Controversial anti-illegal immigration bill killed in committee

In the run up to presenting his bill before the Senate State Affairs Committee Monday, Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden, claims he has been called a racist and said people have accused him of working for special interests.  Jorgenson says both those charges are “categorically not true.”  Jorgenson told his fellow senators that he is pushing the anti-illegal immigration bill because he is an elected official and it is his duty to protect the state’s interests.

None of his pleas to lawmakers to send his bill on the full Senate seemed to matter as committee members quickly defeated the measure after a three-hour long hearing.   Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, moved to send the bill on, which was seconded by Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, but the majority of lawmakers disagreed with Pearce and Fulcher, outvoting them 7-2 to kill the measure.

Jorgenson did his best to convince his fellow senators that the measure would serve to clean up illegal immigration issues in the state.  Jorgenson brought in Kris Kobach, a law professor and former aide to former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, to help make his case.  Kobach told the committee that the legislation could save the state $200 million over time as illegal immigrants “self-deport” due to stricter regulations in the hiring process.  Kobach also advocated for Jorgenson’s provisions on the bill which would require all private and public employers in the state to use E-Verify when hiring an employee, saying that though employers receive cheap labor by having illegal immigrants available, workers lose out on jobs because illegal immigrants take them, while taxpayers fund their use of social services and safety nets.  Kobach also said the bill would aid in equality in the workforce.

“E-Verify level the playing field … It makes everyone play on the same terms,” said Kobach.

Under Jorgenson’s plan, employers could have faced harsh penalties for not complying with the regulations set forth in the bill.  For those employers who knowingly hire workers who aren’t approved by the E-Verify system, a fine of $50 a day could be levied against the company, up to $50,000.  For the first offense, companies would have also had their business license suspended for 15 days.  For the second offense, a company would have lost the license for one year, and a third violation would have revoked a business license permanently.  County officials, in conjunction with the state attorney general’s office, would be charged with enforcement of Jorgenson’s program.

Several citizens and interest groups voiced concern with the anti-illegal immigration bill, some saying that the measure would go too far and some saying it didn’t go far enough.

Brent Olmstead, representing the Idaho Business Coalition for Immigration Reform, said that the Idaho state government, because it doesn’t issue passports or administer a guest-worker program, doesn’t have the right or authority to deal with immigration problems or solutions.  Olmstead told legislators that because Idaho, unlike Arizona, which has already enacted similar legislation, doesn’t have a statewide business license, it would prove tough for enforcement officials to keep up with businesses and their various licenses.

Former Boise City Council candidate Lucas Baumbach argued that the Jorgenson legislation had too many loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to continue receiving social services provided by the state.  Baumbach told legislators that if anything, the legislation wouldn’t be strict enough to deal with the problems posed by illegal immigration.

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, seemed to think the bill would be too strict for Idaho’s small businesses.  Under Jorgenson’s plan, even parents looking to hire their own children in a family enterprise would be required to verify a child’s identity through E-Verify.  Davis wasn’t pleased with that provision.

“I know where my son was born … I was there,” said Davis.  He added that he felt uncomfortable about the “big city fixes” in Jorgenson’s bill that would ultimately hurt Idaho.

Before the vote, Jorgenson offered one last plea to lawmakers, saying that welfare and entitlement programs paired with lack of immigration enforcement creates a “field of dreams” for those looking to live off government money.

“If you build it, they will come,” said Jorgenson in reference to the movie.

This is the second year in a row that Jorgenson has failed to push an immigration reform bill through the Senate, though his efforts got him farther down the legislative line this year.  In his 2009 attempt at immigration reform, his bill was killed in its first hearing.

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5 thoughts on “Controversial anti-illegal immigration bill killed in committee

  1. Brittanicus says:

    Politicians have a habit of bypassing the law that is firmly in-place, if its not beneficial to those who insure their large campaign contributions or some other method of secret payment. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ) is obviously trying to uproot E-Verify with yet another program called NEVA. We must not get distracted by some other illegal alien enforcement, as in the future it to will be impaired by another program and another. Then–NOTHING–gets done. People like chuck Shumer are amongst those morons who are catering to illegal aliens and will be thrown out of office, when these incumbents come up for re-election. Homeland Security and ICE should work with what has progressed and that is E-verify. Critics are brought and paid for, by the opponents of any enforcement project. Likewise an example will be pharmaceutical companies who pay specialists to offer astounding testament of some wonderful drug, only to find later its has terrible side effects. Everything has its price specially in this capitalist society, where the ordinary working man and womens interests come last. That’s why states like California that refuses to immunize itself against the invasion and need budgetary stewards like Steve Poizner, as a new governor who promises to fight back against supporting illegal alien families public entitlements On the other hand the Catholic church for dubious reasons, expects Americans to welcome penniless aliens with open arms.

