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Business, Labor, and Faith Groups Unite in Opposition to Mandatory E-Verify

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e-verifyIt’s a rare piece of legislation these days that unites state and local business organizations, the labor movement, and a range of faith denominations across the country together in outrage.  But that’s exactly what’s happening in response to the mandatory E-Verify legislation being championed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). 

Business, labor, and faith leaders from across America are joining together to tell Washington how bad this bill would be for our economy, our jobs, and our communities. 

Jeff Stone, the Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, spoke about the economic toll and burdensome new requirements that mandatory E-Verify would force on all U.S. employers:

[Mandatory E-Verify] is a recipe for disaster, not only for agriculture but for the national economy.  In the worst case, you could see some Oregon operations crumble.

His group cites a 2008 study by Oregon State University economists which found that mandatory E-Verify could cost Oregon 173,500 jobs over the next 3-5 years, including 76,000 jobs held by legal workers.  That translates to $650 million lost over that same period in tax revenue.  Similar concerns have been echoed by business owners in California, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and elsewhere.

Mike Fishman, the head of the nation’s largest property services union (New York’s SEIU 32BJ), highlights the ways in which mandatory E-Verify would be a jobs-killer and disaster for American workers.  In a column for Huffington Post:

By forcing seven million employers in the U.S. to invest, not in expanding their businesses, but instead in plugging into an error-prone government database, E-Verify is a job-killing bill that we cannot afford at this time. Expanding and imposing a deeply flawed, bureaucratic system will not create jobs. Forcing every employer in the country to check every single worker’s legal status will not create more jobs. Subjecting millions of workers, including U.S. citizens, to discrimination and potentially unfair firings will not help create good jobs.