Illegal106.doc. 2-17.

Good afternoon. My name is Doug Kagan, and I represent Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. We support LB 165 for many reasons. We are pro-jobs, not anti-immigrant.

Recognizing that congressional legislation eventually will make use of E-Verify mandatory in all states, many employers already use this system voluntarily to become accustomed to its provisions. As more states enact legislation to require its use, companies are using E-Verify to demonstrate positive corporate citizenship. The glitches in the system when first promulgated have disappeared. Error rates in FY 2013 stood at .047%, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, with improvements in speed and processing. Additional improvement has appeared with increased digital imaging, which will stop the ID theft problem in the hiring process and in the community itself. A 2014 DHS report survey revealed that 87% of users seemed satisfied; 92% would use it in future for new employees. At the federal level, the biggest advantage is reducing company exposure to violations, fines, and workplace raids that disrupt company operations. If an employer in good faith hires someone not authorized to work here but successfully verifies the individual through E-Verify, the employer will not face liability. DHS maintains that E-Verify is the best means to verify eligibility of new employees, because it eliminates SS mismatch letters and improves wage and tax reporting accuracy. At the Nebraska level, E-Verify would offer immunity relating to state income tax liability. If a company hires someone not eligible to work here and deducts expenses associated with him when calculating state income taxes, but uses E-Verify, the company would not face liability. The NE Dept. of Labor encourages E-Verify use. Employers cannot face discrimination lawsuits, because a government computer completes the checking. E-Verify would permit the employer to invest in training a new person quickly, without risk that he would become found illegally working and deported, thus wasting resources invested in training. A needed protection cushion, the bill would shield contractors from liability if not aware of a subcontractor hiring illegals. It would insure that all NE businesses operate on the same playing field, targeting those that purposely hire illegals and pay substandard wages with no benefits. Not passing this bill only supports underhanded employers who hire illegals and do not pay the taxes or pay into unemployment and worker compensation funds, giving them unfair advantage. And less likely that illegal aliens will try to obtain employment but later arrested and deported, leading to family disruption, kids pulled from school, and draining of law enforcement and immigration court financial resources.

Finally, we support this bill, because requiring all NE employers to register for an ID number and face possible revocation will protect NE jobs and protect taxpayers from the fiscal ills of illegal immigration in incarceration, welfare, health care, and education costs.
4 NTF members testified in favor of LB 165 after its introduction to the committee by its sponsor, conservative Sen. Tom Brewer. Opposing the bill were the usual suspects: NE Restaurant Association, NE-ACLU, NE Appleseed Center, Justice for Our Neighbors, NE Chamber of Commerce, the NE Retail Federation, and Lancaster County League of Women Voters. Liberal Judiciary Committee members Bob Krist and Ernie Chambers did not bother to attend the hearing. Imperative that NTF members who live in the districts of the following committee members email them to advance LB 165 out of committee to the full Legislature for debate.

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