FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]
Bill Would Push Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Out of Work, Force Millions of Others to Stand in Government Lines to Fix Their Record
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) today introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164), legislation that would force every employer in the country to use a flawed Internet-based tool, patterned on E-Verify, to verify workers’ eligibility to be employed in the U.S. The legislation would prevent hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized workers from getting jobs and force millions more to either stand in government office lines to remedy their records or risk losing employment.
Though the program is designed to push undocumented immigrants out of the workforce, its most serious flaw is that it categorically fails to achieve its stated purpose: it does not detect 54 percent of unauthorized workers who are put through the system. Below is a statement by Tyler Moran, policy director of the National Immigration Law Center and a national expert on electronic employment verification systems:
“Lamar Smith has introduced legislation that would serve as an economic poison pill, threatening our already fragile economy. According to the most conservative estimates, Smith’s bill would push hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and other lawfully authorized workers, many of them breadwinners for their families, out of their jobs and into unemployment lines. This isn’t the economic stimulus our country needs.
“Smith, whose real agenda is to place as many immigrants as possible into the deportation pipeline, is disguising this proposal as a means of stimulating the economy. His rhetoric ignores our country’s dependence on the eight million unauthorized workers currently here, many of whom do vital jobs that keep the country running. Furthermore, his bill would simply push these workers and their employers into the cash economy, resulting in billions of dollars of lost tax revenue.
“Instead of working with his colleagues across the aisle to rebuild our economy or fix our broken immigration system, Smith has chosen to force employers to use a fatally flawed system that he knows does not work and will only serve to advance his anti-immigrant agenda. It’s time for Smith to abandon his radical ideology and focus instead on restarting our sputtering economy.”
General summary of H.R. 2164. (PDF)
Statement of Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center, to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, Hearing on H.R. 2164, the Legal Workforce Act, June 15, 2011. (PDF)
To watch and listen to the hearing, go to http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_06152011.html. Click on the “Watch Video Webcast” icon under “Hearing Documentation.” Fast-forward to minute 28:40 (when hearing starts) or to minute 1:13:24 (when Ms. Moran begins her testimony).
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