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E-Verify ignites battle over agriculture and immigrants

The introduction of the controversial E-Verify bill could, depending on whom you ask, have lasting impacts on everyone from migrant workers to the president of the United States.

From Fox News:

The introduction of the controversial E-Verify bill on Tuesday could, depending on whom you ask, have lasting impacts on everyone from migrant workers to the president of the United States.

The debate, revived on Tuesday when Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced the Legal Workforce Act – which would make it mandatory for U.S. businesses to verify new workers' legal status through a government database – could have ramifications across that entire spectrum.

Smith, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, defended the legislation by saying that it would not only verify that workers are in the country legally – but also put a dent in the unemployment rate.

"With unemployment at 9 percent, jobs are scarce," Smith said in a statement. "Despite record unemployment, seven million people work in the U.S. illegally. These jobs should go to legal workers.

The bill would give the agriculture industry – long opponents of E-Verify because, they argue, of its impact on legal immigrant workers and its effect on the workforce – a three-year window to screen all new hires for eligibility. 

For more, see: E-Verify Bill Stirs Battle Over Agriculture, Immigrants & the Latino Vote in 2012

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