SB 81 is coming up for a final vote (likely today). The bill still includes a provision on employment eligibility verification (via SSA-ICE E-Verify) but the opposition is trying to take out this provision. I’m going to provide some background first:
First, it is noteworthy that the E-Verify provision in the bill only applies to the State and businesses contracting to provide goods/services to the State. The provision would only protect your tax money from going to identity thieves (including illegal immigrants). Although, this provision has very limited applicability and only applies to tax money, it appears to be the biggest target of opposing groups.
Here’s what SB 81 will do:
1. Terminate driver priviledge cards for illegal immigrants (UPDATE: This provision was taken out of the bill).
2. Allow police agencies to enter ICE’s 287(g) program
3. Initiate a limited employment eligibility verification program
a) This is limited as it solely applies to the State and it’s contractors (the majority of business is NOT included)
b) If the State or it’s contractor get a new hire, they must use SSA/ICE’s E-Verify to assure that the potential hire is legally able to work in the United States and is not using a stolen Social Security Number (SSN identity theft).
Who would use a stolen SSN for work (and why the provision applies to much more than illegal immigrants)?
1. Illegal immigrants (click here for a brief explanation of why this is the case)
2. Fugitives (such as the King of Child Porn)
3. Deatbeat moms and dads (seeking to avoid court ordered wage garnishment etc)
4. Miscellaneous identity thieves (wish to hide the identity for other reasons)
It is also worth noting that those using a false SSN commit several felonies (document fraud, falsifying and I-9 form etc) AND they typically target children’s identities, in particular.
So why the opposition?
Bluntly put, it makes it harder for State contractors, who want your tax money, to outbid ethical employers by hiring cheap, illegal labor – thereby helping cut costs and provide a lower bid. Additionally, this provision also makes unscrupulous companies who hire various illegal labor, nervous. They don’t want the provision to gain traction and, one day, be extended to all – this is the case in Arizona and Oklahoma. They want to “nip this in the bud”. However, such practices have the end result of exploiting children’s and our identities (see the videos below for real world examples).
Further, illegal immigrant supporters don’t want them hindered from obtaining employment. They don’t appear to have any qualms with the identity theft and felonies committed in getting the jobs.
The opponents strategy seems focused on arguing that this is a Federal issue and will handle it (the Fed will NOT be doing anything about it), that we should just study this for another year (put it in the study bill and effectively kill any/all proposed reforms), and the perennial last resort is to call people racists. Lobbyists are hard at work to kill this and the only thing keeping it alive is the larger than expected citizen demand (and expectation) that the Legislature take on illegal immigration reform.
What action is needed?
Continue to exert pressure on Senators and Representatives:
1. Call the Sponsor and Senate Leadership politely stating that you want them to support SB81 as it stands without further amendment and expect action (amendments are out there to kill the aforementioned verification provision):
It is also worth politely contacting Senator Jenkins (sponsor of the ‘study bill’) who’s indicated support of SB81.
2. Call your Representative. State House Operator: (801)538-1029
3. Call Governor Huntsman – he’s not very good on this subject. (801)538-1000