Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) said during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that the Senate’s immigration bill would make immigrants “indentured servants” to unscrupulous companies.
Sensenbrenner’s comments came during an exchange with hearing witness Julie Myers-Wood, the former assistant secretary of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who currently serves as the president of investigative and compliance firm Guidepost Solutions. Sensenbrenner asked Myers-Wood and the other witnesses to detail how they would change the Senate legislation to achieve positive immigration reform.
“I think, first, I would deal with the employer verification section,” Myers-Wood answered Sensenbrenner. “It takes five to seven years, which is too long for all employees to have to go through the system. And the inability to verify an existing workforce is going to create an uncleared workforce. So, there’s going to be a lot of illegal migration and problems with that workforce.”
At that point, Sensenbrenner interjected: “It would make the existing workforce effectively indentured servants.”
Myers-Wood responded: “That’s exactly right. Unscrupulous employers could take advantage of those individuals, pay them substandard wages or treat them poorly. It’s problematic for a whole host of reasons.”