March 3, 2015

WG Opposes Mandatory E-Verify Passed Today by Judiciary Committee

Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a mark-up on the Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 1147, and passed the legislation out of committee on a party-line vote.

The concerns of agriculture featured prominently in today’s mark-up. The devastation agriculture would face and the need to pass a solution for agriculture was mentioned by several committee members on both sides of the aisle. The Ag Workforce Coalition, of which Western Growers is a founding member, sent a press statement in conjunction with the mark-up and yesterday sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee opposing E-Verify without a solution for agriculture.

During today’s mark-up, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), representing northern coastal areas of San Diego County, spoke out strongly against moving legislation in the full House that mandates the use of E-Verify WITHOUT an ag solution. Issa echoed Western Growers long-standing position that any enforcement measures MUST be accompanied by measures to address our industry's current and future workforce needs.

Issa referenced the AgJOBS legislation previously introduced by former California Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) and the Ag Act bill Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte introduced last Congress and suggested a bi-partisan working group of Judiciary members work on compromise legislation that addresses our industry's needs in conjunction with E-Verify.

His statement represents an important moment in the immigration reform debate.  We are hopeful his leadership on this will persuade other Republican members not to move in the full House on E-Verify without a solution for agriculture. 

If you have not already taken action, we urge you to respond to the action alerts you have received and contact your Member of Congress immediately.

For more information, contact WG’s Ken Barbic.