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Reps. Lamar Smith and Elton Gallegly on Their Flawed, Job-Killing Mandate: E-Verify

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lamar smith and elton galleglyOver the weekend, political reporters at the LA Times wrote a piece about the Republican Party entitled “To survive, state GOP must reinvent itself.The article included this line:

Republicans alienated the state’s growing Latino population in the 1990s by backing Proposition 187, a ballot measure created to deny most taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants. Years of inflammatory rhetoric compounded the damage.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, it’s noted that two of the masterminds behind the GOP’s mass deportation (of immigrants) strategy, Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, are compounding the damage with new legislation intended to bring them closer to realizing their extremist fantasy: the forced expulsion of 12 million immigrants out of the country.  That’s what their whole “enforcement only” approach is all about – tighten the screws on immigrants while blocking any hope of coming forward and applying for legal status.  Obviously, that isn’t going to play very well with Latinos.  But in addition to alienating Hispanic voters, the two are on a path that will also damage the American economy — particularly the agricultural industry. In their op-ed, the duo who make up two-thirds of the notorious “Three Amigos,” are trying to sell E-Verify as a “successful tool for employers.”

It’s not. We all want to crack down on unscrupulous employers who take advantage of undocumented workers, and that’s not what E-Verify does.

E-Verify is a government mandate (one of the few that Smith and Gallegly love) — and it’s a flawed program. (That’s how it was described by Florida GOP State Senator JD Alexander, who is also a farmer.) Both of them want to force all employers to use this system that doesn’t exactly work. Here are some of the truths about E-Verify that Smith and Gallegly didn’t mention:

The Smith/Gallegy E-Verify plan would:

  • Cause the loss of almost 800,000 jobs,

  • Force 4 million more workers into an administrative quagmire,

  • Cause an undue burden on small businesses,

  • Nearly wipe out the agricultural workforce

  • Result in loss of tax revenue, increasing the deficit

And to top it off, E-Verify has a failure rate of over 50%.