From the press release:
Members of the House of Representatives are a savvy bunch. The use of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media in politics has increased exponentially in the last few years.
We need a coordinated Twitter push on WEDNESDAY to encourage House Republicans to include The Legal Workforce Act in their job creation strategy!
As you probably have heard, HR2885, The Legal Workforce Act, mandates the nationwide use of E-Verify, which will free up millions of jobs currently held by illegal alien workers.
And, they include some sample tweets with recommended Twitter hastags. Or, make up your own tweets!
Go ahead folks and tell Members of Congress that you want E-verify passed and passed now!
#WeCantWait for Congress to pass #Everify to open #jobs for millions of unemployed Americans
Passing @LamarSmithTX21 #Everify bill will help open up #jobs for millions of Americans
7 million illegal aliens hold non-agriculture #jobs in the US. Pass #Everify #4jobs.
82% of Americans support #Everify that will free up #jobs for unemployed Americans. #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
22 million Americans can’t find full-time #jobs. Pass #Everify! #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
Help #OWS get back to work! Pass #Everify to open up #jobs for unemployed Americans!
Should new #jobs go to illegal aliens? Passing #Everify will ensure they don’t. #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
#Everify is good enough for Congress. Shouldn’t it be good for Americans looking #4jobs?
Keep illegal workers out of US #jobs! Pass #Everify! #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
Help unemployed Americans get back to work! Pass #Everify! #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
If Congress cares about opening up #jobs for unemployed Americans, they’ll pass @LamarSmithTX21 #Everify bill.
#WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs! #Passthebill that would make #Everify mandatory!
#Passthebill = $447 billion. #Everify = $0. #WeCantWait 2 act #4jobs!
#OccupyEverywhere with #Everify. It will open up #jobs for unemployed Americans!
It’s time for Congress to pass #Everify to open up 7 million #jobs held by illegal workers.
Carol Chandler discusses her experiences and the need for a strong, stable, farming workforce.
I was on a conference call earlier this afternoon with Craig Regelbrugge of SAFE (Save America’s Food and Economy) and California Representative Dan Lungren. The issue of the call is protecting America’s agricultural labor force in light of E-Verify and specifically HR-2164.
Current bill – H.R.2164 – “The Legal Workforce Act”
Summary, status and full text of legislation currently under consideration in Congress which mandates use of E-Verify by all employers in the United States. The bill was introduced on June 14, 2011 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).
What is E-Verify?
A government primer on the Internet-based employee eligibility system managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Overview of E-Verify and its history, including references to federal and state government application.
Past proposals, AgJOBS –
Senate version of AgJOBS compromise legislation introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Past proposals, AgJOBS – H.R. 2412
House version of AgJOBS compromise legislation introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA).
Commentary by Amherst College Copeland Fellow and migrant farm worker expert Daniel Altshuler examines the impact E-Verify, as it currently stands, is having on America’s farms.
Research & Analysis – “Why Domestic Agriculture Needs New, Workable Farm Labor Alternatives Now”
Key messages from the National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE) 2010 Survey of H-2A Employers.
Research – The Census of Agriculture
Every five years, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service releases a detailed census on the state of American agriculture.
Research – USDA Economic Research Service
The economic and policy analysis division of the USDA. Access to information and data on the U.S. agricultural industry.
And, Rep. Dan Lungren discussed his new legislation to work as a companion bill to HR-2164. A link to its summary is here.
So, why SAFE and why is Big AG (like the Western Growers Association) afraid of E-Verify?
Well, obviously, a large majority (maybe as much of 80%) of their agricultural labor is comprised of migrant illegal immigrants (probably most from Mexico). With a successful E-Verify program, they would lose all of their field workers, crops would not be harvested, cattle raised, milk gathered and their businesses would fail.
In the meantime, Americans would need to eat and would simply import fruit, vegetables and meat from other countries, like South American and China. America’s food supply would be outsourced as America’s farmlands lay fallow.
