In a shocking turn of events, the Senate’s Commerce Committee today completely gutted HB 36, better known as the Immigration or E-Verify Bill (hat tip to Randy’s Right!).  The bill that the House passed required public and private employers with more than 24 employees to use E-Verify to confirm an employees’ immigration status before hiring them.  The bill that passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee today removed all language pertaining to private employers.  The toothless bill now heads to the Senate floor where it may be voted as soon as tonight.

This is the same bill that was already watered down in the House (see House Republicans all bark and no bite on immigration bill).  We now have to choke down this version which does absolutely nothing to address the problem of illegal immigrants taking our jobs.   We know that sometimes you have to compromise and take a few baby steps down the road rather than leap-frogging to the end but in this case, this gutted bill is not even baby steps.  The House passed bill was baby steps.  The new HB 36 is a full-on sell-out to the construction, tourism and agricultural lobby.  It is worthless.

So what’s next?  Is the Senate bill the final version?  It is not, at least not yet.  Once the Senate passes it, the changed bill will be returned to the House for a vote.  If the Senate version is rejected by the House,  the two chambers will have to reconcile the competing bills in a conference committee.  Chances are good that it’s the Senate version that will emerge from the conference committee with Republicans blaming it on Perdue, telling we the sheeple that it was the best they could do given her penchant for vetoes.

House final version
Senate version