March 10th, 2009 by Kevin
The amendment for E-Verify did not pass, as Senator Leahy made a motion to table the amendment and that motion passed 50 – 47. All Republicans voted against tabling the motion and so did seven Democrats, including Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota. As a result E-Verify will only be extended for six months.
E-Verify is one of the best tools we have for fighting illegal immigration. It allows employers to quickly, easily and accurately determine the legal status of potential employees. Thus it helps remove the jobs magnet that draws many illegal immigrants to this country. And in this period of economic down turn and people losing their jobs, it also ensures that what job openings there are go to Americans and those legally permitted to work here.
There are reasons to keep a positive frame of mind however. None of the debate was on the faults of E-Verify or anything of that nature. In fact most of the debate did not involve any criticism of E-Verify at all, even from those that voted against it. Most of the opponents made statements to the effect that this wasn\’t the time to extend it for five years and this wasn\’t the vehicle to do it with.
Also there is a negative that may actually be a positive. Initially all Democrats (including Klobuchar) voted for the motion to table the amendment, and thus voted against E-Verify. Then they huddled with Senator Reid, who once he knew how many Democrats he could control, let some of them change their votes. More than likely he allowed those that were most in danger of angering their constituents to switch their vote. Klobuchar is particularely surprising as she has never voted against illegal immigration. That\’s a plus for Minnesotans that she\’s feeling that sort of pressure. That should encourage us to lean on her in the future.
A fight to extend E-Verify will return within six months, but until then we need to keep on our Senators and let them know we haven\’t given up on this issue.