Turn off the illegal-alien jobs magnet
Posted: June 25, 2011 1:00 am Eastern
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, has introduced a bill immigration-enforcement patriots have been demanding for over a decade, the Legal Workforce Act. Why are some people calling it a bad bargain, or even worse, a sellout?
Smith's bill, H.R. 2164, mandates the use of the federal E-Verify program by all employers across the nation. The bill is not perfect, but on balance, it's a giant step forward and deserves our support.
Not only is a federal E-Verify mandate a giant leap forward in itself, but the Smith bill greatly improves the E-verify program by requiring cooperation among all federal agencies to eliminate a gaping loophole. The present E-Verify program detects only fake Social Security numbers, not valid numbers being used by multiple persons. The existing law actually encourages identity theft. H.R. 2164 fixes that problem.
The Legal Workforce Act contains many features that make it a good bill.
- It repeals the existing paper-based I-9 system and replaces it with an electronic work eligibility check. The current system is plagued by widespread document fraud.
- Implementation will be phased in gradually, starting with the largest companies and small-business employers allowed three years.
- Allows an exemption for seasonal workers in agriculture who return to the same job each year.
- Pre-empts state laws mandating E-Verify but allows states to make business licenses conditional on good-faith participation in E-verify.
- It does NOT pre-empt state laws in other areas of immigration law enforcement.[More]