Is E-Verify bill in conflict with conservative ideals?

When Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, proposed the Legal Workforce Act earlier this month, the bill was co-sponsored by 11 House Republicans — a number that now has grown to 26 — and hailed by some as a solution to illegal workers.

But a vocal minority thinks it flies in the face of core conservative values to promote small federal government and states’ rights, and some predict a shoot-out between senior congressmen and the freshmen who were elected by a Tea Party constituency sick of Washington overreaching.

The bill would require all employers to check the Social Security numbers of potential hires using the Internet-based E-Verify system, which has been voluntary since 1997.

The mandatory program would roll out in several waves, depending on size and industry. Federal, state and municipal government employers, and companies with more than 10,000 workers, would have to comply within six months. All other employers would have to comply within one to two years, with the exception of the immigrant-heavy agricultural industry, which would have three years.

It also would pre-empt state laws that impose civil or criminal penalties on employers who fail to use E-Verify although states would retain the authority to strip noncompliant employers of their business licenses.

Rep. Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania Republican, is crying foul. He says that until current federal immigration laws are enforced, passing another one is pointless. (GOP congressman on stopping illegal immigration: I’ll do anything short of shooting them)

“I’m not against E-Verify. My gripe is why must we pre-empt states’ rights when they’re the only government entity that’s serious?”

Kris Kobach, lead counsel for the anti-immigration Immigration Reform Law Institute and Kansas secretary of state, sees a rising conflict amongst conservatives.

“I think there’s going to be a large number of freshmen in Congress who agree, who were put there by a part of the electorate that was frustrated with the emasculation of states and an erosion of states’ rights,” said Kobach, a Republican.

In a press conference tomorrow morning, several influential Republicans, including former Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, and Jim Harper of the Cato Institute, will express their opposition to the bill, which they call “flawed and burdensome.”

A House Judiciary Committee Republican staff member who did not wish to be identified argued that the Constitution grants the federal government authority over immigration policy. While the Constitution never mentions the word “immigration,” the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that the naturalization clause in Art. I, Sec. 8, grants that authority.

But that may be changing. In May, the Supreme Court ruled that an Arizona law mandating the use of E-Verify does not conflict with federal law. On June 6, it voided a lower court ruling against a similar law in Hazleton, Pa.

The former mayor of Hazelton Lou Barletta had banned employers from hiring illegal immigrants. (Congressman calls for IRS investigation of CAIR)

“I believe the municipal, state and federal government can work in harmony, but it’s a huge warning sign to stop that effort [in the bill],” Barletta said.

Kobach, who wrote the Arizona law, agreed that all levels of government should work cooperatively. In addition, he and Barletta point to a clause in the Smith bill exempting agricultural workers from verification if their employer says they are being rehired—in essence, being “grandfathered in,” they say.

“The bill would establish a fairly toothless E-Verify requirement while de-fanging [the states],” Kobach wrote in a recent op-ed piece.

Democratic critics of the proposal say it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and an even more bloated bureaucracy—a charge usually lodged by Republicans. In a recent Government Accountability Office report, the Customs and Immigration Services estimated the annual program management would cost $70 million and as much as $400 million in compliance activities and staff, depending on how the law was implemented.

The Social Security Administration is still refining its numbers but says the increased workload could get expensive.

While the E-Verify program is 99.5 percent accurate, critics of the bill note that still means tens of thousands of legal workers, including U.S. citizens, could be mistakenly flagged and require further investigation every year.

Smith cites a recent Rasmussen poll showing 82 percent of voters support the bill, but his opponents on both sides of the aisle have questioned those numbers.

Meanwhile, Barletta, currently a congressman representing Pennsylvania’s 11th district, is offering his own bill — the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act — which would strip federal funding from local governments that don’t enforce the national laws already on the books.

