CONGRESSMAN LAMAR SMITH (R-SAN ANTONIO) CHAIRS HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Congressman Smith was appointed recently by the Republican congressional leadership to head the House Judiciary Committee which has oversight responsibility for the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Rep. Lamar is a proponent of the 2007 Arizona law that allows the state to revoke the business licenses of employers that refuse to incorporate E-Verify into their on-boarding process and has vowed to focus on efforts to strengthen national security and support work site enforcement efforts, a hallmark of the Obama administration.
Under Rep. Smith’s leadership employers can expect continued I-9 fine assessments and investigations, increased scrutiny and civil and criminal hearings if they employ the undocumented. Given the stiff fines and potential criminal jail time employers face by employing the undocumented this may be a wake up call. There are many US employers who thrive on the cheap labor provided by an illegal workforce. Sometimes this cost savings is passed on to the American public. Sometimes not. Restaurants and construction contractors are notorious for the latter. Some employers, angry with the unfair competition have resorted to using federal RICO statutes to go after employer violators with some success. But it’s a long and expensive process for all involved.
The current administration’s efforts target the source of illegal immigration – – the draw of jobs – – while ensuring compliance with the immigration laws by U.S. employers. But as expected, not everyone is happy. This only underscores the complexity of the US immigration problem.