Obama’s non-committal answer to E-Verify veto requests

posted at 5:45 pm on June 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe

In President Barack Obama’s seemingly interminable exercise in evasion yesterday, at least one advocate of a more responsible immigration policy saw a bright spot.

The president yesterday refused to commit to veto H.R. 2164, Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-Tex.) bill to require most employers to enact the E-Verify program to confirm the legal work status of employees. The president’s noncommittal attitude held even when reporters pressed him. Would he veto the bill if it came to his desk clean, without any added amnesty provisions? The president wouldn’t say.

Roy Beck, executive director of Numbers USA, a group that advocates for lower immigration levels to prevent a “congested and regimented” future for the country and to ensure more jobs for American workers, said he cheered that part of the president’s presser.

“Seven million jobs could be opened up by this bill,” Beck said. “We’re talking a real dent in the unemployment numbers. … I think the president knows that when this bill comes to his desk, that’s the way it’s going to be phrased. ‘Are you going to veto this bill and refuse to give these jobs to unemployed Americans?’ He’s going to try like crazy to attach an amnesty bill, but if it gets to his desk clean, he’s going to sign it.”

Beck might be right. After all, the president will surely do whatever is politically expedient for his reelection effort, and, at at time when most Americans cite ‘jobs and the economy’ as their top concern, that just might mean allowing E-Verify to pass. He could be spared the choice entirely, though: It must first pass the Senate, where Beck says, it will face “a colossal fight.”

The president’s refusal to outright reject the bill comes after his administration issued a memo that said federal immigration officials do not have to deport illegal aliens if they are enrolled in any type of education program, if their family members have volunteered for U.S. military service or if they are pregnant or nursing.

The move represented an astounding, but already established disregard for the legislative process — but, in the end, it might backfire on the president. Smith has already drafted legislation to prevent the administration from enacting the memo — the so-called HALT Act.

“If [the HALT Act] were to pass, the president would veto it,” Beck said, “but the point of it is to put the president on notice and say ‘back off.’ Just how long and how far can this president go in nullification of Congressionally-passed laws? That’s why it’s really helpful that Lamar Smith is calling his bluff with this bill.”

It seems the president wants to play it both ways — prove his commitment to a “presence amnesty” (one that allows illegal immigrants to remain in the country) with his executive memo, but stop short of “a jobs amnesty” by signing the E-Verify bill.

If that’s not his plan — if he does ultimately veto the E-Verify bill — he’ll have a hard time defending his prioritization of administrative amnesty over job creation for 22 million unemployed Americans.

Update: This post originally mistakenly identified Chairman Lamar Smith as from Tennessee, when, in fact, he is from Texas.


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Dicke.

leftnomore on June 30, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Voting present whenever possible…

Drained Brain on June 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM

It won’t get out of the Senate, so this is a moot point.

ladyingray on June 30, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Impeach his a**.

BuckeyeSam on June 30, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Senate will kill this thing deader than a doornail- unfortunately. A LOT of big businesses (many big GOP donors) will assure it never gets passed. That’s what just happened in Texas.

michaelo on June 30, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Someone has to make the effort and I’m glad to see my Congressman is up there fighting the good fight.

(Lamar Smith is actually from Texas, not Tennessee.)

inmypajamas on June 30, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Yeah, Texas please.

catmman on June 30, 2011 at 6:02 PM

(Lamar Smith is actually from Texas, not Tennessee.)

inmypajamas on June 30, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Yeah, Texas please.

catmman on June 30, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I was gonna say…Tennessee? I’m from Tennessee and I never heard of the guy…

ladyingray on June 30, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Beck is an idiot, and doesn’t understand where jobs come from. It worries me that he is cited on this very fine blog.

Republicans should favor strong border enforcement so as to demonstrate control of the territory. Our goal is not to prevent immigration, which is good and helps grow the country, creating jobs as the economy grows. You cannot ignore the entire history of this country, barring a very short period during WW2 when immigration was shut down (airplanes and ships were being put to other uses), which is one long story of the success of immigration.

MTF on June 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

The E-Verify system has been in place for about 5 years.

As a resident of Floriduh. I have factual evidence:

These immigrants are over worked, under paid and evidence to show that certain employers do not comply.

I have been in this business for 26 years. I can factually state, without a doubt:

Under the GWB “regime”? Farm workers had protections, specifically that they had proper houing, proper nutrition, that they were not ripped off by the Farmers.

In the advent of the Obama “regime”? They are increasing in number; employers are not held accountable. There are hundreds of Mexican workers thtat purchased their SSN cards. For between $25 and $400.

