Bills Undermine Rights of Workers, Children, Asylees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

House Bills Undermine Rights of Workers, Children, Asylees

WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center calls for rejection of a package of bills approved this week by the House Judiciary Committee that underscore conservatives’ “deportation only” strategy at the expense of privacy rights, civil rights, and fair labor standards for workers. The measures also would undermine critical due process protections for asylees and subject children to prolonged detention in facilities that are not age appropriate.

The bills that passed the House Judiciary Committee include:

H.R. 1147, the Legal Workforce Act, which requires all U.S. employers to use the error-prone E-Verify system, at great cost to the federal government, businesses and workers. The bill would put the jobs of hundreds of thousands of authorized U.S. workers at risk while pushing immigrant workers and businesses deeper into the underground economy.

A government-commissioned study found that Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) were four times more likely to receive an erroneous E-Verify determination under the currently voluntary E-Verify system, and that work-authorized immigrant workers were 27 times more likely to receive an erroneous E-Verify determination than U.S.-born workers.

H.R. 1149, the Protection of Children Act is a harsh departure from the U.S. tradition of protecting those who have been subjected to violence, human trafficking, abuse and other crimes. The bill undermines critical due process protections in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“It is the height of hypocrisy that the conservative-led House Judiciary Committee approved the E-Verify bill by asserting they are trying to protect U.S. workers without harming small businesses, when, in fact, the bill would do the opposite. The damage a mandatory E-Verify system would cause for American workers is clear. In this economy, the loss of just one job due to an error-prone government system is one job too many.

“Furthermore, the measures to remove critical human and civil rights for children and asylees are unconscionable. We have investigated detention facilities and found troubling violations, particularly for women and children. The legislation would set back our nation’s humanitarian legacy.”

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