Oregon businesses join with unusual allies to press for comprehensive immigration reform
With Congress edging back into the battle over immigration reform, the leading House proposal is drawing opposition from a surprising place - Oregon businesses.
One of the leaders, Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, calls the legislation introduced by House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, R-Tex., "a recipe for disaster, not only for agriculture but for the national economy."
"In the worst case," he says, "you could see some Oregon operations crumble."
Smith's proposal would require all employers to use a federal database known as E-Verify to confirm that a prospective worker is legal. Currently, 250,000 businesses use E-Verify on a voluntary basis. That number would jump to 6 million if it became mandatory.
In unrelated news several local area bars and liquor stores are protesting a law requiring them to ask for ID when a patron looks under the age of 21. "This will cost us money" said the owner of one tavern.
Also, gun shops and sporting goods stores have now decided to treat form 4473 as a mere formality. "Sure we have someone fill it out, but we can't actually be bothered to verify if the information is accurate" was the response of most gun stores. An industry advocate said "Our business model requires that we sell firearms to felons and those prohibited by law, when we ignore the rules we make more money."
In news related to the economy it seems that local business have taken to pirating software on a mass scale. "I would estimate that 70% of our business software is undocumented" said one local office who wished to remain anonymous. It seems that companies have figured out that if they break the law it can only strengthen the bottom line.