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The SAVE Act
Electronic System for Detecting Illegal Job Applicants

[COMMENT:  Looks like a winner.     E. Fox]

   From:   Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
Date:   Wednesday 14NOV07     4:30 pm. EST
Nation's small businesses & electrical unions endorse SAVE Act mandatory verification for hires

Rep. Heath Shuler's SAVE Act (H.R. 4088) got a gigantic boost today toward being the next major improvement in enforcement against illegal immigration.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), representing more than 600,000 small businesses in every state endorsed SAVE's requirement that every employer run every new hire (and eventually old hires) through the electronic E-Verify system to ensure that illegal aliens don't get American jobs. It said the bill strikes a “fair balance between increased enforcement and limiting regulatory burdens placed on small business.”
  • The 752,000-member International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -- as a way to protect American jobs for American workers -- endorsed the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act (SAVE Act).
  • The number of bi-partisan congressional co-sponsors of H.R. 4088 has passed 100! (View the list and see if your U.S. Representative is on it. If not, make sure you have sent your faxes and made your phone calls off your Action Buffet corkboard to press your Representative to sign up.)
  • Although a few bloggers have expressed concern that the SAVE Act of Rep. Shuler (D-N.C.) isn't tough enough, it now has the official support of virtually all of the most hard-line opponents of illegal immigration in the U.S. House, including Tancredo (R-Colo.), Bilbray (R-Calif.), Barrett (R-S.C.), Hunter (R-Calif.), Culberson (R-Texas), Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), and Goode (R-Va.).


The NFIB endorsement blows a hole a mile wide in the overall business lobbies' 11-year battle to continue hiring illegal aliens.

Many of our champions, such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), began trying to mandate workplace verification to deny jobs to illegal aliens back in 1996.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups expended giant sums of money in 1996 and every year since to prevent mandatory verification of whether each new hire had the right to work in the U.S.

NumbersUSA has always considered mandatory verification the No. 1 most important action needed to dramatically reduce the illegal alien population. Unless you dry up the job magnet, foreign nationals will flood this country by hook, crook or cheating on their tourist, student, worker visa book.

We all have known that the real reason for the big business lobbies' anti-verification efforts was to preserve the ability to continue to hire the officially estimated 7 million illegal workers in the country. But they have always made their argument on the basis of mandatory verification being too much work for businesses, particularly small businesses, to do.

The NFIB, which is the nation's premier organization representing small businesses, has been on the sideline, not lobbying on the issue. Thus, the big business lobbies' voices have carried the day since 1996, always keeping the ability to hire illegal aliens.

But with today's endorsement, the National Federation of Independent Business puts to rest the excuse and the myth that using the E-Verify system would be bad for small businesses.

This is a position that came from the grassroots up. The NFIB asked its small-business members and found that they overwhelmingly are patriotic members of our communities and favor mandatory verification.

Those business owners also want to stop the unfair competition from outlaw businesses that undercut them by hiring illegal aliens.

“NFIB members believe that in order for an immigration reform effort to be successful, the requirements and enforcement provisions must be workable, efficient and fair for small businesses,” Dan Danner, NFIB’s executive vice president said.

“As Congress debates this issue, it’s important that they take into account how any legislation will affect small-business owners and the economy. A thoughtful and deliberate process is the best path for lawmakers as they consider this contentious issue, and we commend Rep. Shuler for his leadership and want to continue working with him and the cosponsors to make sure that all the concerns of small business are addressed as the bill moves forward.”



The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents more than 725,000 American workers, is supporting the SAVE Act because it focuses on denying, “entry of all unauthorized immigrants into the United States by securing its borders to the maximum extent possible without compromising constitutionally guaranteed personal and civil liberties.”

The IBEW went on to say that, “mass unregulated immigration into the United States creates unfair wage competition, which is detrimental to the best interests of U.S. citizens and legal residents…”

The IBEW called the SAVE Act, “a tangible first step in achieving true reform of the U.S. immigration system.”

It is especially good to have a giant union that represents workers endorse the E-Verify system.

Some of the fiercest opponents of keeping illegal aliens out of American jobs are those who claim that mandatory verification imposes an unfair burden on American WORKERS, or that it would create a federal database that would violate American workers' privacy.

These opponents obviously don't understand the E-Verify system, or government databases that already exist. Under E-Verify:

  • Americans being hired for a job would not have to do anything different. They simply would give their name, birth date and Social Security number -- just like they have to do now.

  • Then, businesses would send that information to a government data base -- just like they do now.

  • The government databases handling the information already exist. The SAVE Act does nothing to increase the government's awareness of where a person works or of personal information.

  • The only thing that the SAVE Act changes is that the government must tell the businesses when the data they've sent on a new hire indicate the person may be an illegal alien. If the questioned new hires turn out to be Americans or legal foreign workers, there is an easy process to make that clear. But if they are illegal aliens, they will lose their jobs.

  • One of the most far-fetched attempts to stop the SAVE Act is the claim that it would lead to a national ID card. In fact, the SAVE Act works against a national ID card by providing a way to verify the right to work without using any card. There ARE some major bills before Congress that WOULD require a work card specified by the feds, but the SAVE Act would solve the jobs magnet problem without cards.


    Rep. Shuler noted today that the endorsements from the NFIB and IBEW show that the SAVE Act provides the best solution to the issue of illegal immigration.

