Big Business Lobby Surrenders; Mandatory E-Verify Highly Probable

Published on June 17th, 2011

During a U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Enforcement Policy meeting held on Wednesday, the big business lobby threw in the towel on E-Verify and endorsed the “Legal Workforce Act” introduced earlier this week by Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith. Three of America’s largest and most powerful organizations that have tacitly endorsed cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants bowed to the inevitable and came out in favor of a mandatory national E-Verify by bill. The three organizations are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation that represents more than 3 million businesses, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Restaurant Association Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson, commended the Legal Workforce Act. In his statement Johnson said that E-Verify “establishes a fully electronic employment verification obligation with a clear safe harbor for employers that act in good faith.” Johnson also promised to “to work with the Chairman [Smith] to resolve any impediments to passage as the legislation moves forward.” Barry Rutenberg, on behalf of the NAHB, stated that the “influx of illegal immigrants into the United States is a concern for all business owners, and the members of the NAHB do not support illegal immigration.” Like Johnson, Rutenberg pledged to cooperate with the House mandatory E-Verify works its way toward President Obama’s desk for his final signature. Speaking to the Immigration Subcommittee, Rutenberg vowed that the “NAHB looks forward to working with you as you seek to advance mandatory E-Verify legislation.” Finally, in his written statement, Craig Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse which has used E-Verify since 2006, testified on behalf of the NRA. Miller observed that “the Legal Workforce Act reaches the right balance—a broad federal E-Verify mandate that is both fast and workable for businesses of every size under practical real world working conditions.” This is a remarkable about face for the Chamber, the NAHB and the NRA. All three have consistently opposed efforts at immigration enforcement and ignored their members who have hired illegal aliens. With the Chamber, the NAHB and the NRA now on our side,  important, well funded layers of resistance have been removed and the probability of the Legal Workforce Act passing both Congressional chambers is high.

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