Their living conditions are deplorable; despicable. They are subject to horrific conditions on farms especially. 80-hour weeks; no overtime.

Democrats seem to enjoy these conditions. It was the Republicans that sought to eliminate these conditions but were hailed as Racists.

Key West Reader on June 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

MTF on June 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Fer cryin’ out loud.

Pu-leeze.

Socialism failed in America.

………….

Get over it.

/Nice try, though.

Key West Reader on June 30, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Beck might be right. After all, the president will surely do whatever is politically expedient for his reelection effort, and, at at time when most Americans cite ‘jobs and the economy’ as their top concern,
=====================================

Me thinks the Social Justice Community Organizing
DNA in Hopey,will trump any American Common Sense
on Patriotism,and he`ll veto da bill,so as not to
irrate the UNIONS or Latino Vote in which he desper
ately…….desperately….needs..really…really..
badly!!

canopfor on June 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

One problem with this bill is that the federal statute would specifically pre-empt all state e-verify laws.

If the federal government chose to be lax about enforcing the federal e-verify law (just like they’re lax about enforcing the rest of immigration law), there’s nothing the states could do.

And farm workers would be exempt from the federal statute, IIRC. Wonder how many illegal aliens would suddenly be designated as “farm workrs” after it passed.

“It’s a trap!”

Wethal on June 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Bo wouldn’t pass E- verify so he’ll veto.

tim c on June 30, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Walking the line…on everything.

This is a Power Thug, no more, no less.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2011 at 6:33 PM

You cannot ignore the entire history of this country, barring a very short period during WW2 when immigration was shut down (airplanes and ships were being put to other uses), which is one long story of the success of immigration.

MTF on June 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

And you should not ignore the fact that the immigrants who came here in the 19th and early part of the 20th century were coming to a country that did not have a giant welfare system for them to exploit. You also should not ignore the fact that the majority of these historical immigrants came to the U.S. with a sincere desire to become Americans (meaning they worked to learn our language, and respected our history and culture), instead of just coming here to take financial advantage of U.S. taxpayers.

Immigration to the U.S. has been successful in the past because the vast majority of our immigrants assimilated. Many of today’s legal immigrants have no interest in assimilation (e.g., Minnesota’s Muslim immigrants). The same is also true for much of the illegal alien population, Mexicans and Central Americans who come here primarily for the welfare benefits (either their own benefits, which they obtain illegally with fraudulent documents, or those of their American-born anchor children, or both) and who refuse to learn English and remain fiercely loyal to their home countries.

AZCoyote on June 30, 2011 at 6:41 PM

The problem is …

Obama is in charge of running the e-verify program. IF that system were changed to accept every request as valid, in other words it simply does not verify anything, then he has his amnesty. In fact, if he could then find a way to force states to allow voting based on such a system, then he could defacto add millions of illegals to those voting roles.

Freddy on June 30, 2011 at 6:45 PM

The president won’t hesitate to pass an E-verify law as long as it’s UNION JOBS we’re talking about.

Nuance.

GarandFan on June 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Immigrants that came to America legally were also filtered. They were examined for diseases and criminal histories. In more recent times the numbers were controlled so that residents of many different countries the world over had an opportunity to come here, if they had something to offer, such as a skill that would allow them to make a contribution to the country.

Illegal immigrants on the other hand are mostly Mexican, and they are economic refugees with little to nothing to offer, and they will crowd out much more worthy applicants. The Mexican economy is somewhere around #10 in the World, and it is a paradise compared to many of the world’s hellholes.

At one time legal immigrants that came to America helped improve the country. The illegals that come here now come for free goodies, -free ER healthcare, free K-12, discounted college education, welfare and food stamps. They have nothing to offer, -nothing.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Informal poll: Which video provides a better visual demonstration of how reckless the federal government is acting? This one?….or….This one?

If you believe all the spin, everything will turn out Like This.

Mord on June 30, 2011 at 7:22 PM

ObaMao will veto the E-verify bill if it gets to his desk, but he has no reason to take the flack from the right, when the left will vote for him even if he molests his daughters on national TV.

Slowburn on June 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Nikki Haley is dealing with this now in South Carolina. Big Sis, Janet Napolitano refuses to allow South Carolina to see the results of the e-verify inquiries!!!

Haley appeared on the Fox News show “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” June 1 to discuss a letter she had sent Napolitano after, she said, she could not get a response from the Obama administration on why the state was denied the right to use E-Verify to determine immigration status of employees. Napolitano called the day after Haley’s TV appearance.

The program relies on the Feds to A) care and B) keep accurate, up-to-date records.

SouthernGent on June 30, 2011 at 7:54 PM