Last week, New America Media asked an important question about an industry directly impacted by immigration: Slow Flow of Immigrants Already Impacting California Farms? Some say yes. Others, not yet. But if Lamar Smith’s E-Verify bill passes nationally, there will be a worker shortage — and crops rotting in the fields.
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 Smith-Grassley push to make the ineffective and burdensome E-Verify program mandatory nationwide continues to generate significant opposition from a broad range of observers, from the editorial board of La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language daily in the U.S., to the Service Employees International Union, to respected columnist Andres Oppenheimer. Interestingly, the Smith plan is also garnering strong opposition from the extreme right of the GOP.
Today 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 Los Angeles Times published a rebuttal to yesterday’s glowing, but deficient in facts, op-ed on E-Verify from Representatives Lamar Smith and Elton Gallegly. Today, Raul A. Reyes actually uses facts to deconstruct the Smith/Gallegly spin on a program that would cause massive job losses — and has the potential to wipe out the agriculture industry.
Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) advocate the mandatory use of E-Verify to preserve jobs for Americans and crack down on illegal immigration. As a supporter of comprehensive reform, I read their Op-Ed article with great interest and was disheartened by their faulty reasoning.
Representative Lamar Smith and Elton Gallegly wrote an op-ed in the LA Times about their E-Verify bill. They forgot to mention their 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 the loss of tax revenue – and, to top it off, E-Verify a failure rate of over 50%.
Last month, Georgia passed one of the harshest new immigration laws in the country. Today, the AJC reports that nearly half of the 132 Georgia businesses polled in a private survey this month say they are experiencing agricultural labor shortages.
Over the next couple weeks and months, we’re expecting the anti-immigrant legislation, E-Verify, to start moving in the U.S. House. It’s sponsored by Representatives Lamar Smith (TX), Elton Gallegly (CA) and Steve King (IA), who hope this legislation will lead to mass deportation. Fortunately, a strong coalition is building to fight E-Verify. And, it includes a united front from the labor movement
Imagine if Democrats proposed legislation that 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 the loss of tax revenue – and had a failure rate of over 50%.