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Joe Guzzardi Republicans likely to back employment eligibility checks

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:56 am, Sat Jan 8, 2011.

An interesting showdown is brewing between the newly elected House of Representatives and the White House over America's most pressing issues: jobs.

Before going further, here are some statistics to consider. The unemployment rate in California is 12.4 percent. In the San Joaquin Valley it's about 20 percent, and the nationwide U-6 unemployment rate is nearly 15 percent.

Economists give greatest value to the U-6 rate because it includes "discouraged workers" who have given up looking because they don't think they can find a job, and people who want full-time jobs but have settled for part-time.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, with the blessing of his Republican colleagues, has clearly identified his immediate action plan. Smith promises legislation that will expand E-Verify from a voluntary to a mandatory program.

E-Verify is the Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, Verification Division, and the Social Security Administration, E-Verify can instantly check whether an employee is legally authorized to hold his job or whether he may be an illegal alien.

By insisting that employers use E-Verify, the United States can show that it is serious about border security. Employers are bound by law to not hire illegal workers. Further, they have an incentive to join E-Verify to protect themselves from federal action, even though joining the program is not a full guarantee against legal action if alien employment continues at an E-Verify-registered employer's facilities.

Along with E-Verify, Smith would also like to restore the once common practice of workplace enforcement. Since heavy fines would be levied against employers found guilty of hiring illegal immigrants, the assumption is that more Americans would have greater job opportunities.

Here's how Smith puts it: (Jobs and internal enforcement) are what I call 70 percent issues — 70 percent or more of the American people support those efforts. I think they are popular across the board, and I think they will be appreciated by all American workers regardless of their ethnicity or background or anything else."

What Smith is saying is that the majority of Americans favor putting Americans back to work. But who might the other 30 percent be?

They are several. Among them, Congressional Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.

Reid heads a Senate with a much narrower majority than he enjoyed before the November election and Pelosi also operates from a less influential position. Nevertheless, both are still powerful.

Obama is the wild card in the equation. Back in 2009, when the $789 billion stimulus package was drafted, the original Senate and House versions had provisions for E-Verify to be used for all federal contract jobs. But by the time the final Senate version reached Obama's desk, E-Verify had been deleted, likely at his behest.

Still, momentum is on the side of E-Verify. Approximately 20 states use E-Verify and more than 50,000 businesses have enrolled in the employment verification program since October 2009.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, some 8 million illegal aliens hold U.S. jobs. Proponents say the online E-Verify system should be interpreted as cheap, effective jobs program.

Smith's E-Verify bill is certain to pass the House and, although it will face a closer Senate vote, is likely to become law unless Obama wants to stick his neck out to veto it, a tall order in an economy with 10 percent unemployment.

Joe Guzzardi, an E-verified employee, is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:52 pm on Mon, Jan 10, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    • Ms Bobin stated … Here's a new reference for Mr. Baumbach - Please note the comment at the bottom of page one..."data not adjusted for seasonality."

    At first, I was going to thank you for correcting a conclusion that I had made a mistake on…
    • I still might be wrong, but can you please clarify… in looking at your statement, it states "data not adjusted for seasonality." I took the liberty of looking at the paragraph at the end of page one and could not find the words you had in quotes. What I did find is unemployment RATES are not seasonally adjusted which would have a completely different meaning that what you quoted.… I am not saying you are wrong, I just can not find what you are referring to. Can you illustrate the paragraph that you found your quote? Thank you.

    Each year, the national, state, and local economies react
    to seasonal changes, such as the increase in holiday
    employment, shifts in industry production schedules,
    and young people looking for summer jobs. Because
    of these changes, it can be difficult to tell if any two months
    reflect changing economic conditions or merely normal
    seasonal fluctuations. Most county unemployment, youth
    unemployment, and minority UNEMPLOYMENT RATES are
    NOT seasonally adjusted because there is insufficient data
    for the seasonal adjustment process to be accurately

  • jared coffey posted at 4:54 pm on Mon, Jan 10, 2011.

    jared coffey Posts: 15

    Been there, done that. Anyone remember the immigration check to end all immigration checks, the I-9?


