“Smith is Putting Anti-Immigrant Ideology Ahead of What’s Good for Workers, Economy”
Rep. Lamar Smith, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is also the self-appointed jobs czar for the GOP. He’s holding a mark-up of his two-part jobs package this Thursday, September 15th. [Tuesday, America’s Voice] explained why Smith’s mandatory E-Verify bill kills jobs for Americans and is opposed by organized labor. [Wednesday, America’s Voice] explained why his companion bill—the “American Specialty Agriculture Act” (H.R.2847)—also puts American workers last. That’s some “jobs” plan.
Smith’s latest bill creates a new program to bring in hundreds of thousands of guest workers to work in agriculture every year. All summer, agribusiness leaders have been sounding the alarm bell about what mandatory E-Verify would do to their industry. After Georgia’s legislature passed an E-Verify mandate, the state experienced a crisis in the fields: workers scared to come to work, crops rotting in the fields, and growers struggling to stay alive. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11,000 farm jobs went unfilled this summer in Georgia because of mandatory E-Verify.
But instead of backing off from his destructive E-Verify plan, Smith is charging forward and adding a new guest worker plan to the mix in a blatant attempt to buy off the industry.
Smith wants to replace seasoned, experienced farm hands with a new class of 500,000 vulnerable foreign workers beholden to their employers. The workers can only stay for ten months. Then, all 500,000 will be shipped back to their home countries and replaced by a new crew.