COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, SEIU District 1199 Secretary-Treasurer Al Bacon released the following statement on Senator Rob Portman’s vote against cloture on the comprehensive immigration reform bill moving through the Senate and his E-verify amendment.
“I’m discouraged to hear Senator Rob Portman is withholding an affirmative vote for comprehensive immigration reform,” said SEIU District 1199 Secretary-Treasurer Al Bacon. “This bill has been many years in the making. There have been countless negotiations with far ranging groups including labor and business at every level to make the process as open and inclusive as possible. It is encouraging to see a bipartisan plan emerge that has attracted significant Republican support, with the exception of Senator Portman.”
“Over the next few days, the Senate has a historic opportunity to provide a roadmap for citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. Senator Portman has indicated that his vote could hinge on his Amendment on E-Verify included in the bill. He has had countless opportunities to include said language in the Corker-Hoeven border security deal and through the open amendment process, but chose not to go that route. Withholding his vote because he chose to remain unhelpful to the process is a case of sour grapes. This is no excuse to deny 11 million aspiring Americans a roadmap to citizenship and secure our borders.”
The E-Verify amendment Senator Portman is currently offering places undue burdens on business and creates a second tier of employment. The E-verify language could drive businesses out of the open economy and back into the underground while giving business an incentive to have workers remain off the books. This ultimately lowers wages for all workers hurting economic growth and those employees and businesses.