For Immediate Release

Statement by SEIU’s International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina on the Job-Klling Mandatory E-Verify Legislation Introduced Today by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tx.

WASHINGTON - “Republicans in Congress, led by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, are playing the same old game, attacking immigrants to score points with right-wing extremists.

“Their latest weapon – a bill that will do serious damage to the economy by requiring every employer to check workers’ eligibility through a government data base. Not only will it set back our struggling economy, it also will hurt jobs and wages of all U.S. workers, and do nothing to drive out undocumented workers.

“Mandatory E-Verify without comprehensive immigration reform will not work and the Republicans know it. They are simply pandering to immigration restrictionists.

“Main Street businesses and key agriculture and tourism industries know economic pain this type of legislation can inflict, and that is why they successfully blocked similar legislation in states all across the nation this year. They know the government data base does not work, and is too costly for businesses and for taxpayers who will lose billions of dollars in revenues over 10 years when disqualified workers go off the tax rolls and into an expanded underground “cash” economy.

“It’s time for the politicians for start working together on comprehensive immigration solutions that will sustain our economy instead of a jobs-killing bill like mandatory E-Verify. It’s time to create jobs. It’s time to stop the attacks against immigrants and instead come together to rebuild the middle class.”

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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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