The National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) called Wednesday for a national day to protest the Legal Workforce Act of 2011 (.pdf) filed by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, which would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers within three years.
A press release issued by SEIU states: “Just ahead of the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of a mandatory E-Verify bill, small business owners, community leaders, and workers will unite on Wednesday, September 14 to speak out against Congressional proposals that would mandate virtually all employers to use an error-ridden government computer database created to determine a person’s authorization to work in this country.”
The Center for American Progress this week published a list that shows the economic cost of mandatory E-Verify, the federal electronic employee verification program. The list indicates, among other costs, that the federal government would lose $17.3 billion in revenue over 10 years and small businesses would have to spend $2.6 billion. The list also shows that the Deaprtment of Homeland Security will need anywhere from $765 million to $838 million to run mandatory E-Verify over a four-year period.
American Progress adds: “The real solution is to pair E-Verify with a program that ensures a full legal workforce and to phase it in gradually to allow the government to make it error proof.”
Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, which supports mandatory E-Verify, says there are really only two sides to this issue: elected officials who support the hiring of illegal aliens or those who support the hiring of fellow citizens: “At the end of the day, if elected officials are unwilling to protect our jobs, then maybe it’s time that those elected officials lost their jobs.”
Numbers USA, which promotes “Attrition Through Enforcement” immigration legislation and has “For Lower Immigration Levels” as its motto, actively supports Smith’s bill, indicating that 16 states currently have some form of state required E-Verify, including Florida.
In one of his first acts, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order requiring that all state agencies — and all companies that enter into contracts with state agencies — use E-Verify to check the employment elligibility of their workers.