Oregon Fights E-Verify Bill

Oregon Business Community Latest to Join Fight Against National E-Verify Bill

This week, business and agricultural communities across the U.S. continued the fight against mandatory E-verify, an electronic verification system requiring employers to use a federal database to verify the immigration status of employees. Over the weekend, thousands of protestors marched on Georgia’s state capitol to protest HB 87—a bill which contains mandatory E-Verify—adding their voice to the state’s agricultural community’s who fear the program will leave them without enough migrant workers to harvest crops. This week, a group of Oregon businesses joined the campaign against an enforcement-only E-Verify bill (H.R. 2164) introduced by immigration hawk Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) last month. The group called Rep. Smith’s measure a “recipe for disaster.”

This week, the Coalition for a Working Oregon, a group made up of 22 Oregon businesses, called out Smith’s proposal, highlighting E-Verify’s inaccuracies and calling for a “comprehensive retooling” of our broken immigration system. One member, Jeff Stone of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, said Smith’s E-Verify bill is “a recipe for disaster, not only for agriculture but for the national economy.”

Smith’s national E-Verify bill, “Legal Workforce Act of 2011”, would make the employment verification system mandatory for all employers within three years. While immigration advocacy groups have highlightedproblems with E-Verify for years, even the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the program for its accuracy rate, the fact that it snags U.S. citizens, and the additional fiscal burdens it adds to employers who don’t have the resources to implement the program.

Meanwhile, Rep. Smith claims his bill is a “jobs bill” that would “open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans.” A recent study by Oregon State University, however, reveals that E-Verify would actually costOregon 173,500 jobs in the short term (3 to 5 years)—shedding 97,500 undocumented workers and 76,000 legal workers. The study also estimates that Oregon would lose $650 million in tax revenue over the same period if E-Verify were mandatory. Clearly, E-Verify as a stand-alone enforcement bill is not exactly the jobs bill Rep. Smith describes.

seth hoyThe Coalition for a Working Oregon is not alone. In fact, business communities across the U.S. are looking for comprehensive reforms to our immigration system—reforms that account for current labor needs—not a mix of restrictive state laws that end up hurting small businesses and local economies. Hopefully, local groups will continue to raise their voices against enforcement-only bills dressed up as solutions and demand that Congress tackle real reforms to our immigration problems.

Seth Hoy
Immigration Impact

Comments

  1. Jack Black says:

    Potential employees who have pre-verified themselves will speed up verification by employers and reduce the cost of implementing e-Verify. Employers would simply have to plug in their ID credentials to re-verify that the ID isn’t fraudulent. These “pre-verified” legal workers would have an edge in hiring, so most legal citizens will likely take the initiative to establish credentials before they’re hired.

    Where can I sign up! This is the best way to get e-Verify up and running – just let all citizens register themselves in the system so employers will have a pool of potential employees already verified as citizens and legal residents. Plenty of unemployed Americans will register themselves, especially if it means they’re automatically better candidates for a job (except to those employers who deliberately hire illegal aliens so they can pay them less or treat them badly.)

    Once most of us are in the e-Verify system, the bugs will be worked out and we can stop hearing all that whining about how the e-Verify will mess up legal immigrants. That’s hogwash. The real issue is that bleeding heart liberals get duped into supporting cheap labor for big business, while thinking they’re actually doing something compassionate by helping illegal aliens. If they thought about it a bit more, they’d realize they’re not helping people by letting them scam the immigration system, they’re only encouraging more people to bring kids into a country where they’ll have problems as when they grow up because their parents cheated. Oh wait, that’s right. We’ll just give those kids amnesty (the “Dream Act”) because it’s not their fault their parents snuck over the border. Then that will encourage even more illegal immigration. Pretty soon the entire working class will have been undermined by illegal labor. When will liberals start thinking about the damage they do with these ridiculous plans?

    • Ysaira Paulino says:

      “Verifying yourself” does not mean that the prospective employer bypasses the process of verifying your status. Clerical errors by employers can lead to deeming citizens and eligible employees unemployable by branding them as illegal, and the process of correcting these mistakes is not only tedious, but impossible. Making E-Verify mandatory would only marginalize immigrant workers more than they already are. Immigrant labor is not only wanted by some businesses, but is necessary for the growth of the economy. The reason by immigrant labor is seen with so much stigma in the US is because almost all other first world countries have a better path to citizenship. The flawed system that exists in the US causes some people to have a negative perception to immigrants, without realizing that these immigrants are an integral part of the economy and that they are not taking jobs from the middle class. Immigrants tend to do the jobs that US citizens and permanent residents do not want to do: mostly jobs in the service industry.
      In terms of the Dream Act, it is not proposed to be something that is readily given to all children that migrated to the United States. It is targeted towards prominent students that are completing high school/on the road to college/in college already. These students, if given the chance would become tax paying citizens that would benefit the economy.
      Before establishing that immigration is a bad thing, remember that you too are most likely the child of an immigrant (unless of course you’re the descendant of Native Americans, and then you have all rights to complain, especially about those British!) In the world that we live today, with shared markets (thanks to free trade agreements such as NAFTA and DR-CAFTA), immigration is even more needed to supplement a workforce that needs to supplement an international market.

