This week, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions attached an important amendment to the recently passed bill, S.1845, that would extend unemployment benefits. Amendment number 2626 would mandate the use of E-Verify which would ensure that only legally authorized workers could hold American jobs. Last year, Senator Chuck Grassley introduced S.202 that would also require employers to use E-Verify.
At a time when more than 20 million Americans cannot find full-time work, 7 million illegal immigrants are, according to data from the Pew Hispanic Research Trends Project, employed in non-farm jobs. Employers have no excuse not to depend on E-Verify to check newly hired employees’ immigration status. The program is free, easy, virtually error free and overwhelmingly supported by Americans. In 2013, employers relied on E-Verify to instantly confirm the status of more than 25 million employees.
E-Verify’s supporters know that the program keeps illegal immigrants from getting jobs that should go to Americans. But less understood is that E-Verify would help good guys – those employers who want to hire Americans – compete with their unscrupulous rivals who profit from cheap labor.
Stan Marek is the chief executive officer of the Marek Family of Companies, one of the largest commercial interior contractors in Texas. In business for more than 75 years, Marek started out paying union wages, and its workers lived middle-class lives.
Marek says the last four years have been difficult. Referring to illegal aliens working off the books for cash under the table, Marek says, “When someone is paying less per hour, no workman's comp, no payroll taxes, [no] unemployment – we can't overcome that.” Every day, an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrant construction workers are on the job in Texas. Complicating Marek’s problem is that his customers once wanted jobs done to exacting specifications. Today, however, cheaper is more important than professionalism. [“Texas Contractors Say Playing by the Rules Doesn’t Pay,” by Wade Goodwyn, NPR, April 11, 2013]
Some claim that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would level the playing field by making all the workers legal. But because amnesty would also increase the labor pool, it would make it tougher for construction workers as well as other Americans to find jobs. The best answer is E-Verify which would remove the jobs' magnet and deter illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S. under the false assumption that employment is readily available.
Please go to the CAPS Action Alert Page here and send a FAX in support of Senator Grassley’s mandatory E-Verify bill.