    You only have to look at the wilting Health Care reform? Bombarded as we are by negative advertising. France, a socialist republic has a wonderful health care system and relatives of mine who live there will heartily agree of it great benefits. In America GIANT INSURANCE COMPANIES, AND WALL STREET ARE KING. Anybody can be brought in many cases, just as companies who have been intimidated or the psychological approach of imprinting regular people with some form of indoctrinations. Far as many bloggers are concerned, hundreds of rural and independent newspapers acknowledge E-Verify works? WE THE PATRIOTIC AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST NOT LET THE CRITICS OR THE WIDE OPEN BORDER ORGANIZATIONS, TRY TO ADJUST YOUR OPINION OF E-VERIFY. SOON DOCUMENT FRAUD WILL BE A THING OF THE PAST. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT E-VERIFY IS GOING TO REMAIN IN STASIS? MANY NEW TOOLS ARE GOING TO BE ADDED AND ILLEGAL WORKERS WILL BE REMOVED BY ATTRITION.

    A comment from a business human resources states:

    Comment:
    “I have used E-Verify for several years, and only once have I encountered this event, and it was quickly resolved due to the person whose identity was stolen stepping forward to correct earnings report errors. E-Verify works better than any other mechanism available. Opponents are still striving to discredit its value and accuracy. For identity theft to get past E-Verify, it has to involve a complete theft. (Name, DOB and SSN) Just getting a name and SSN will not suffice. I would gladly welcome a requirement for photo match,(which is being introduced shortly) which already happens for non-citizens using an immigration card or passport as their submitted documents. As an employer, if E-Verify has no other value, it provides the presumption of not “knowingly” employing an illegal, which is a priceless protection for employers.”

    Illegal immigration is–EVERY AMERICAN WORKERS–responsibility and we should keep up a repetitious bombardment on every state and federal Senator and Representative at 202-224-3121 to enforce every law. IT IS OUR DUTY TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY AT YOUR WORK PLACE OR ANYTHING YOU SEE AND HEAR. 15 million US citizens and legal residents are jobless, with low income workers mainly at risk. The Internet is convinced their are 8 million illegal workers who have taken the the jobs of the legitimate workforce. EVEN SO THESE PEOPLE BROKE THE LAW AND ITS OUR OBLIGATION AND RIGHT TO REMOVE THEM.Other statistics indicate Washington is still importing a million plus semi-skilled workers yearly. YES! We need highly skilled scientists, engineers and scientists. Yes! To potential immigrants that will invest in a–REAL–business or inject at least $500.000 dollars. What we don’t need is people in poverty as we have plenty of our own, who need welfare benefits.

    In addition Border patrol has chillingly estimated that only 1 in 10 illegal entrants gets caught at the border. THIS CONCLUSION OF 20 TO 30 MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FAMILIES HAVE SETTLED HERE AND IT IS AN ONGOING RISK TO OUR WELFARE ENTITLEMENT SYSTEM. We cannot afford to regress on E-Verify or any other enforcement program such as 287 (g) local police alien detainment, ICE raids and the REAL ID and SAVE ACT. We must also impose restrictions on this demented Birthright citizen law?

    Don’t be sidetracked by Sen.Harry Reid, Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen LINDSEY GRAHAM or Sen. John mcCain and other equally insistent on another Comprehensive Immigration reform. ITS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF UNDERHANDINGLY SANITIZING ANOTHER AMNESTY, WHERE AMERICANS WILL BE EVEN MORE EXPECTED TO SUPPORT UNCOUNTABLE NUMBERS OF NEWLY LEGITIMIZED IMMIGRANTS. It’s almost unobtainable now with all states, but border states like Sanctuary California and even Texas and Arizona and even New York in a wretched financial positions pandering to illegal immigrants in hundreds of billions of dollars in welfare. E-Verify must be guaranteed to be improved, permanent and completely funded. Years of neglect by politicians has caused this terrible situation, with a poorly built border fence, easy movement of people who have overstayed US entry visas.