So, what does SAFE propose?
A guest worker program on the scale of a million plus workers a year. But, a program under the control of the United States Department of Agriculture. This is the essence of Rep Lungren’s bill.
We have a dilemma here.
America needs E-Verify to remove the “jobs magnet” for illegal immigration. However, America needs labor to harvest its food supply.
This proposal appears to be a suitable, temporary compromise. American agriculture needs to find better and more efficient methods to develop and harvest their crops in a less labor intense method.
America’s farmers and dairymen should NO LONGER be dependent upon foreign workers to conduct business. Our national security demands it.
Stay tuned, as I will have more later…..
Mexican-American farm workers harvest broccoli March 12, 2009 near El Centro, California
This is NOT really a shocker.
Farmers across the country are rallying to fight a Republican-sponsored bill that would force them and all other employers to verify the legal immigration status of their workers, a move some say could imperil not only future harvests but also the agricultural community’s traditional support for conservative candidates.
The bill was proposed by Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. It would require farmers — who have long relied on a labor force of immigrants, a majority here without legal documents — to check all new hires through E-Verify, a federal database run by the Department of Homeland Security devised to ferret out illegal immigrants.
Farm laborers, required like other workers to show that they are authorized to take jobs in the United States, often present Social Security numbers and some form of picture ID. Employers, many of them labor contractors providing crews to farms, have not been required to check the information and are discouraged by antidiscrimination laws from looking at it too closely. But it is an open secret that many farmworkers’ documents are false.
Supporters of E-Verify, an electronic system that is currently mandatory for most federal contractors but voluntary for other employers, argue that it would eliminate any doubt about workers’ legal status. But farmers say it could cripple a $390 billion industry that relies on hundreds of thousands of willing, low-wage immigrant workers to pick, sort and package everything from avocados to zucchini.
“This would be an emergency, a dire, dire situation,” said Nancy Foster, president of the U.S. Apple Association, adding that the prospect of an E-Verify check would most likely mean that many immigrant workers would simply not show up. “We will end up closing down.”
You know, California agricultural interests have been getting a subsidized ride for decades in using illegal immigrations, primarily from Mexico, for harvesting their crops. Crops which pay them BIG MONEY.
Here is how it works.
The illegal immigrations who are migrant and with no papers are allowed to use either forged “Green Card” documents or NO documents in order to work in the fields for below market wages or at least really low wages for back-breaking hard manual labor. They receive in some cases housing and very little in the way of employee benefits that most of us receive. This all to the benefit of the wealth land owners and often corporate agricutural interests.
They can sell their crops for a cheaper price but, of course, their profit is good – very good.
When these illegal folks need health care or education for their children (who are born here as American citizens), the government provides them – not the employer.
In a May letter to the members of the Judiciary Committee, Bob Stallman, the president of the American Farm Bureau, cited a Labor Department survey placing the percentage of illegal workers in the fields at more than 50 percent. Other groups say the figure is closer to 70 percent. Denying farmers that labor supply, Mr. Stallman wrote, would cost them $5 billion to $9 billion annually.
Mr. Smith’s bill has attracted more solid support from nonagricultural business leaders, opening a divide between them and agricultural interests. Many nonfarm businesses have concluded that some form of employee verification is inevitable.
National organizations of restaurant owners and home builders gave their backing. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which unites Latino businesses in Mr. Smith’s district that have often been at odds with him, is leaning toward endorsing the bill, said Ramiro A. Cavazos, the president of the chamber.
It is time for the Congress to pass E-Verify and end the BIG subsidy to the agricultural interests. If they cannot staff their fields with LEGAL workers, then they have some remedies.
One remedy would be increased mechanism and efficiency in the fields. Maybe if illegal immigrants did not work in the fields at such low wages, the AG interests would invest in machines to do the harvesting without the back-breaking labor.
