And if the H-2B Problems Weren’t Enough, Here Comes E-verify
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – While Congress fiddles as H-2B burns, they are doing other things to “help” the industry by proposing a bare E-verify bill that would mandate that all employers in the U.S. use the E-verify system for new hires.
The prime sponsor of the bill called the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147) is Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino (R-Lycoming County) is also a sponsor on the bill.
The bill would not allow E-verify to be used to vet current employees. The system would be phased in over three years, with larger employers going first, and agricultural employers going last.
E-verify is a massive federal database that is intended to screen those who are in this country legally from those who are not here legally. The system has had accuracy problems, identifying some people as not having legal status when they were, in fact, legal and vice versa.
But implementing enforcement measures without addressing the workforce issues posed by the current immigration system would lead to a workforce crisis in agriculture and among those employers who rely on immigrant workers.
Sixty-one Congressmen have written a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner expressing their concern about the bill’s impact on the agricultural workforce. Pennsylvania Congressmen Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh County) and Mike Kelly (R-Butler County) are signatories to that letter. You can download a copy of that letter by clicking here.