    Our nation is being invaded and colonized. As is our duty, We the People will resist.

    The cost to the American people WOULD BUY A COUNTRY, just as the Overpopulation growth we will inherit in 2040.. Read the truth about corruption and the illegal immigration occupation of our country at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIALWATCH, IMMIGRATIONBUZZ, RIGHTSIDENEWS & DIRECTORBLUE. THEAMERICANRESISTANCE Copy and Paste No Copyright. Get the truth to THE PEOPLE! ONE FLAG, ONE LANGUAGE. LEARN WHO YOUR ENEMY IS IN WASHINGTON?

  2. Jim Hollingsworth says:

    Hiring undocumented workers is a serious problem in Idaho; we all understand that. This bill, however, does not solve that. Here are some considerations that the bill does not consider, and we as a group ought to consider:
    1. First off, this bill (and the companion in the House) makes the employer the gatekeeper. The fact is that we have the problem because of failed federal programs and the Fed is the one that ought to solve the problem.
    2. We have done little, as a state, to insist that the Fed do its job. This bill does nothing about that.
    3. Idaho is known as a freedom-loving state. These kinds of bills reverse that trend. Senator Jorgenson was also a strong supporter of contractor licensing which we successfully fought for over 10 years until he got behind it.
    4. At least one group indicated the e-verify is only 50% successful.
    5. Federal law, while making it illegal to hire undocumented workers, also makes it illegal to make them prove they are legal. This bill would violate that.
    6. The statement that these people are taking jobs that put Americans out of work is a vast distortion. Very few Americans will work for those wages; mostly teenagers and those entering the market.
    7. Further, when a person can earn more on unemployment or on the various welfare programs they will not do these kids of jobs.
    8. Mexican (and others) are often very faithful workers who work long hours doing very demanding work. I cannot immagine most Americans liking to do that kind of work.
    9. We need to enforce Federal policy. Right now if you encounter an undocumented person they will do little to take them from you.
    10. The Braceros program, so common up until about 1968 (or so) worked very well. These men came here and worked for six months and then went home. This ended because of pressure from the United Farm Workers, who were not successful in organizing these workers. This program needs to be re-instituted.
    11. This bill would be very hard to enforce. If you do not have a license, then what would they do. I am a licensed building contractor, but there are many working without license. They would be harder to catch.
    12. There is already an Idaho law which says that I have to notify the state when I hire a new worker. I doubt anyone is paying any attention to it.
    13. Do we want our jails filled with hard working Americans who only want to do business? I can’t picture this.

    The general flavor of this bill is totally un-American.
    Jim Hollingsworth

  3. Donny says:

    I would just clarify that this is not a right vs left issue or a democrat vs. republican issue. This is a business vs worker issue.

    Organizations such a the Chamber of Commerce, (aligned with the Republican Party) and the Associated Builders and Contractors of America, (aligned with the Republican Party) are the two largest blockers of any legislation that would require the utilization of E-Verify or that would penalize an employer for hiring illegals aliens.

    Currently the IRCA states that an employer can only be penalized if he “knowingly” hires undocumented workers. If employers used E-Verify they would know and then be subject to sanctions, this is why business oppose its utilization.

    Businesses arguments are un-truthful and misleading at best, even now without the use of e-verify employers know who is legal and who is not. Currently employers are simply able to lie and nobody can “prove” they have knowledge.

    Business owners, many of which have collage educations, would have us believe that they are so stupid that they can easily be tricked by an illegal alien who can barely speak English, can not read and who may have graduated from the third grade. These business owners are the same people that tell us we are to stupid and don’t understand how hard it is to run a business.

    We need to start pointing out the truth that anyone who is a member of the Chamber of Commerce or the Associated Builders and Contractors are LIARS. We should cease any business with these liars who put personal profit before the rights of American workers.

  4. Pingback: McGee’s anti-illegal immigration proposal moves forward « Idaho Reporter

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