E-Verify Could Become Federal Mandate for All Employers

America’s current immigration system is broken and does not meet the needs of its citizens or businesses. Immigration reform is especially important to California as there are estimated to be somewhere between 2.35 million and 2.6 million undocumented immigrants who call California home—23% of the nation’s total and about 6% of the state’s population—half of whom have lived here for more than 10 years. Many of these individuals are holding jobs and doing work upon which employers and the economy depend. These individuals have developed roots in this country, leaving little incentive to return to their country of origin.

Approximately 1.85 million undocumented immigrants are estimated to be working in California—approximately 1 in 10 workers in California is an undocumented immigrant. Immigration, both documented and undocumented, is expected to account for almost all the growth in the labor force. The uncertainty over the legal status of undocumented immigrants could be a drag on the economy and, if resolved, would continue to stimulate consumer spending and investment.



America cannot compete and win in a global economy without attracting and retaining a talented workforce of big dreamers. Immigration reform should bring certainty to employers, employees, and families. We need a comprehensive national program that addresses border security, temporary worker programs, employment verification and enforcement, as well as a path to legal status. CalChamber supports the following comprehensive reform principles:

  • Support a bipartisan solution in Congress for borders as a line of defense against those who enter illegally and against those who pose security threats to this country. Border security shouldn’t be at the expense of our trade and commerce, which must continue between Mexico and California.
  • Temporary worker programs should be reformed to meet the needs of employers for high- and low-skilled jobs that cannot be filled by U.S. workers. The current system leaves many hard-working immigrants in a state of limbo waiting for approvals while employers struggle to keep their most valued asset, a trained workforce.
  • An earned pathway to legal status for undocumented workers should be created, but should not permit line jumping in front of the current immigrant visa backlog and the processing of legal immigration needs to occur simultaneously to avoid creating incentives for illegal immigration.

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Marty-Fisher-2008-300x300Marti Fisher
Policy Advocate
Unemployment Insurance, Immigration, Occupational Safety, Tourism