Action Alert: Senate to act on immigration, March 2006
March 29, 2006
Urge your senator to support comprehensive immigration reform
Current situation: On March 27, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee, passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform
package out of his committee that will ease the shortage of essential workers facing
the construction industry. NRCA supports the "Specter Bill."
Unfortunately, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) introduced his own immigration
reform proposal (S 2454) that focuses solely on interior enforcement and border
security, and is similar to the disastrous bill (HR 4437) passed by the U.S. House
of Representatives in December 2005. S 2454 would impose massive increases in penalties
on employers, and does nothing to protect the United States' economic security by
providing for our nation's long-term labor needs. Sen. Frist plans to bring his
legislation and the "Specter Bill" to the Senate floor for debate TODAY!
It is critical that you contact your senator today to let him or her know
a bill such as S 2454 is unacceptable and the future of your business depends upon
the Senate passing a comprehensive immigration reform package. Tell your
senator you "support the Specter Bill."
How your business is affected: S 2454 would force employers to act as the
"document police." To make matters worse, the legislation fails to provide legal
channels for employers to access needed immigrant workers when U.S. workers are
unavailable. Provisions of the legislation include:
Employers found to be in violation of the new mandates can be subject to fines as
high as $50,000 for each violation as well as prison time.
Paperwork violations can result in a $25,000 fine. This is a 25-fold increase
the current fine is $1,000.
Employers are required to confirm the work authorization of every employee, including
some former employees.
The bill criminalizes the status of those here unlawfully. Currently, unauthorized
presence in the United States is a civil violation.
Solution for the roofing industry: Any legislation in the Senate should:
provide for increased national security and control of our nation's borders; create
an efficient temporary worker program that allows employers to recruit immigrant
workers when there is a shortage of domestic workers; and provide a mechanism for
qualified, screened undocumented migrants now in the country to earn legal status.
All three of these elements must be joined in one initiative. The "Specter Bill"
does exactly this. The law already penalizes employers who knowingly hire illegal
aliens and imposes enough paperwork; the primary burden of enforcing our immigration
laws should not fall on employers.
What to do: Debate on the bills begins this afternoon. Call, fax or write
your senator and ask him/her today to support comprehensive immigration reform that
includes the three components of the solution for the roofing industry. Make it
known that an "enforcement only" approach would be detrimental to your business
and the U.S. economy.