    Won't change until employers get in trouble for hiring illegals.

    ...problem is, who's going to pick our crops and do our laundry if this actually succeeds...?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:10 pm on Mon, Jan 10, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Well, dagnabit! And I was sleeping so well. Here's a new reference for Mr. Baumbach - Please note the comment at the bottom of page one..."data not adjusted for seasonality."

    Looks like the biggest loss of labor is in government and the "accomodation and food services."


    Mr. Guzzardi loves to play fast and loose with his statements, i.e., "eVerify had been deleted, likely at his (Obama's) behest." So I suppose that Mr. Guzzardi now has the inside scoop on all the dirty little government deals? Sadly, no...he just likes to stir the pot.

  • Joshua Hutchison posted at 10:03 am on Mon, Jan 10, 2011.

    Joshua Hutchison Posts: 57

    This is really the root of the illegal immigration issues. All the other issues with illegal immigration slowly decline when there is no access to jobs. I would say Joe is on point for 70% of this column. About 30% of it seems to reference controversy with only "likely", and "among them" statements in support. It seems as if Joe could have avoided controversy by simply addressing the positive points instead of trying to build up a red herring/straw man argument. If Joe thrives on being the underdog even when he is in the majority, maybe he should be elected as a democrat. ;)

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:13 am on Sun, Jan 9, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 11:25 am… Another interesting twist in Mr. Guzzardi's column...20% unemployment in SJ County? I know it's high, but does this include the # of "seasonal" employees that normally do not work during the off-season

    Ms Bobin ..., I think the answer to your question is yes, as far as I could tell... I copied and pasted this from the EDD… an “employed” person as someone who did any work for pay or profit during the survey week,
    which includes all part-time or TEMPORARY work, as well as
    regular full-time, year-round employment. People who are not working and are not able to work,
    are not available for work, or are not actively seeking work are not counted among the unemployed, but are considered to be “not in the labor force.” Reasons given
    for not being in the labor force include school or college attendance, poor health, disability, home responsibilities, and discouragement leading to the abandonment of job
    search activities. The reference period for these labor force
    statistics is the week including the twelfth of any month

    To avoid the appearance of plagiarism to Jeff and Manuel, included is source documentation… http://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de8714aa.pdf

    Also as a disclaimer, I do not claim to be ambitious or seek any gain from this blog… I wouldn’t want Jeff or Manuel to misunderstand “intent” here.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:49 am on Sun, Jan 9, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    pissssssstt....Mr. Kinderman..... shhhhhh.... quiet please,

    Ms Bobin is at rest.... just thought I would mention.... of course you would not find that
    position on payroll... everyone knows that... you have got to stay in touch with things...
    since it’s a position of ambition, the ambitious applicant volunteered his time and would never be found in payroll. I suggest you need to “get with it” so you can participate in a more effective manner. Since it is a volunteer position, the name and contact information has been deleted from the data base and is incognito.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 3:59 pm on Sat, Jan 8, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Yawwwwn!!!! ZZZZzzzzzzz.....................

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:25 pm on Sat, Jan 8, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I wonder who determines whether or not someone has been "ambitious" enough in their research to be deemed "welcome" to comment regarding this or any other News-Sentinel article. After searching the LNS website to determine if someone in authority had changed the rules of the forum and not finding anything, I could also not find any evidence of an "Ambition Czar" recently added to their payroll.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:25 am on Sat, Jan 8, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I haven't researched this since I heard it on a news segment on NPR a few months ago, but the reporter made the declaration that the Obama Administration has prosecuted almost 200 employers for hiring illegals...more, according to the reporter, than any other administration to date. A big factor in this effort was the eVerify program...the gist was that the Feds can use the data to back-track to see if those employees who have provided false ID's were actually hired anyway.

    Another interesting twist in Mr. Guzzardi's column...20% unemployment in SJ County? I know it's high, but does this include the # of "seasonal" employees that normally do not work during the off-season, i.e., cannery workers, field workers, winery workers, even those hired seasonally for department stores, etc.? If they apply for unemployment, they are included in the numbers.

    Comments are welcome from those who are ambitious enough to do the research!


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