From my friends at Numbers USA
ANOTHER CHANCE TO PUSH E-VERIFY — Phone to Get Long-Term Extension in Spending Bill
Your anti-illegal-immigration allies in the U.S. House have asked us to get your help Tuesday and Wednesday in obtaining signatures on a crucial letter (see text below).
They need you to support their last-ditch effort to put a long-term extension of the E-Verify program in the giant spending bill before Congress this week.
When we are asked directly by Members of Congress for help, we have to be willing to back them up. They know that the only way to succeed is if they have your help in phoning their colleagues and asking them to sign a crucial letter to House Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Boehner (R-Ohio).
The key point sentence of the letter is this:
“Please do everything within your power to protect legal workers by ensuring that the E-Verify program is reauthorized long-term in the Omnibus Appropriations Act.”
Pelosi and Boehner have the power to make that happen when the bill comes to the House/Senate negotiating committee if they would just resolve to do it.
Your assignment — if you choose to accept it — is to phone your own U.S. Representative and ask him/her to sign the letter.
Step 1: Just phone your Rep at 202-224-3121.
Step 2: Tell the staffers that their boss has already received a letter about E-Verify from Rep. Bilbray’s office.
Step 3: Read the key sentence that I quoted above.
Step 4: Ask that your Rep contact Congressman Bilbray’s office at 225-0508 and pledge to sign the letter — or at least to get another copy of it to read. (YOU should NOT call Mr. Bilbray’s office because that will tie up his phone.)
Step 5: Note that Mr. Bilbray has to receive the pledge by the close of business Wednesday.
Step 6: Emphasize that the American people are growing tired of the delaying tactics of Congress over the last six months. It is time to stop treating E-Verify as a political football and to give it the long-term authorization that states and businesses need to be able to rely on the program.
Thanks for taking quick action on this.
If your own Representative is Pelosi or Boehner, they obviously won’t be signing the letter. Just phone them and tell them that you agree with the letter that is being sent to them from other Members.
If your Rep is Bilbray or Shuler (original signers), give their staffs a break and call a neighboring Member of Congress.
Here is the letter you are asking your Congress(wo)man to sign:
Dear Madam Speaker and Republican Leader Boehner:
As Members of the House of Representatives, we appeal to you on behalf of American workers. Nationwide, 7.6 percent of the labor force–11.6 million workers–is unemployed, and millions more are involuntarily working part-time or have given up hope of finding a job. Estimates of the number of jobs that might be created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) vary widely. While no one can predict exactly how many jobs will be created, we believe that the American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are being used to create jobs for legal workers.
While the House version of the Recovery Act included two E-Verify-related measures to ensure American jobs would be protected, the Senate failed to include similar language. Because of the Senate’s oversight, we, the undersigned Members of the House of Representatives, urge you to protect taxpayers and legal workers by including these critical jobs protection provisions in any future economic recovery legislation. The House version of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, H.R. 1105, included a short-term extension of the E-Verify program through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2009). While a short-term extension is a step in the right direction, it is difficult for business to plan and effectively utilize the program without its secure future.
According to recent analysis, as many as 300,000 illegal aliens could receive jobs funded by the recovery program because these provisions were not included in the final version of the Recovery Act. If these provisions do not become law, not only will the important E-Verify program be in danger of expiring on March 6, 2009, but it may mean that hundreds of thousands of potential jobs for American workers will be compromised.
The E-Verify program enjoys a success rate of 99.6%, meaning that 99.6% of those legal workers checked by the program are verified through E-Verify without receiving a tentative non-confirmation (TNC) or having to take any type of corrective action. Testifying in June, Rep. Heath Shuler said, “E-Verify is handling at least one in eight new hires already. Based on recent load testing, the system has the capacity to handle 240 million queries a year – that’s four times the number of people in the United States who are usually hired in a given year.” The E-Verify program is reliable, easy to use and, most importantly, expedient.
Employers who break the law by hiring illegal immigrants create unfair competition in the labor market and depress wages for all workers. The Center for Immigration Studies has found that the current level of immigration has reduced the wages of the average native-born worker in a low-skilled occupation by 12% a year, or almost $2,000. Alexander Aleinikoff, a former Clinton Administration INS official, Dean of Georgetown Law School and co-chair of the Immigration Policy Review Team for the Presidential Transition of Barack Obama, calls it a “myth” that “there is little or no competition between undocumented workers and American workers . . . .”
According to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center, roughly 7.7 million illegal immigrants are employed in the United States in 2008. These are all jobs that currently unemployed United States workers–both citizens and legal immigrants–could and should have a chance to fill. If the E-Verify program is not reauthorized, this Congress and our President will spend more than $1 trillion of taxpayer money to possibly provide jobs for illegal workers. Please do everything within your power to protect legal workers by ensuring that the E-Verify program is reauthorized long-term in the Omnibus Appropriations Act.
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