HB 87, the most potentially effective and well-written state illegal immigration and employment enforcement bill in the nation, passed the Georgia House 113-56 [recently].
“Kill the bill” faxes from the business community started coming in to state Senate offices about 20 minutes later.
The heart of HB 87 — the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011 — is the requirement that all Georgia employers with more than four employees swear to use of the no-cost federal E-verify program, making it difficult to hire illegal, replacement labor.
The long line of Republicans from all over Georgia rising to speak in favor of the bill included the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Tom McCall. He reminded other members of the House of their oath of office to uphold the law and added that “this bill is the right thing to do.”
[The bill’s author, Rep. Matt] Ramsey proudly recounts some important facts on the vote: “We got every single South Georgia Republican with the exception of one. Supporter Greg Morris, who represents Vidalia onion country, spoke on behalf of the bill saying, ‘I regret this bill is necessary, but it is!’ Rep. Jay Roberts, a farmer and E-Verify user himself, supported the bill,” he said.
Ramsey beams when he reports that four Democrats voted for his well-thought-out Georgia enforcement bill.
The common message from the entire anti-enforcement coalition of the Chamber of Commerce, the ACLU, the Farm Bureau and the radicals in the leftist identity-politics industry is this: We are against illegal immigration, but the solution is not enforcement – or use of the E-Verify system!
Another amnesty is their default “remedy.”
We should listen to what the anti-enforcement lobby tells us. Because they confirm what really works with their objections. Like E-Verify.
Some facts on the E-verify system that you will not read from any pseudo-political insider: Georgia has had an E-Verify mandate in place since 2006. All public employers and their contractors are already required to use the system. HB 87 would only expand that common sense rule.
By putting law into place to require use of E-Verify to protect legal workers — even in the private sector — Georgia would catch up with four other states, Utah, Arizona, South Carolina and Mississippi.
The current federally required “I-9” paper-based system of collecting documents from employees does not require a Social Security number. E-Verify does. With E-Verify use, all newly hired employees, including seasonal, temporary, and rehires, must actually have a SSN. This is not handy for illegal employers.
More than 243,000 employers representing more than 834,000 worksites currently use E-Verify and an average of 1,400 new employers enroll each week because the system is accurate and dependable.
An employer who verifies newly hired employees work authorization under E-Verify has established a rebuttable presumption that it has not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien.
A list provided by DHS as of September 2010 shows that about 16,000 Georgia employers are already using E-Verify voluntarily.
Another more recent list from January of this year only includes businesses with 5 or more employees. There are more than 11,000 employers listed there — which tells us that about 5,000 very small businesses are also using E-Verify because they want to avoid hiring black-market labor.
Georgia businesses that are already using E-Verify voluntarily include: Frito-Lay, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A, Baskin Robbins, PepsiCo-Gatorade, Hispanic Golden Arches, Con Agra, Fieldale Farms, Pilgrim Pride Inc., Gold Kist, Tyson Foods, Claxton Poultry, Tip Top Poultry, Vidalia Onion Farm, Turf Pride, Bland Farms, Glennville, Ga., Tifton Turf Farms, Georgia Power … and The Dustin Inman Society. The ACLU? Not on the list.
The E-Verify automatic photo-matching feature that occurs automatically when an employee presents a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or an Employment Authorization Document (work visa) as documentation is treated as a closely guarded secret by many arrogant media types. And Libertarians.
The same characters who continue to struggle to keep the fact that our agriculture industry has access to an unlimited supply of legal foreign workers under the H2A visa. The E-Verify system instantly clears H2A workers when they are hired.
There will be a few Republican state senators who will vote with the Democrats against HB 87.
They will all be voting from the left of President Barack Obama whose administration has repeatedly made clear its commitment to the E-verify system as “the right investment in building a viable tool to ensure a legal workforce in the United States.”
Watch carefully. And remember.
Cobb County, Ga.
[King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society and a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration. He actively supports HB 87 and is an E-verify user. On the web: www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org.]