Immigration Patriots Divided Over Lamar Smith E-Verify Bill

As
I worried in my piece



American Jobs For
American Workers—No Compromise On E-Verify!
,
Judiciary chair Lamar Smith has indeed compromised with
the Chamber of Commerce and included state preemption
language to his otherwise-admirable


Legal Workforce Act
.

In
exchange for


support

from the


Chamber of Commerce,



National Home Builders
Association
,
and


National Restaurant
Association
,
Smith inserted Section 6 to the


Legal Workforce Act
.
It states:


“PREEMPTION- The provisions of this section preempt any
State or local law, ordinance, policy, or rule,
including any criminal or civil fine or penalty
structure, insofar as they may now or hereafter relate
to the hiring, continued employment, or status
verification for employment eligibility purposes, of
unauthorized aliens. A State, locality, municipality, or
political subdivision may exercise its authority over
business licensing and similar laws as a penalty for
failure to use the verification system described in
subsection (d) to verify employment eligibility when and
as required under subsection (b).”

In English, this means that a state
can only take away a business license of an employer of
illegal aliens if the Federal government finds it guilty first. 


FAIR President Dan Stein


lays out

the obvious problem with
“preemption”
:



“E-Verify`s
effectiveness depends upon the willingness of the
administration to enforce the law…If this administration
– or any future one – continues to obstruct immigration
enforcement, states must retain the right to implement
and enforce their own laws that sanction employers who
knowingly hire illegal aliens. The ideal bill mandates
E-Verify nationally while allowing states to retain the
right to enforce the law and protect their citizens.”


Still, FAIR seems
to more or less support the Smith bill. But other
immigration patriots have come out strongly against it.


Congressman


Lou Barletta,

after fighting the


American Civil
Liberties Union

in court for o
ver
five years

to uphold the


Hazleton Illegal
Immigration Relief Act
,
and


finally winning

less than two weeks ago, is not keen now to see the law
nullified. He is vowing to


lead the fight against

it in Congress. He says:

“The federal
government knows the states and cities will enforce the
law because they`re the ones bearing the brunt of
illegal immigration, and the American people know the
federal government won`t enforce its own immigration
laws.  The
Legal Workforce Act is a


slap in the face
of states

like


Arizona
; Georgia; and

Alabama
; and cities like

Hazleton,
Pennsylvania;



Valley Park,
Missouri
;
and


Fremont, Nebraska
.
The Legal Workforce Act pretends to solve the problem of
illegal immigration, but in reality it will
make it worse. I strongly oppose the Legal Workforce Act, and I`m
encouraging my colleagues to do the same. This bill must
be stopped.”


Arizona Senate President


Russell Pearce,

who authored the recently-upheld Legal Arizona Workers
Act which will also be voided by this bill, has
expressed similar concerns in an


op-ed

in the Politico
:




“We already have plenty of laws against hiring illegal
immigrants, which the




federal government does not enforce
.
There is virtually no chance that President Barack Obama




will enforce

the Legal Workforce Act any more than he, or for that
matter




President George W. Bush,

enforced our other immigration laws. While we cross our
fingers that Obama will enforce the Legal Workforce
Act, 
Arizona
and the other states
 already
enforcing the law will be prevented from doing so.”


[
Ariz.
law is best on immigration,

June 17, 2011]


Kansas Secretary of State
and immigration lawyer

Kris Kobach
, who helped

craft and defend
the two laws,
 
writes in the
New York Post that
If
Smith`s bill passes, it will be 1986 all over again.”[
Another
amnesty? | New bill hobbles border states
, June 16, 2011]

In contrast,
NumbersUSA`s Roy Beck and Center for Immigration
Studies` Mark Krikorian have both vigorously defended
the bill. 

Beck

writes
that he shared the above concerns, but

“the history of E-Verify leads us
to believe that this law will be different. The fact is
that over a quarter of a million employers have already
chosen to use E-Verify voluntarily, with another 1,300
joining each week. Once all employers are required to
use it, we believe that the vast majority of employers
will, because they actually want to obey the law,
especially if it is easy.”

Krikorian,
while noting some states might have a small net loss in
enforcement,

writes
in
National Review

“The point is
that, though this is a concession, it isn`t a big thing
to give away in exchange for all employers in all
states to use E-Verify in hiring. Remember, California,
New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington
State are among the top-12 illegal immigration states
that will never pass E-Verify mandates on their
own and they account for close to half the illegal
population (and I`m not optimistic about Texas or
Florida, numbers 2 and 3 in the size of the illegal
population). So we`re


trading
 away a state power of very limited utility in exchange for a national
standard that will prevent most illegals from finding
new jobs (the majority of illegal aliens work on the
books, not for cash, and thus are vulnerable to
E-Verify).”[Link in
original.]

Krikorian
concludes,

“This is a
restrictionist moment, with a


Republican House
, a
committed and knowledgeable


Judiciary
Committee chairman
,
lots of vulnerable Democratic senators, and a


Democratic
president up for reelection

with 9 percent unemployment. Let`s not let our moment
pass.” [Links added.]

My position:
I am on the

fence
right now. 
I was initially completely dead set against the
bill, but Roy Beck`s point about the likely

large increase in E-Verify usage
, even if the feds
do not stringently enforce the law, has made me think
twice about it.

However,
even if I end up agreeing that
“pre-emption”
for E-Verify might be an acceptable compromise, I don`t
see why Rep. Smith needs to give it to the

Treason Lobby
at the get-go—if we are in such a
“restrictionist moment”.  

As I noted
before, these same business lobbyists now endorsing the
bill with preemption acknowledged that the law bill

could pass without their support
.

At the very
least, I believe Smith should have tried to pass with
bill without the preemption language.

Then I might
be willing to accept it as a compromise if it
materialized that

immigration patriots
could not get it through.

Lamar Smith
is considered to be a hardliner on immigration. But this
bill will need to still go through the Democratic Senate
and be

signed by Obama
if it`s to become law.


There is an alarming possibility that, having already
given away the first bargaining chips, Treason Lobby
Democrats will try to tie the DREAM Act and/ or guest
workers to the bill.

"Washington Watcher" [email
him
] is an anonymous source Inside The
Beltway.