The 2012 Election Implications of Mandatory National E-Verify And Florida

Questions of whether E-Verify, an immigration employment verification system, should be made mandatory have been getting a lot of coverage both nationally and in local papers. Local papers in Florida, a key battle ground state, in particular have been following the situation closely.

Florida has been at the center of a recent fight over mandatory E-Verify in the local legislature, which it sould be noted did not pass.  Congressional Republicans have announced that this week they will hold a hearing to discuss national mandatory E-Verify.

Marco Restrepo of the Florida Independent has been writing about E-Verify from a local Florida perspective, and has written an article detailing the politics of the legislation:

On Wednesday, a U.S. House subcommittee will discuss a bill filed by chair Lamar Smith, R-Texas, that would require the use of E-Verify, the federal program that verifies if a worker is authorized to work in the U.S. The House Subcommittee on Immigration and Policy Enforcement will address Smith’s “Legal Workforce Act,” which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make the use of E-verify mandatory and permanent.

The article also does a great job of highlighting some of the problems inherent in the system:

Tyler Moran, policy director for the National Immigration Law Center, said: that if mandatory E-verify is implemented without broader immigration reform it will force some workers into the cash economy outside of our tax system, ship agricultural jobs overseas and force between 3 and 4 million American workers to stand in a government line to correct their records or lose their jobs, and that 770, 000 people will likely lose their jobs because of government database errors in E-Verify.

Craig J. Regelbrugge, vice president for government relations and research at the American Nursery & Landscape Association said: that mandatory E-Verify without broader solutions would have the largest impact on the agriculture and seasonal employment sectors of the economy, resulting in economic dislocation, production declines, fewer jobs and more imports.

Given Florida businesses utter rejection of E-Verify, it will be interesting to see how the politics of this play out in the coming eleciton cycle.