  • brittanicus

    What the Obama administration needs to do is truly reveal the annual cost of illegal immigration at the Federal level? That every US State should also notify the general public of the money that is released to subsidize illegal aliens in each state? Mexican journalist Evangelina Hernandez having done her own statistical review concluded America pays out $338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, CATERING TO ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT COULD BE SAVED FOR THE LEGAL US TAXPAYERS Bob Dane Communications Director for FAIR, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Kristen Williamson is Communications Assistant for FAIR, named the most abusive States, This is a reflection of poor immigration policy and those heading a black list is the Sanctuary State of California, followed closely by Montgomery County, Maryland, Washington State, Chicago, Illinois and New haven, Connecticut.
    Dane states, “Despite California’s $26 billion budget deficit, the state spends $21.5 billion dollars annually subsidizing illegal alien health care, education, welfare, other state benefits and criminal justice. Every California native-born household chips in $2438 each year to help.” The assertive Liberal Capitol of Sacramento need to be Tarred and feathered as in the 18th Century and driven from their State Congressional seats for good. I think Mr. Dane has drastically underestimated the illegal alien invaders counted, as it wouldn’t surprise me if there was 3.2 million in the San Fernando Valley? And some of the most abusive States where US citizens and permanent residence get the rough end of the financial stick. One state that Mr. Dane failed to mention is Democrat-Lib Sen. Harry Reid’s Nevada.
    The State of Nevada is gaining a negative reputation for an invasion of the Desert State and the thousands silently employed in Casino’s and entertainment industry. It’s become a very painful fiscal situation in the last three decades as Starting with Arizona; it’s possible the American people–HAVE FINALLY AWAKEN–from the mesmerism dream and having been taken for a astronomical dollar ride. It’s not just the illegal alien prominent Liberal State of California, but nationwide? Every US State has been overrun by economic illegal aliens, leeching from government handouts. Every State has serious money troubles that will not cease until the US Government really secures the border with military deployment, the incessant upgrades of a mandatory E-Verify system of operation in every American business, to include Secure Communities that demands cooperation between ICE and all municipal police.
    There is a giant mass departure evolving around the country as illegal aliens scatter towards more tolerant States. Multitudes of foreign nationals, already are heading for the once sparkling state of California, Nevada that are the main refuge locations. But now that business has used their money influences in Texas, Illinois and other open States. The illegal immigrant dregs of Alabama, Tennessee and States constructing zero-tolerance policies will be in their rear view mirror, but geared up to start harvesting the public entitlement programs. In New Haven, Connecticut the council allowed illegal aliens to be issued county ID to anybody, without the need for official documents regardless of their immigration status. Absolute are the United States of America money troubles, with the Liberal Democrats wondering if the 14 Trillion tax ceiling isn’t raised, how are they going to support the propagating illegal immigrants of either over stays or from South of the border?
    If the State of Washington is issuing Drivers Licenses with nothing more than a fake SSA number and a utility bill, then this country is heading for a dung heap. Washington will even accept a phony Mexican Matrícula Consular ID cards as proof of identification. You can even get the DL using a fake birth Certificate. Many US States are in violation of the Federal Immigration laws, by not introducing “Secure Communities” that give ICE and Homeland Security access to fingerprints of any person who comes into their jurisdiction.

    What the Liberal backed Congress hasn’t reckoned on, is the growing appearance of the TEA PARTY, with its agenda

    Journalist Evangelina Hernandez also stated to her interviewer Tina Griego, journalist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News if illegal aliens moved back to Mexico or other countries, it would leave just California an extra $10.2 billion to spend on overloaded school systems, bankrupt hospitals and overrun prisons. It would leave highways cleaner, safer and less congested. Everyone could understand one another as English became the dominant language again.
    Very interesting today that California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law into effect, that retailers on the internet must collect sales tax, to assist in reducing the 26 billion dollar state deficit. But it’s my view that they should start a zero-tolerance policy on removing the illegal alien invaders, who are stealing peoples ID and raping the welfare system.
    Judge the TEA PARTY on its merits as it will return our god given right to free speech, dissolve the corruption of the “Politically Correct” concept, and reduce the Federal government to limits as written in the US Constitution and the taxing of the people less. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and TEA PARTY chair person will lead this final battle and make President Obama a one term president. The administration has paid out a trillion dollars in bailouts and the useless stimulus package and still wants to spend over another Trillion dollars (According to the nonprofit Heritage Foundation) to process and legitimize the 20 million plus illegal alien occupants, squatting in America.
    Any true American whose sees the failing of previous Administration and its Presidents, influenced by the elites in Washington, lobbyists that for money and power and the best benefits that concealed cash can by. Under Michele Bachmann’s watch there will be–NO AMNESTY–of any kind, Sanctuary Cities and States policies will be eradicated; No DREAM ACT, as like most are connected to more Chain Migration and of these deceiving programs encourages further illegal immigration to our shores and borders. We must elect a strong willed leader who will secure our borders and cauterize the loophole for the immediate citizenship babies of illegal aliens and the family living like ghouls of the financial flesh of US taxpayers.
    You should also introduce yourself to the people who run this devastated country at the Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121. You can also find out the truth of what illegal immigration is costing the average American, stolen by IRS government agents and politicians to pacify the growing population of foreign nationals. Since the inception of the 1986 immigration law, to push through the innocuous amnesty, it has never worked.
    Attn: Thousands of my blog followers have asked me to start my own website, but I have refrained from this, as I have been threatened in the past.

