The balance between Republican calls to reduce government regulation of business and the GOP’s campaign against undocumented workers is about to be tested by a bill that would mandate use of an illegal-worker detection system, which critics say would cripple U.S. agriculture by depriving farmers of cheap labor.
House immigration subcommittee chairman Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he plans to introduce the bill to mandate the use of E-Verify within the next month. The program is already mandatory for government agencies and contractors and used voluntarily by nearly 250,000 businesses to check the legal status of potential hires. But Gallegly said he hopes making it a requirement for all U.S. enterprises will drive out illegal workers entirely.
“If there was ever a need to do something quickly, when we have 14 million Americans who aren’t working today, I think they deserve to be put in the front of the line,” the California Republican said at a hearing on the use of E-Verify.
About damn time.
I think such a bill would have an excellent chance of passage. But, will President Obama who needs the Hispanic vote in 2012 veto the legislation?