A coalition of nine agriculture and other trade associations, including the National Chicken Council,  issued a statement this week in response to the “Standards for Immigration Reform” recently released by the House Republican Conference. “The standards make it clear that a ‘workable electronic employment verification system’ must be a part of immigration reform.  We strongly agree that this must be a priority, and we applaud the House majority for committing to bring our immigration system up to date,”  the statement said.

“It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, our nation’s employment verification system still relies on paperwork and uses a nearly 30-year-old document-based approach to process new hires.  Moreover, the optional E-Verify electronic system is itself almost 20 years old and fatally vulnerable to identify theft.  It has failed to stop illegal immigration because it cannot dependably detect or deter this form of fraud,” the statement said.

“A workable employment verification system must stop workplace identify theft by preventing a job application from using a stolen identify to secure employment.  And, a workable system must also include protections for employers that follow the law, due to failings in the government-run verification system, inadvertently hire unauthorized workers.  It is unjust to hold employers accountable for relying on inaccurate information provided by the federally run system,” the groups pointed out in its statement.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the House to provide employers and legal workers the adequate tools and protections they require to achieve the goal that our immigration laws are enforced,” the coalition said.

Besides NCC,  other coalition members include the American Meat Institute, Council for Global Immigration, National Association of Manufacturers, National Franchisees Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Association, and Society for Human Resource Management.