (May 2011)

Immigration Reform and the E-Verify Challenges to Georgia Agriculture (Farmworkers’ Forum, March 2011)

“Farmworkers and the Food System Will Suffer Under Smith’s Mandatory Employment Verification” (Farmworker Justice, July 2011)

“E-Verify is E-Normous Problem for Agriculture” (American Farm Bureau Federation, June 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY WOULD HURT AMERICAN WORKERS

“Reversal of Fortune,” article on labor opposition to E-Verify (National Journal, May 2011)

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Legal Workforce Act (June 2011)

AFL-CIO Letter to Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley (AFL-CIO, June 2011)

“The Republican Plan to Wreck the Economy” by Eliseo Medina (The Hill, June 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY WOULD EXPAND RED TAPE AND COSTS FOR BUSINESSES

‘Free’ E-Verify May Cost Small Business $2.6 Billion: Insight (Bloomberg, Jan 2011)

E-Verify Creates Burdens for Small Businesses (NILC, June 2011)

Small Business Owners Warn Mandatory E-Verify Would Be Bad for Businesses, Urge Comprehensive Immigration Reform Instead (Main Street Alliance, June 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY IS A BIG BROTHER NIGHTMARE

“E-Verify Is Big Government Overreach, Say Libertarian and Conservative Leaders,” recording of press call (CEI, June 30, 2011)

“We Should Trust, But Not E-Verify” (National Foundation for American Policy, July 2011)

Coalition Letter Against Mandatory Implementation of E-Verify (Competitive Enterprise Institute, March 10, 2011)

The New—Cardless!—National ID (Cato, June 2011)

“E-Verify is a Stealth National ID” by Bob Barr (The Barr Code, June 2011)


MANDATORY E-VERIFY WOULD OVERWHELM THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

The Facts on Employment Verification: Current Proposals are Unworkable for SSA, Threaten Progress in Reducing Disability Claims Backlog (National Watermelon Association, March 2008)

Statement of Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center: House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Hearing on the Social Security Administration’s Role in Verifying Employment Eligibility (NILC, April 2011)


COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM IS THE FAIR, AND PRACTICAL SOLUTION

New Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CAP, Jan 2010)

Voter Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Lake Research Partners, November 2010)

Public Opinion on Immigration Reform (America’s Voice, June 2010)


Last night on the Colbert Report, my personal hero, Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize winner who recently came out — as Colbert put it — a “border gay,” told America that he’s an undocumented immigrant, not an illegal one.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is at it again, introducing new legislation that reveals his own political agenda and hypocrisy while promising to make the already broken immigration system even worse. The Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act, or HALT Act, would strip the Obama Administration’s ability to set immigration enforcement priorities.

David Cox was at his desk in September 2009, when his receptionist announced an unexpected visitor, a special agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE. Mr. Cox is chief executive of L. E. Cooke Company, a fourth-generation, family-owned nursery in Visalia, Calif., that grows deciduous trees and shrubs.

When I was in college, my roommate from New York City – aware that I had grown up in the farmlands of Central California – asked me a simple question: “What time of year do workers pick the raisins?” After I stopped laughing, I had to explain to the city slicker that you don’t actually pick raisins. You pick grapes, and then lay them out in the sun to make raisins.

As Congress considers legislation that would require all employers to verify their employees’ social security numbers, critics of mandatory E-Verify say the legislation is a guaranteed failure when it comes to California’s agriculture industry.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is pushing back on a Republican lawmaker’s rhetoric that he would do anything to stop illegal immigrants “short of shooting them.” Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas, said “words have consequences” as he denounced the comment made recently by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.

Victor Toro rarely passes unnoticed as he ambles down the busy streets of the south Bronx, wearing a red bandana over his white beard and ponytail. People who have seen him in the newspaper and on TV call out to him by name. After three decades as an immigrants’ rights activist in New York, feeding the poor in soup kitchens and fighting to keep kids off drugs, this native Chilean is one of them.

A federal immigration judge on Wednesday gave a gay couple two more years to build a case for why Venezuelan pet groomer Alex Benshimol should be allowed to remain in the U.S. with his partner. It’s not the final result the couple is seeking, but they said they’ll take it, especially in lieu of deportation.