Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s state law requiring businesses to use E-Verify. A number of states, including Georgia and Tennessee, have adopted state laws relating to E-Verify. While the Supreme Court decision does not automatically uphold every state law, it lays out parameters under which states may enact immigration enforcement legislation. Farm Bureau opposes mandatory E-Verify.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) of the House Judiciary Committee introduced H.R. 2164, which would mandate E-Verify for all employers (including agriculture) and is expected to be voted on by the Judiciary Committee in the near future.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) hopes to offer legislation for a non-immigrant agriculture worker program housed within USDA as an amendment to H.R. 2164. Rep. Lungren’s proposal operates completely outside the current and very bureaucratic H-2A guest worker program. Rep. Lungren’s proposal offers 10 month employment terms, freedom for workers to travel back to their home country, and is not a path to citizenship. Additionally, this program would allow employers to ask for specific workers in the application process. The terms of employment (among different employees) can overlap to provide for continuity in non-seasonal operations. Farm Bureau supports Rep. Lungren’s proposal.
Farm Bureau calls on Members of Congress to oppose any attempt at mandatory E-Verify (H.R. 2164) without a viable ag worker provision as part of the legislation. Additionally, Farm Bureau asks Congressional Representatives to support Rep. Dan Lungren’s ag worker proposal.