    “The SAVE Act is commonsense legislation that is bringing people together to address this difficult issue," Shuler said. "I was proud to work with the NFIB and IBEW while drafting this legislation because of their strong representation of American businesses and American workers. I deeply appreciate their continued support for this bill as we work to pass the SAVE Act into law.”

    The NFIB endorsement should reassure a lot of you, but may also raise concerns for others of you. Let me respond before you do.

    NumbersUSA has been inundated with emails from citizens who have feared that the SAVE Act relies too much on business owners to enforce our nation's immigration laws. You who have sent these emails worry that this will just be more onerous regulation and paperwork the government imposes on business. You think it is unfair especially to small businesses.

    Well, the endorsement by the nation's most influential small business association should reassure you that all of us involved in assembling the SAVE Act were very careful to ensure that small businesses can easily comply.

    But the reassurance for small businesses will cause some of you to think that the SAVE Act isn't tough enough to actually start driving large numbers of illegal aliens out of our communities.

    But isn't this bill like that long-standing ad slogan for the deodorant that was "made for women but strong enough for a man?"

    Just because the SAVE Act takes into account the concerns of small businesses, doesn't mean it isn't tough.

    Part of what pleases the NFIB is that the smallest of businesses get four years before they have to use E-Verify. That gives the government time to work out any kinks in the system that might be a nuisance to big business but might be a bigger problem for little ones. And it gives them more than enough time to spend the six hours taking the on-line E-Verify certification test, or to find a company that will do it for them.

    NumbersUSA doesn't believe there are any significant kinks in the system, but we do believe it may take the government a while to expand its machinery and staff to handle all the employers in the country. It is probably wishful thinking that the feds can ramp up E-Verify for all the millions of businesses in just one or two years.

    Here's why the four-year phase-in still is tough enough to make most of us happy:

  • Every law now on the books against hiring an illegal alien remains in place. Even if a business isn't yet required to use E-Verify, that business still has to make a reasonable attempt to avoid hiring illegal aliens with fraudulant documents. One of the reasons a business should go ahead and use E-Verify before mandated is that it protects the business from being held accountable if an illegal alien DOES slip through and is later discovered.

  • Every penalty of fines or criminal prosecution that is now on the books against hiring an ilelgal alien remains in place.

  • As illegal workers in the first couple of years get squeezed out of government jobs and the large corporations, such as the big meatpacking conglomerates, they will start an aggressive competition with all the illegal aliens who are trying for jobs with the smaller companies. Not only will hundreds of thousands of them not be able to find a job, but everybody will be stressed at how much harder it is to obtain employment. That stress will encourage many people to start thinking about moving back home even if they do have a job right now.

  • Most of the jobs that illegal aliens now have with the best pay and the best working conditions and the best benefits will be taken off the table in the first year or two. The general feeling in the illegal community will be that generally rough situations are getting rougher and the trend is only down. More pressure for giving up.

  • Some of you are concerned that all the illegals squeezed out of the bigger companies will just join the underground economy. I've said often that the underground economy can't accommodate but a fraction of the 7 million illegal workers, even if it expands greatly. The other point, though, is that most illegal aliens will put up with underground economy jobs only so long. Most illegal aliens in this country move out of those kinds of jobs as quickly as possible. Standing in the cold waiting for a job every few days at the Home Depot is not their version of the American Dream. It is just a foothold to get a real job. But the real jobs will no longer be available after E-Verify takes over.

  • Others of you are angry that illegal aliens who currently hold jobs won't be run through E-Verify until four years after the SAVE Act passes. The reason for this is two-fold. First, the feds don't feel they can build their systems fast enough to handle all the old hires sooner than four years. Secondly, though, running the old hires through E-Verify the first year, would probably throw too many illegals out on the streets too fast. As much as justice would be served to have all those illegal aliens leave immediately, there will be fewer disruptions in the economy if we pace ourselves.

  • The SAVE Act is a moderate, middle-of-the-road solution to illegal immigration. It is a solution to cause anywhere from a half-million to a million illegal aliens to go home each year. It is not a solution that will cause millions of illegal aliens to go back home each year. Although the more rapid self-deportation would save local communities large sums of tax money immediately, it would cause some difficulties in some business sectors that may need more time to create new recruitment channels into underutilized American populations. Moving more slowly allows a giant business player like NFIB to join our side -- and it is allowing more and more mainstream Democrats to join us -- and, thus, makes it far more likely that we can stop moving in the wrong direction on illegal immigration (adding a net of a half-million illegals a year) and start moving methodically and steadily in the right direction.

    When it comes to removing the jobs magnet, this bill does much more than described in this email. But I can tell you that no proposed legislation has done as much. It does what is needed. It is fantastic.

    This bill does not do as much as is needed on the borders (particularly fencing) or in terms of using and helping local police to pickup and process illegal aliens.

    There will be a need for additional legislation to address these gaps.

    The point for us now is to not blow an historic opportunity to finally start squeezing millions of illegal aliens out of the jobs that drew most of them to this country in the first place.

    This is a bill that is showing strong ability to get enough support to force Democratic congressional leaders to allow votes on it next year, and to force Pres. Bush to sign it into law. If that were to happen, it would be a political miracle, given that most pundits said a year ago that the election of a Democratic Congress would make it impossible to pass enforcement legislation until at least 2009.

    Passage of this bill would result in immediate reductions in the illegal population while we are working on passing the next enforcement legislation.
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