Workers’ Rights in Immigration Reform 2013-2014
Strengthening Our Country and Promoting Shared Prosperity
Workers’ Rights Priorities for Immigration Reform 2013
In 2013, the National Immigration Law Center will be fighting for a roadmap to first-class citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans living and laboring in our communities. First-class citizenship would mean that all Americans have the tools and opportunities necessary to become full participants in our democracy. We must ensure that new Americans have equal access to economic supports; quality health care; workplace protections, including the ability to organize to improve working conditions without fear of deportation; as well as the freedom to live free from fear of detention and deportation policies that tear apart families and devastate local communities and businesses.
NILC believes that any reform of the current immigration system must include the POWER Act’s robust worker protections. Because it seeks to ensure that enforcement of federal immigration law does not undermine workers’ basic workplace rights, the POWER Act would be a significant step towards guaranteeing a safe and humane working environment for all of America’s workers.
As Congress continues to discuss the merits of immigration reform, E-Verify, the federal government’s Web-based employment eligibility verification system, is being sold as a quick fix to curb the hiring and employment of unauthorized workers. But the unfortunate reality is that any federal mandate for employers to use E-Verify will adversely affect authorized workers, U.S. citizen and immigrant alike, and will particularly impact female workers.
E-Verify and Immigration Reform (PDF, 2 pp.)
NILC continues to strongly oppose a federal requirement that all employers use E-Verify, because of the program’s database error rates, lack of worker protections, lack of due process, insufficient privacy protections, and the significant amount of employer misuse of the program. However, a final immigration reform bill may, unfortunately, include an E-Verify mandate. Any mandatory electronic employment eligibility verification regime should, at a minimum, address the concerns summarized in this issue brief.
- SEE ALSO: Legal Workforce Act of 2013 (H.R. 1772). Introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith. Would require U.S. employers to use an electronic employment eligibility verification system, or EEVS.
Statement of Emily Tulli for (House) Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement hearing “How E-Verify Works and How it Benefits American Employers and Workers,” Feb. 27, 2013 (PDF, 2 pp.)
As Congress considers reforming our nation’s broken immigration policies, NILC remains strongly opposed to a federal requirement that all employers use E-Verify, because of the program’s database error rates, lack of worker protections, lack of due process, insufficient privacy protections, and the significant amount of employer misuse of the program. Any mandatory electronic employment eligibility verification regime should, at a minimum, address these concerns, and must be coupled with a broad legalization program.
ANALYSIS OF DRAFT WHITE HOUSE BILL
Title III: Employment Eligibility Verification & Worker Protections (PDF, 4 pp.)
This title calls for a dramatic increase of worksite immigration enforcement, including implementation of a mandatory electronic employment eligibility verification system (EEVS). Our concerns with a mandatory EEVS program are well documented. In light of these concerns, the due process and workers’ protections outlined in the White House proposal are the minimum safeguards required if the country is to enact a mandatory EEVS policy.
Rights Working Group held a conference call with experts to look into how requiring employers to use E-Verify would affect all people living and working in the United States.