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Democrat Anxiously Awaits His Party's Promised Action To Extend E-Verify
Remember the famous ballad sung by the late Frank Sinatra, September Song?
Ironically, Sinatra recorded it in 1965, the same year that disastrous new immigration legislation was enacted, legislation which has created a subsequent massive immigration invasion, adding some 50 million new immigrants and their offspring since then.
September Song's final stanzas are:
"Oh, it's a long long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to brown
One hasn't got time for the waiting game
"Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
And these few precious days I'll spend with you
These precious days I'll spend with you."
Unlike the song, we don't have until November to extend the most effective tool of real immigration reform, E-Verify, which helps employers make sure job seekers are here legally. Its presently-scheduled expiration date is September 30, 2009.
That's right—it's only one day until E-Verify is scheduled to stop, to go unfunded.
As a Democrat, I have been writing for well over a year to my party's leadership and getting back some very encouraging letters from Senators such as Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein insisting that they will support the E-Verify extension proposal in bills under consideration.
For example, in her letter to me of September 9, 2009, Senator Feinstein wrote
"I support a tough and smart approach to U.S. immigration reform, including measures to protect U.S. workers and reduce unauthorized employment in the United States. On July 9, 2009, the Senate passed the "Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2010" (H.R. 2892) which I supported. The bill includes a permanent authorization for the voluntary E-Verify program and requires its use by all Federal contractors. The legislation also prohibits DHS from using funding to rescind the 'No Match' letter policy, which currently matches an employee's name and Social Security number and alerts the employer when the data does not match with Federal records. Additionally, the bill reaffirms that DHS must complete the 700-miles fence along the U.S. - Mexico border.
"All three of these measures were approved unanimously during debate of the bill on the Senate Floor. The House of Representatives has passed a different version of the "DHS Appropriations Act of 2010," which also includes an extension of the E-Verify program. At this time, the differences between the two bills are being reconciled in a conference committee between the Senate and the House."
Senator, it is now Show Time! Where are we?
When recently I received a general email from Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), I did check House Speaker Pelosi's web site for a statement from her about E-Verify. But when I went to her search engine I got this:
"Did you mean: e verify Your search–E-Verify- did not match any documents."
However, the Speaker offers on her web site a full page of statements she has made, covering everything from swine flu and health care to a September 21, 2009 statement on "building an innovative economy",which would have been the perfect place to announce the E-Verify extension.
Then there is the Obama Administration's position. It again seems to favor E-Verify's extension: When Governor of Arizona, now DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano signed a law requiring that all new hires be confirmed through E-Verify. More recently, Napolitano has stated her support for E-Verify and dismissed the program's critics: "Some of the arguments that are made about how it works or does not work don't carry much water with me. I've already used it for several years. It works." (The Daily Record, March 31, 2009)
In his Fiscal year 2010 budget request, President Obama has asked for $112 million for E-Verify. (FY2010 Budget Request Appendix: Dept of Homeland Security) In a "Budget Overview" document, the White House notes that "funding of $110 million is provided to continue expansion of E-Verify." (DHS Budget Overview)
Admittedly right now the Congressional dockets are filled with numerous other items such as health care, etc…But I for one am not all that certain that this vital program is really so popular with some of my fellow Democrats who have publicly espoused their enthusiasm for its extension.
The days dwindle down and Congress, controlled by my party, continues to disenchant most Americans with its performance. In fact, even big Democratic donors are not contributing up to expected levels according to the September 25, 2009 Washington Post article Democrats Are Jarred by Drop In Fundraising
Then we learn from the nation's leading business paper, The Wall Street Journal, in a September 25 page one story, "The Long Slog: Out of Work, Out of Hope" that
"Nearly 15 million Americans are jobless, and the number is widely expected to remain high even as the economy slowly begins to recover. Part of the problem many of the unemployed face: the very fact that they have been out of work a long time.
"About five million of the jobless are what economists class as 'long-term unemployed', people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. As challenging as it is for anyone to find a good job in this economy, it can be even harder for people out of work a long time.
"Skills atrophy. Demoralization sets in and can become permanent. Some potential employers shy away."
Should we average citizens of all political persuasions therefore continue to believe the propaganda from the US Chamber of Commerce, the ideological and ethnic lobbies that bringing in more and more immigrants is vital to America's future?
What are my Democrats waiting for?
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.