For Immediate Release
SEIU’s Medina to Congress: Enough with the Distractions. Americans Need Jobs Now.
WASHINGTON - In response to the alarming unemployment rates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:
“Americans can no longer wait for real solutions to the devastating joblessness that plagues our country. The latest unemployment numbers should signal the need for lawmakers to get their priorities straight. Instead of focusing on concrete job-creation initiatives, some members of Congress are engaging in petty, divisive politics, pushing an extremist agenda that would only further damage the national economy.
Rep. Lamar Smith’s mandatory E-Verify bill proposal is just the latest attempt to derail attention from what’s really at stake. If enacted, the legislation would require that all employers use a flawed government database to check workers’ eligibility against their citizenship status. The costly system would only infringe upon the rights of employers and workers and would do nothing to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.
In fact, a stand-alone E-Verify legislation would only make matters worse by steering undocumented workers to unscrupulous employers who will undermine the law, driving down wages and labor standards for all workers. This growth of an underground economy would deal a fatal blow to our unstable economy.
The only effective way to address immigration and protect our economy is through comprehensive immigration reform that would include a path to legalization and sound enforcement. This would level the playing field for all workers, allowing hard-working immigrants to fully contribute to our economy and curbing the growth of an underground economy.
Enough is enough. This is not a time for baseless rhetoric and proposals that would deepen our recession. It’s time for Congress to get to work on getting Americans back to work.”
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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.