Lamar Smith Holds Hearing on Job-Killer Legislation

September 8, 2011

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]

Texas Republican Touts Legislation That Would Strip Workers of Their Rights, Does Nothing to Bring Economy Back on Track

WASHINGTON, DC — In the face of mounting opposition to his proposal to make use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system mandatory, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) today held a hearing on his recently introduced “American Specialty Agriculture Act,” a bill that would strip farm workers of their labor rights as well as bring thousands of new guest workers into the U.S. while doing nothing for the undocumented workers currently picking our crops. Below is a statement from Tyler Moran, policy director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Lamar Smith’s American Specialty Agriculture Act is a misguided attempt to slow opposition to his bill that would make E-Verify mandatory. Smith is right to recognize that his E-Verify bill would have a devastating impact on agriculture, but the agriculture bill does nothing to solve the problem. And while he claims that both bills would create jobs, he has no evidence to support that claim. But we do know that the American Specialty Agriculture Act would bring in 500,000 new guest workers a year, strip agricultural workers of basic labor rights, and do absolutely nothing to help the American worker.

“Smith has proven that he is concerned about the American worker only when it helps advance his mass deportation agenda. President Obama today will lay out a plan to create new jobs in this country. California — the country’s largest agricultural player — has legislation pending that would address the needs of agricultural workers. These are the types of discussions and legislation we need to get our economy back on track and Americans back to work.”

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