Baker is also on the record in support of the immigration amendment passed by the State Senate last month.
One part of that amendment would require all employers in the state to participate in a federal identification program called E-Verify. Under that program, which is now largely voluntary, employers check Social Security and Homeland Security databases to find out whether newly hired employees are authorized to work in the U.S. Baker would make E-Verify mandatory for all state employers, as sections 42 and 174 of the Senate budget provide.
Hmm. Maybe a problem here?
One organization in the forefront of the opposition to mandating the use of E-Verify is the National Chamber of Commerce, aka
The world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million business and organizations of every size, sector and region.
Like Charlie, the Chamber is interested in helping employers grow. But they think E-Verify is a terrible idea and have gone to court to stop other states from making it mandatory there. Some of the reasons for the Chamber’s opposition to E-Verify, as the
Department of Homeland Security
itself admits, is that the databases include inaccurate and outdated information, the language used by the E-Verify program is “confusing” or contains “difficult legal terminology that may not be readily understood by all users,” and the program imposes significant training and tracking requirements that are burdensome, especially for small employers.
As Baker might put it, E-Verify doesn’t simplify stuff, it complicates stuff.
The Chamber of Commerce is by no means opposed to immigration reform:
The Chamber supports comprehensive immigration reform. What we oppose is a patchwork of state and local laws requiring employers to use a broken system that Congress has said must be voluntary.
So, back to the drawing board, Charlie, for something simpler? How about coordinating all the state agencies with responsibility for enforcing the labor laws that are already on the books to make sure that no employers exploit their workers and employers who follow the law aren’t paying higher costs than employers who break it? Oh, right, Governor Patrick is already doing that.