H.R. 2164 “Legal Workforce Act”
To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make mandatory and
permanent requirements relating to use of an electronic employment
eligibility verification system, and for other purposes.
About this legislation:
Make no mistake, electronic verification (E-Verify) for determining legal employment status is an important step in safeguarding our borders, but not at the expense of state rights. H.R. 2164 contains a major flaw which if not dropped from the bill, should warrant calls for the bill to be killed in Congress.
In May of 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Arizona law that penalizes companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that the court had come to its decision because “the state’s licensing provisions fall squarely within the federal statute’s savings clause and that the Arizona regulation does not otherwise conflict with federal law.”
The Arizona law also requires employers to use the federal government’s web-based E-Verify system to determine whether potential employees are eligible to work within the United States. The court upheld this provision, saying it is “entirely consistent” with federal law.
The plaintiff against Arizona was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has opposed every attempt at immigration enforcement at the state and national level for decades.
The chamber lobbied against the act while it was in the legislature. Then they teamed up with the ACLU to sue Arizona.
Within months of the Supreme Court opinion, Rep. Lamar Smith (R- Texas) introduced H.R. 2164 which would nullify state rights to enforce immigration laws.
In essence, the Supreme Court found the states have a clear right to implement and enforce e-verify laws within their state.
Section 6. Preemption.
Section 274A(h)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
‘(2) 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).’.
Section 6, and the Preemption language prevents states from exercising their rights, as stated by the recent Supreme Court decision.
On August 18th, the Administration announced on the White House Blog that “Under the President’s direction…” The Department of Homeland Security would suspend deportation proceedings against illegal aliens and, “There are more than 10 million people who are in the U.S. illegally; it’s clear that we can’t deport such a large number.”
Who do you trust to implement e-verify, the federal or state government?
We encourage patriots to call and/or email, their elected officials informing them you are aware of section 6 of this bill and that removing state rights to enforce immigration law, especially those which align with federal law is unacceptable. Remove Section 6 or kill the bill.
Congressman Visclosky: DC (202) 225-2461
Merrillville: (219) 795-1844
Congressman Donnelly: DC (202) 225-3915
South Bend: (574) 288-2780
Senator Lugar: DC (202) 224-4814
Valparaiso: (219) 548-8035
Senator Coats: DC (202) 224-5623
Crown Point: (219) 663-2595