Gaining support of the White House, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions as well as bipartisan support in the Senate, Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman voiced discouragement and frustration his E-Verify amendment was not brought to the floor for debate and thus failing to be included in the bill on immigration reform passed Thursday.
Portman’s E-Verify amendment would enhance protections against identity theft and fraud, strengthen photo tool effectiveness and data privacy protections and protects employers who seek to comply in good faith.
“I think this is the critical issue in immigration reform,” Portman said Thursday during a media teleconference prior to the immigration bill’s passage by a 68-32 vote. “If we do not stop the magnet at the workplace then I don’t think the rest of the bill fits together.
“I think it is the critical piece of the puzzle,” he said, “I have argued that from the start and I continue to believe that it would be in the interest of both sides to allow a vote and to let us send a strong message to the House that the workplace is where we will enforce our laws and therefore won’t a repeat of 1986 when Congress passed legalization without strong workplace protections.”
For more on Portman's efforts, see the Saturday, June 29, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.