Date: Wednesday 14MAR2012 2 p.m. EDT
Our TV/radio ad & grassroots campaign are stirring up some signs of panic among the supporters of illegal foreign workers
NumbersUSA is creating 'crisis of near doomsday proportions,' says coalition of illegal-alien-hiring businesses
A Big Ag coalition apparently believes that you and we are threatening to have some success in our campaign against Speaker Boehner and his blocking of E-Verify legislation.
The Save America's Food and Economy coalition (SAFE) has just issued an urgent national release criticizing NumbersUSA's ad campaign. It refers to SAFE President Craig J. Regelbrugge's speech before growers, manufacturers and agriculture experts at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California.
"(Regelbrugge) expressed concern that misguided organizations like NumbersUSA, a group fanning the flames of fear and division on the immigration reform debate, will end up causing the destruction of struggling farms and the communities that rely on them.
"NumbersUSA recently announced a major advertising campaign targeting Congressional districts, including House Speaker John Boehners Ohio district, to scare members of Congress into voting for an immediate E-Verify mandate on employers and the economy.
"SAFE argues NumbersUSA is sabotaging America's food independence and security by threatening Speaker Boehner into forcing passage of Rep. Lamar Smiths (R-TX) Legal Workforce Act or H.R. 2885."
Congratulations to all of you who have faxed in this campaign. Even more congrats to those of you who have made phone calls. And fireworks salutes to those of you who have now visited your Congressman's local office about this.
Below, I'll get back to the fascinating attack on our campaign. Let me just say quickly, though, that:
*Fewer than 5% of illegal aliens work in agriculture. E-Verify is primarily about opening up non-ag jobs to unemployed Americans.
*If E-Verify passes, farmers would have to either hire American workers or apply for legal foreign guestworkers through the unlimited federal guest ag-worker H-2A visa. There would be no reason for any shortage of legal farm workers.
*The ag lobbies' greed for illegal labor is their reason to fight daily to keep E-Verify from being used to open up the construction and service jobs that are eagerly sought among the 20 million Americans who can't find a job or are forced into part-time labor.
ACTION NO. 4 -- WATCH OUR CAMPAIGN UPDATE ON OUR WEEKLY THURSDAY WEBCAST: Watch it live or in replay. If you click now, you can watch last week's webcast of the intriguing way House leaders are trying to dodge our campaign.
WATCH THE WEBCAST AT 3:30 P.M. (EASTERN TIME): https://www.NumbersUSA.tv
Although no House Republican leader will admit it publicly, we are told from many sources that Big Ag lobbyists (and campaign contributors) are playing an important role in the blocking of mandatory E-Verify.
The SAFE coalition represents that point of view and the outsized influence that California growers have on our nation's immigration policy.
Isn't it outrageous to have a group of businesses proudly admit that they are serial lawbreakers -- and then use their criminality as an excuse for allowing them to continue in their outlaw ways?
Look what the SAFE coalition admitted in their national diatribe against NumbersUSA:
"Nearly 70% of farm employees are unauthorized, yet skilled and experienced migrant workers who are responsible for the nations food production.
"The current version of E-Verify without a 'workable solution for farms,' says Regelbrugge, 'would effectively kill America's agriculture.'
"'This is a crisis of near doomsday proportions,' warned Regelbrugge. 'Congress and the American people won't realize what happened until it is too late.'
"Regelbrugge reminded the audience about Georgia, where the state has lost hundreds of millions in crops and economic activity because of a one-sided state law that has E-Verify at the centerpiece."
This is a particularly interesting claim about Georgia, which appears to be greatly exaggerated. A state commission that studied Georgia's farms found indeed that there had been some losses because farmers had not prepared well enough in advance for the fact that bands of roving illegal aliens wouldn't just show up as usual.
But if there were some ag losses in Georgia, there was no collapse of the industry. The state study found large percentages of farmers didn't even know the H-2A visa existed. This year, the only reason for a scarcity of farm workers in Georgia will be because farmers were too stubborn or too inefficient to figure out how to contract for legal workers in the same way that North Carolina farmers have done for years.
Which puts a lie to this fantastic claim by the SAFE ag lobby:
"If (H.R. 2885) passed today without an agricultural solution, over two-thirds of America's skilled farm workforce would disappear almost overnight. The country would find itself relying more on food production from places like China, which has already increased its fruit and vegetable exports to the U.S. by 555% over 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"We support the need to reform a troubled immigration system, with effective enforcement included," said Regelbrugge. "But, let's be smart about it. These groups are playing with fire and risking the economy. Poll after poll shows that the economy and jobs are the number one priority for voters in fact, only 5% of Americans rank immigration at the top of their list of important issues. So, why is NumbersUSA forcing the issue? And why would Congress let them?"
I hope all of you read this screed against us as a great sign that you are making progress.
It should be noted that the No. 3 House Republican leader -- Rep. McCarthy of Bakerfield, Calif. -- is somebody that the big growers have felt like they could count on in the past. Imagine their shock to see Rep. McCarthy's staff starting to tell those of you who called his office during the last week that he does NOT oppose the mandatory E-Verify bill.
The Ag Lobby seems to indicate that McCarthy has been "scared" by you into going pro-E-Verify. Now, you can see the enormous pressure he will be under to renege on that position. That means you Californians have to continue to call him (202-224-3121) and urge him to do the right thing.
H.R. 2885 is exceptionally lenient with the Big Growers. It gives them two years longer than most large employers (three years after enactment) to E-Verify all their workers. That should be far more than enough time for any farmer to either figure out how to use the H-2A system or to join a co-op that will do it for them.