Tell Congress To Create A Legal Pathway To Employment For Immigrant Workers

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Laz Ayala
Laz Ayala signed this petition

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States today. As the debate rages over Trump's policies to increase deportations of those with criminal histories, all immigrants are being vilified and dehumanized.

Meanwhile, there is little to no conversation taking place around the root of this debate — why immigrants are coming to the U.S. illegally in the first place.

First, let’s look at the problem:

The U.S. has an enormous demand for immigrant labor and does not have enough programs in place that make it possible for immigrant workers to enter the country legally. At the same time, employers face few consequences for hiring undocumented immigrants thereby perpetuating a system that criminalizes immigrants for trying to make a life for themselves and their families by working here illegally. 

The fault does not fall on employers for perpetuating this system. In fact, companies are upholding the current law of asking their hires to provide documentation. The law does not currently require them to verify the documents they receive. Many employers support exactly what we are proposing — a system that can provide a legal and humane process for hiring immigrant labor. It is up to Congress to make the necessary changes and we call on all employers to take a hard look at our current system and decide for themselves if what we are proposing aligns with their values and business goals.

Why is it that these workers are imprisoned, detained, criminalized, and dehumanized while employers are not required to verify the identities of the workers they hire? Why is there is no feasible legal avenue for these workers to enter the country in order to meet the enormous demand we have for immigrant labor? 

The solution:

Congress should develop an improved and expanded guest worker program to meet the labor demand from the agriculture, hospitality, construction, and other industries which depend on immigrant labor. At the same time, Congress should pass legislation requiring enforcement of a revamped E-Verify system that employers can use to ensure the legal employment of their workers. 

Think of it this way…

If you leave an open jar of honey on your kitchen table it is likely to attract a caravan of ants. You can build a wall around it or send an entire army to guard it, but the ants will find a way in... Which poses the question: Would it be more effective to simply take the honey away?

Illegal The Project seeks to end the luring of desperate workers by a system of employment that not only puts lives at risk but also separates families here and abroad.

Together, we can bridge the racial and ideological division dividing us as a community, state, and country.

To do so, we must change and enforce our laws around employing immigrants. Doing so will dry up the supply of cheap and exploited labor allowing congress to pass legislation that establishes a process, under which employers can hire workers that come to the U.S. in a safe and legal manner.

Why is that we deported nearly 400,000 immigrants, the vast majority of whom came to the US to work, while fewer than 2,000 employers were audited for hiring undocumented workers? Why is this not a part of the national conversation? Why are the workers we lure into our country criminalized while employers are not required to verify their worker's identities?

Tell Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Congressman Greg Walden, and our elected decision-makers to demand Congress to pass legislation requiring tough enforcement of E-Verify (a system used to confirm the eligibility of employees to work in the United States). In tandem with E-Verify, a humane guest worker program should be created to meet the labor demand from the agriculture, hospitality, construction, and other industries which depend on immigrant labor.

We firmly believe that if legislation is passed to address these two points we would not only significantly reduce undocumented immigration but also solve the national emergency debate surrounding the border. A win-win for all.

Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. We must change this system of injustice because no person is ILLEGAL...