  • rickyleaks

    Does reading the news lead you to believe you actually know what’s going on in America?

    This may be shocking, but here are 5 things you’re most likely wrong about.

    You never heard of Sarah Palin before she was announced as McCain’s running mate. If you believe that her name is really Sarah Palin, you’re wrong.

    Palin and McCain said they were going to reform Washington. If you think they were going to do this by getting elected, you’re wrong.

    Obama disappeared for 2 weeks after winning the election only to reappear looking exhausted sitting next to a John McCain, with a bad poker face, for a press photo shoot. If you believe Obama has free will and the feds aren’t writing his teleprompter, you’re wrong.

    If you believe that we caught Bin Laden immediately following the release of Obama’s birth certificate, you’re wrong.

    If you believe that the feds haven’t recruited editors, journalists, and moderators to write the headlines and control the commenting on major news sites in an effort to suppress this information, you’re wrong.

    The fourth of July is quickly approaching. If you love our country and want to live in a free democratic society, not an illusion, do not hesitate to share the following story. Share this with others at websites such as; Mediaite, Politico, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Daily Caller, Raw Story, The Blaze, Time, and all other local online newspapers.

    This is what our federal government doesn’t want leaking out

  • Dawnsblood

    Immigration is a Federal responsibility period. I do not see any intelligent reason why they can not require an employer to check an applicant against the E-Verify database. They already make an employer verify a SSN against 2 or 3 different forms of ID so they can collect their precious taxes. All this does is make the employer check that person’s info against a database to insure that they are who they claim to be and that it is all legit.

    There is a really good reason why the unemployment rates for HS dropouts and students are over 20%. It is because low skill jobs go to illegals willing to work under the table for less then our crazy minimum wage. Why hire an unskilled worker for $7.25 an hour when other folk work for much less?

  • Texas Chris

    You want to get rid of illegal labor? Get rid of business regulation, and stop taxing businesses. Those two things alone drive the cost of LEGAL employment too high, to the point where employers can’t afford to hire LEGAL workers.

    • OldMexican

      Re: condiwarcriminal,

      Sure, let’s get rid of business regulation. Let the workers crap in the lettuce. Let 4-year-olds go to work in the fields. Let pilots and truck drivers work for 24 hours straight. It’ll be utopia.

      Only the economics illiterate and intellectually challenged (or “leftist boob” to put it more succinctly) like condiwarcriminal would believe that by getting rid of government regulation, people would suddenly make very strange, irrational and uneconomical choices.

  • Texas Chris

    What part of UNCONSTITUTIONAL is so hard to understand?

    You cannot allow the federal government to deputize every employer in the country by force. The 3rd amendment is there for a reason.

  • kingfish

    These 545 FOOLS in congress are STILL piddling around on the “ALL ILLEGALS ARE FINE REGARDLESS OF THE $385 BILLION ANNUAL COST TO TAXPAYERS” bandwagon while the country is in meltdown.