Also, the Agricultural folks could seek Guest-Worker legislation in the Congress that identifies and returns workers to their country of origin after a period of time of working in the United States. Costs associated by these workers would be paid up front by the AG interests. Children born of these workers in the United States would NOT be considered native born citizens (although there might be a time consuming Constituional issue here) and would have to return with their parents after a period of time.
The prospects of a E-Verify mandate passing in the House this year is good. In the Democrat controlled Senate, not so good and I am positive President Obama would veto the legislation anyway.
Then, there is the pressure from the AG interests on the Republicans.
Mr. Smith’s E-Verify bill also includes a three-year grace period before growers would have to comply. But such caveats have done little to quell opposition from farm groups, who have been pleading for years for an overhaul to allow a legal immigrant work force.
And that discontent could manifest itself in elections, farm representatives warn.
“Most of our folks are Republicans,” said Paul Wenger, the president of the California Farm Bureau. “But if the Republicans do this to them without a workable worker program, it will change their voting patterns or at very least their involvement in politics.”
Democrat and Republican Members of Congress have turned a blind eye to illegal immigration and agriculture for decades, since before World War II. Money talks in politics and the AG folks spread their money around and have donated a lot to Republicans.
But, American voters understand that these farming companies are prospering to the detriment of the taxpayer and we now have huge social/financial costs dealing with the generations of illegal immigrants that have been allowed to come into this country.
The time to enforce immigration law is long past.
Unfortunately, it will not occur with mandatory E-Verify until after the 2012 Presidential election or even 2016, if Obama is re-elected President.
The ruling came down from SCOTUS this morning.
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that harshly penalizes businesses for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
In a ruling that could exert pressure on Congress and other states, the court in what amounts to a 5-3 decision declared that Arizona’s law fits within the state’s powers and does not infringe on federal turf. .
“Arizona hopes that its law will result in more effective enforcement of the prohibition on employing unauthorized aliens,” Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. wrote, adding that “the Arizona regulation does not otherwise conflict with federal law.”
The highly anticipated decision keeps intact the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act. Employers could have their business licenses suspended or revoked for hiring illegal immigrants, under the law.
The law also requires Arizona employers to use a federal program called E-Verify to check the immigration status of potential workers. Justices likewise upheld this provision, with Robert calling it “entirely consistent” with federal law.
The decision affirms the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had likewise upheld the state law. It is a defeat for the politically powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Obama administration, both of which had opposed the Arizona law.
Now, the House needs to get busy in mandating E-Verify for all employment in the United States. Big corporate business have been dumping their employment problems on American taxpayers for decades and it is time to stop.
Want to bet that with E-Verify, there will be more jobs available for legal resident Americans?
And, if the Congress, does not act or President Obama vetoes the legislation, then the states should take up the issue and pass their own laws.
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?
Well, too bad.
In an early indicator of how congressional Republicans will legislate on immigration, House GOP leaders are expanding an inquiry into an enforcement program that allows employers to check the immigration status of employees.
The E-Verify program has long been championed by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration panel, which will hold a hearing on it Thursday.
Many business owners believe that Gallegly and other House Republicans want to make E-Verify, currently a voluntary program for companies, mandatory. Critics of such a move, many of them farmers, warn that it could destabilize the agricultural economy, which is heavily dependent on undocumented immigrants, and jeopardize millions of jobs held by American citizens that are upstream and downstream of farm labor.
The fact is that agricultural mega-business have been using cheap, illegal aliens for most of their labor for decades at great cost to American taxpayers.
Well, it is way cheaper than hiring native born Americans or mechanizing their farming/manufacturing operations. Hence, more profits. But, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for the illegal aliens and their American born (and american citizen) children e.g. public education, medicaid, criminal justice et. al..
E-Verify is a sensible reform and if the large agricultural companies cannot obtain enough labor then there is always a guest worker program for which they can apply.
Let’s get the illegal aliens and their hidden costs out of the shadows and back to their home countries while supplying jobs for Americans.
I will gladly pay a bit more for my lettuce and grapes.