Sen. Blunt: Employers, union bosses should share worker verification responsibility
Mar 01,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

WASHINGTON - Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) urged his colleagues in the House this afternoon to support a Republican effort that would ensure workers who sign up for union membership are legal residents of the United States.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to make sure that folks who sign up to join a union are legally authorized to be here in the first place," Blunt said. "Last year, the House passed a tough immigration bill that required employers to verify the legal status of new workers. Today, we're simply trying to extend that important responsibility to union officials as well, whose job it is to actively solicit new members."

The Republican measure would require that a signed union authorization card be accompanied by a substantiation of the signer's status as a U.S. citizen or lawful resident alien in order to be considered valid.

Proposals to strengthen workplace verification protocols were offered by both Democrats and Republicans in the 109th Congress, at times drawing the support of nearly 40 percent of the Democratic caucus.

Added Blunt: "I would hope our provision attracts the support of these and other Democrats who have gone on record in support of stemming the tide of illegal immigration. Today's vote on the Republican motion would give them an opportunity to remain consistent."