    A recap of the comments:

    1) A House Judiciary Committee Republican staff member ‘WHO DID NOT WISH TO BE IDENTIFIED’ argued that the Constitution grants the federal government authority over immigration policy. (enough said)

    2) “The bill would establish a fairly TOOTHLESS E-Verify requirement while de-fanging [the states]. (sure would, the STATE laws are not “toothless”)

    3) a clause exempting agricultural workers from verification if their employer says they are being rehired—in essence, being “grandfathered in” (another way to bypass STATE laws)

    4) It would pre-empt state laws that impose civil or criminal penalties on employers who fail to use E-Verify (yes it would, but states are passing 10th Amendment Laws to NULLIFY the never-ending unconstitutional laws being passed by congress)

    5) Democratic critics of the proposal say it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and an even more bloated bureaucracy (BALONEY!)

    6) “I think there’s going to be a large number of freshmen in Congress who agree, who were put there by a part of the electorate that was frustrated with the emasculation of states and an erosion of states’ rights,” (True)

    • Texas Chris

      First, immigration is left up to the STATES. Naturalization is left up to the Federal Government. HUGE difference.

      Second, eVerify basically deputizes by force every single employer in the country. The costs to employers will be HUGE.

      Ask yourself:
      Isn’t it hard enough to find a job right now?
      Isn’t the Fed Gov too big already?

      • kingfish

        Saying the cost of E-Verify is HUGE is another BIG LIE. BOTH parties are responsible for the never-ending AMNESTY bills – they’re paid off by the globalists to pass it plus the North American Union with no borders between the U.S, Mexico and Canada. Congress could care LESS what Americans want – they’ve repeatedly and blatantly demonstrated that.

        Most Americans, regardless, of party are FOR secure borders and against AMNESTY. The Chamber of Commerce is supposed to represent ALL businesses, but they don’t. They use their big staff of lawyers and 100% of their member dues to fight illegal immigration legislation for the 20% of lawbreaking businesses who hire illegals. The other 80% small non-lawbreaking businesses who don’t agree with AMNESTY should cancel their Chamber of Commerce membership.

        If you employ illegals, which I suspect, you’re a traitor. I don’t hire contractors who employ them.

        • OldMexican

          Re: kingfish,

          Most Americans, regardless, of party are FOR secure borders and against AMNESTY.

          Most Americans think that Medicare and Social Security don’t need to be cut. Most Americans are woefully clueless and ignorant in basic economics. So saying that most Americans want protectionism and mercantilism ain’t saying much about “most Americans.”


          The economics behind immigration are clear: Labor in America is UNAFFORDABLE, because of payroll taxes and regulation. Employers that hire illegal immigrants are not looking for cheap labor, they’re looking for affordable labor (and no, it is not necessarily the same thing.) Immigrants risk coming to the US to receive a higher wage than what they can obtain in their country of origin; so just for starters, employers are NOT paying the cheapest rate they can, they have to offer a higher wage than what immigrants obtain in order to entice them to work. So forget about this “cheap labor” crap, because you would be showcasing your own ignorance.

          Second, it does NOT MATTER that E-Verify is free. Many websites are free, BUT YOUR TIME IS NOT, YOU BOOBS!!!! You have to allocate a person’s TIME to fill that damned thing, and as a legal immigrant, I can tell you: It does NOT take “just a few minutes;” you have to be careful not to make a single mistake because you are swearing to tell the truth under penalty of perjury, so NO HONEST MISTAKES ARE ALLOWED.

      • OldMexican

        Re: condiwarcriminal,

        Then hit the employers of illegals with gigantic fines instead.

        It’s not like it’s their own money, is it???

    • OldMexican

      Re: kingfish,

      These 545 FOOLS in congress are STILL piddling around on the “ALL ILLEGALS ARE FINE REGARDLESS OF THE $385 BILLION ANNUAL COST TO TAXPAYERS” bandwagon while the country is in meltdown.

      What annual cost to taxpayers? You’re talking out of your ass. Or provide a linky-link.

  • cmunit

    Cut to the chase … http://www.E-VerifyObama.com

    Also, copy then google this … 042684425

  • nugy

    that vocal minority must be the race ,the spanish illegal group.i use the english name because we speak and write english in the usa.i am for e-verify