      • These students, if given the chance would become tax paying citizens that would benefit the economy.

        Benefit the economy? It only benefits the illegal aliens that take advantage of the opportunity to steal our country’s resources.

        No thanks, I’d rather MY OWN KIDS have the chance to go to college and become productive members of society. University seats are limited. For illegal alien supported by the US public to attend college here, that’s one less US citizen that can go to college. The Dream Act would not only give amnesty to these young illegal aliens, it would mean US taxpayers have to pay for their college educations, their housing, their food, their health care, etc. etc.

        Immigrants tend to do the jobs that US citizens and permanent residents do not want to do

        That’s the biggest hoax of all time. Illegal aliens take construction jobs that should be paying union carpenters about $35 an hour. Instead, dishonest employers can get illegal aliens to work for $6-10 an hour, and they don’t have to pay workers compensation, unemployment taxes, social security taxes, etc. The US taxpayer has to pay the difference, plus the cost of educating, feeding and housing their “instant citizen” children.

        People don’t have a “negative perception” of immigrants; we have a realistic acknowledgment that allowing rich investors to hire illegal aliens is not in the best interests of those of us who pay the bills for the rich cheaters.

        Immigration is a good thing. Our country thrives on immigration, and the melting pot, or soup, that we’ve created is stronger for the diversity throughout society. But illegal immigration is destroying our middle and working classes, and liberals who promote an end run around immigration law are being unjust to those who abide by the immigration rules and wait their turn to come here.

  2. Annette says:

    A recent study by Oregon State University, however, reveals that E-Verify would actually cost Oregon 173,500 jobs in the short term (3 to 5 years)—shedding 97,500 undocumented workers and 76,000 legal workers.

    Wow, are there really that many illegal aliens stealing jobs from Oregonians, and that many Oregon employers who will refuse to hire people rather than verify their employees?

    The real question in the immigration dispute is “Who benefits?” Is it the companies that hire low paid immigrants, or American taxpayers who have to pick up the cost of housing, food and healthcare for these underpaid employees? Should public policy support the Latinos and others who are illegally crossing our borders by the millions, or should we be standing by those great American immigrants who were willing to abide by the rules and wait their turn to immigrate?

    Corporations benefit from hiring low paid immigrants, whether they’re citizens or illegal aliens. They get away with not paying for the employees healthcare, and sometimes they don’t even pay the workers comp and social security taxes. Meanwhile, the public has to pick up the cost of housing, food and healthcare for these underpaid employees. Of course agribusiness and big businesses are going to raise a stink if they’re forced to act like a reputable business and hire legal citizens. Churches also benefit from an influx of poor, uneducated immigrants. In the case of Latin Americans, the Catholic Church stands to gain millions from the influx of Latino immigrants, whether or not they’re here legally.

    The new e-Verify system has lots of technical problems that need to be fixed. So what? You don’t throw out the entire concept of preventing employers from cheating by hiring illegal aliens just because a few computer problems need to be fixed.

    Overall, there will be enormous benefits from e-Verify to the American taxpayers and the working and middle classes. We’ll finally be able to stop big agribusiness and other rich corporations from hiring illegal aliens and making the public pay for their housing, food and health insurance. When corporations have to follow the law and hire American citizens, our entire working class gets a leg up because lower paid immigrants aren’t undermining our own job security.

    Implementing this system will be a good thing. Unless you’re more interested in allowing a certain group of people cheat and jump ahead of the immigration lines. Are progressives really pushing that agenda? Prioritizing people who are willing to break the law rather than supporting immigrants who are willing to abide by the law and wait their turn?

    Once criticism of e-Verify is that it will cost businesses money to implement it. We can minimize those costs opening up the e-verify system to all Americans who are looking for a job so they can start the process themselves. We already have state drivers license photo ID cards that are hard to make fraudulently, and states even have IDs for non-drivers. State ID cards could be upgraded to verify citizenship or immigration status. Or we could direct the Social Security Administration to produce verified photo ID. Potential employees who have pre-verified themselves will speed up verification by employers and reduce the cost of implementing e-Verify. Employers would simply have to plug in their ID credentials to re-verify that the ID isn’t fraudulent. These “pre-verified” legal workers would have an edge in hiring, so most legal citizens will likely take the initiative to establish credentials before they’re hired.

    Instead of crying about the potential problems with e-Verify, let’s just get the technical glitches fixed and start moving forward with this very useful plan that supports American citizens and legal residents. Our country’s taxpayers and our legal immigrants will all benefit once companies are no longer allowed to cheat us all.

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