Tom Cotton, Mitt Romney Plan Will Boost U.S. Wages, Mandate E-Verify

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., left, speaks at a North Little Rock, Ark., news conference as former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, right, listens Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Romney endorsed Cotton in the race for U.S. Senate Thursday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
AP Photo/Danny Johnston

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) are teaming up to introduce legislation that will boost Americans’ wages while punishing employers for illegal hiring.

Cotton and Romney announced on Tuesday that their legislation will raise the federal minimum wage gradually, over time, by having it increase with inflation. The minimum wage has not been raised in any way since 2009, when the cost of living was 20 percent lower.

Simultaneously, the Cotton-Romney plan would drastically increase protections for the United States labor market by requiring all employers to use the E-Verify system that protects American jobs for Americans and legal immigrants — barring the employment of illegal aliens whom working class Americans are often forced to compete against.

“We have an obligation to protect our workers and fellow citizens,” Cotton wrote in a statement online. “This common-sense proposal will give millions of Americans the raise they deserve.”

Romney, who has been a proponent of mandatory E-Verify, said the legislation is about protecting the nation’s workforce from unfair foreign competition and an increased cost of living.

For years, a wide majority of Americans have supported both gradual increases to the minimum wage and mandatory E-Verify to punish businesses for illegal hiring practices. In Florida, which voted twice for former President Trump, more than 60 percent of voters supported increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by September 2026.

Mandatory E-Verify, likewise, has remained one of the most popular policy initiatives across racial, class, and party lines. Its biggest opponents have been the politically-connected donor class.

weekly survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports shows that more than 7-in-10 likely voters agree that mandatory E-Verify should become law to protect the U.S. workforce. This includes 74 percent of Hispanic likely voters. Less than 20 percent of likely voters oppose mandatory E-Verify.

Additionally, 65 percent of likely voters say it is better for employers to raise wages and try harder to recruit the 17.1 million Americans who are out of work rather than importing cheaper foreign workers. Another 61 percent of likely voters say the U.S. already has enough skilled talent in the domestic labor pool for employers to recruit from.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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