Immigration Enforcement Measures Passed by Senate Hurt Workers

July 10, 2009 (revised July 14, 2009)

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Adela de la Torre; (213) 674-2832

Symbolic Immigration Enforcement Measures Passed by the Senate Would Hurt All Workers

In debating a U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill, the U.S. Senate proposed to add yet another level of expense and job uncertainty for all workers by approving a provision that would mandate that federal contractors use the flawed E-Verify program and by attempting to thwart DHS’s decision to rescind a flawed Bush administration rule regarding Social Security Administration (SSA) “no-match letters.” These programs simply have unacceptable database error rates, and mandating their use would unnecessarily place countless thousands of American workers at risk for job termination.

“Some policymakers fail to understand that E-Verify and SSA no-match letters will have a devastating effect on all American workers,” said Tyler Moran, employment policy director for the National Immigration Law Center. “Instead of offering practical solutions for our immigration system, the Senate is playing politics as usual by mandating costly and ineffective enforcement measures.”

Actions in the Senate this week, paired with the recent announcements by the Council of Foreign Relations, underscore the urgency both parties feel for Congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform. By mandating flawed verification programs, we risk American jobs as well as the country’s financial livelihood in a time of economic uncertainty.