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Thursday, January 26, 2012

State Representatives, anti-immigrant groups want flawed E-verify in Oregon

Anti-Immigrant groups with the support of Oregon State Representative Kim Thatcher (R), Oregon State Representative Jeff Barker (D) and others (listed below) will be introducing a bill (HB 4052) to force state agencies in Oregon to use the flawed E-verify system to "verify employment eligibility of applicants".

E-Verify, an internet based computer database run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has a troubled history that would spell disaster for Oregonians and Oregon's struggling budget.

It has been pointed out time and again by advocacy organizations and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the accuracy rate of E-Verify is unacceptable. Each error means that a U.S. citizen or legal U.S worker could be denied employment and a paycheck because the federal government database contains an error. E-Verify is a problematic program that has harmful consequences for Oregon workers and our state's economy.

The state of Oregon,  like the Federal Government, already verifies the eligibility of job applicants and prohibits those of undocumented status from receiving employment. Forcing the state of Oregon to use a deeply flawed program will just cause more money to be taken away from vital services that Oregonians on. The introduction of this bill amounts to nothing more than creating another problem for Oregon's budget and a play to anti-immigrant groups by members of the Oregon State Legislature.

Our country needs a real solution to upgrade it's obsolete immigration system. The Thatcher-Barker E-Verify bill seeks to remove immigrant workers out of Oregon’s economy. Immigrant workers are an important and vital part of many industries and Oregon’s economy. The real solution is for the U.S. Congress to create a fair and just way to make undocumented workers and families right by the law, and create a system they can go through, and not around, to make them full members of our society and economy.

If passed, HB 4052 would cause lawful Oregon workers to lose their jobs or be denied employment, an increase the risk of government intrusion, drive jobs into the underground economy, deprive the government of tax revenue, and impose additional costs on the State of Oregon—all without meeting the program's stated purpose of ending the hiring of undocumented workers.

Members of the Oregon State Legislature need to get serious about our state's problems, and quit playing to anti-immigrant groups and creating problems where none exists.

We urge people to call the following legislators and tell them to oppose any legislation like HB4052 that would hurt Oregon workers and further damage Oregon’s economy:
OR State Representatives

Kim Thatcher (R–Keizer , District 25) 503-986-1425

Jeff Barker (D-Aloha District 28) 503-986-1428

Vicki Berger (R-Salem District 20) 503-986-1420

Katie Eyre Brewer (R-Hillsboro District 29) 503-986-1429

Sal Esquival (R-Medford District 6) 503-986-1406

Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg District 2) 503-986-1402

Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio District 17) 503-986-1417

Jim Thompson (R-Dallas District 23) 503-986-1423

Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver District 53) 503-986-1453

Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville District 26) 503-986-1426


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