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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: E-Verify pre-emption clause problematic

We have seen Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, editorialize too many times on his bill for mandatory E-Verify as a way of controlling the hiring of illegal aliens (“E-Verify helps minorities,” Commentary, Wednesday).

Yes, mandatory E-Verify would help address the problem if it were more widely enforced. But in his column, Mr. Smith fails to explain that his bill also contains Section 6, the pre-emption clause that would nullify all existing and future state and local laws addressing the hiring of illegal aliens. Mr. Smith has steadfastly refused to remove this section. The only controls on illegal immigration to date have been the state and local laws in places including Arizona, Alabama and elsewhere. The federal government refuses to enforce its laws - even more so now, under President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Mr. Smith and his Chamber of Commerce helpers surely know that while this bill looks like a politically appealing step toward illegal-immigration enforcement, the feds will never enforce it and the states subsequently will be prohibited from acting on it.

Unfortunately, it looks good but smells bad. If Mr. Smith is serious about E-Verify, he should drop the pre-emption clause.

WILLIAM M. CAMPENNI

Herndon

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