Putting American Workers First
November 16, 2015
(Washington, D.C.) – Our friends at Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), the organization instrumental in championing the ballot referendum that repealed in a landslide vote (by more than 66%) a law hastily passed by the Oregon legislature making illegal aliens eligible for Oregon driver’s licenses, has introduced a ballot initiative (Initiative Petition 2016-52 or IP 52) to appear on the November 2016 general election ballot that would require all businesses in Oregon with five or more employees to verify every new employee’s authorization to work in the United States using the federal government’s E-Verify program. E-Verify is a free, web-based system through which employers may verify the work authorization of new hires through existing federal records. Congress created E-Verify in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 as a way to help employers comply with the federal ban on hiring unauthorized aliens. Requiring E-Verify use at the state level is good public policy. The benefits include:
providing a fast, free, and effective way for an employer to verify that all new hires are authorized to work in the United States as required by federal law;
rectifying the current I-9 process that unintentionally encourages document fraud and identity theft because new hires are required to provide specific documents which illegal aliens and individuals who are trying to hide their true identities cannot legally obtain;
protecting jobs for legal residents and U.S citizens;
preventing the downward spiral of wages that results from illegal aliens willing to work for sub-standard wages;
preventing labor union effectiveness from being diminished as a result of the employment of illegal aliens under substandard conditions;
ensuring that all employers can compete on a level playing field by preventing the use of cheap illegal labor; and
fighting illegal immigration by eliminating the attraction for illegal aliens to come to your state to find jobs.
OFIR obtained the requisite number of signatures under Oregon law in August 2015 to start the ballot title process. In October, the state attorney general certified a lopsided ballot title that obfuscates the true purpose and effect of IP 52 and will only serve to confuse voters. Many times, the ballot language is all that voters see on an issue and is thus critical to winning any measure. This past week IRLI and local counsel Jill Gibson filed a petition (attached here) on behalf of OFIR’s president Cynthia Kendoll in the Oregon Supreme Court to challenge the attorney general’s certified ballot language.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “In our petition, we show that it’s clear from the text of the initiative and case law that the state attorney general erred in crafting a ballot title that hides the true purpose and effect of IP 52 and will only serve to confuse voters.” Wilcox continued, “IP 52 simply requires employers use E-Verify to verify that all new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The groups who oppose E-Verify do so because it works. They refuse to care that they are harming unemployed and underemployed Americans. The American worker is paramount and IRLI will continue the fight on their behalf.”