Roy Beck's picture

Published:  

  by  Roy Beck
Mostly good news to report this evening from multiple sources in the U.S. House -- negotiators have agreed to a 5-year re-authorization of the E-Verify program to keep illegal aliens out of U.S. jobs and without the strings attached that had threatened to strangle it in future years. There are several indicators that many Members of Congress in both Parties really listened to you the citizens through your hundreds of thousands of faxes and phone calls this past week.

'CLEAN' BILL IS TRADEOFF FOR SHORTER TIME

We are sorry that we didn't achieve the 10-year extension that E-Verify deserves after its excellent record in recent years.

But a 5-year extension will protect the program through the next President's term and provide some stability for states, counties and cities to base their actions on.

(Business lobbyists and other opponents of workplace verification systems had tried to limit the reauthorization to only 3 years.)

Most importantly for now, we have been assured that all key players in both Parties have agreed to remove language that would have allowed mischief by appropriators next year. We wanted to make certain there was no language that could have made it easy to strangle or starve the E-Verify program in the future by backroom appropriation maneuverings. We have been promised that won't be in the bill coming to the floor.

THANKS TO CITIZEN ACTIONS

We have come to you citizen users of our NumbersUSA website a number of times this month to impress the Members of the U.S. House with how popular E-Verify is with their constituents.

More than a dozen states over the last two years have passed laws mandating the use of E-Verify to one extent or another by their state's businesses. In addition, Pres. Bush has recently ordered that all federal contractors use E-Verify. Yet, the whole E-Verify system is scheduled to end on Nov. 1 unless Congress re-authorizes it.

We always felt that too much was at stake for congressional leaders to let E-Verify die, but we have been alerting you instantly of backroom efforts to seriously weaken the program and plant seeds of vulnerability for the future. We -- and you -- have insisted on a clean bill.

Now, all indications are that the House will consider a clean bill on Wednesday -- and pass it.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas asked us to convey this message: "Please thank your members for their efforts. They are an amazing group of men and women."

For now, we are withdrawing our request that you call your U.S. Representative about this issue. Should there be any unexpected negative change tomorrow, we will alert you immediately.

SEN. MENENDEZ REMAINS OBSTACLE IN SENATE

If all goes as House Leaders plan, E-Verify will jump its House hurdle tomorrow and then go to the Senate.

Unfortunately, Sen. Menendez of New Jersey is reportedly responsible for a hold that has been placed on E-Verify. He and his staff have indicated their intention to kill E-Verify if they don't win 550,000 additional visas for permanent foreign workers to take jobs in occupations that are laying off American workers.

As soon as we see that the House action has occurred as planned, we will further mobilize American citizens to help their Senators understand that importing foreign workers in a soft job market is a poor way to campaign for re-election in the fall.

We will need 61 Senators to break Sen. Menendez' "hold." Or we'll need Senate Majority Leaders Reid and Durbin to be able to persuade Sen. Menendez that his anti-American-worker actions are embarrassing the Senate and his Party.

Tags:  
Interior Enforcement
E-Verify

Updated: Wed, Jul 30th 2008 @ 3:40pm EDT

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