Sep 15, 2011, 14:13 ET from Take Back Washington

SEATTLE, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An ad hoc coalition of almost 30 conservative, Tea Party and limited government groups representing millions has launched a national media campaign against a bill that would make E-Verify mandatory for all businesses.  They have also sent a letter to Congress outlining their concerns, according to Take Back Washington

The headline in today's first paid ad – a full-page in Washington's "Politico" -  reads:

"Punishing businesses and telling citizens they can't work
is no way to stop illegal immigration…
OR fix the economy

"So why is Congress even thinking about passing
H.R. 2885, the 'Legal' Workforce Act &
universal, mandatory E-Verify?"

Michael D. Ostrolenk, National Director of the Liberty Coalition, who has been working against E-Verify since it was introduced, says the effort coalesced in just two weeks after he approached Tea Party and conservative groups and found out that there were serious misconceptions about how E-Verify would work and it's effectiveness.  So he enlisted Kathryn Serkes, founder of Washington state grassroots group, Take Back Washington, to help connect with other Tea Party groups.

"We didn't realize that E-Verify casts a broad net that ensnares every citizen and could jeopardize our ability to work," said Serkes. "And the tremendous negative impact on the economy, particularly for those of us who are small business owners.  We realized we needed to fight and we needed to move quickly to kill this in the House Judiciary committee."

Included in the 28 signatories to the letter and ad are some big names in conservative and Tea Party circles, such as: Tea Party Nation, American Grassroots Coalition, Institute for Liberty, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Rutherford Institute, Gun Owners of America, Taxpayer Protection Alliance, Constitution Alliance, Republican Liberty Caucus and American Freedom Agenda.

The focus of the concerns are its impact on the economy and civil liberties of legal citizens.
From the ad and Congressional letter:

"This job-killer creates a universal, mandatory electronic employment verification system by EVERY employer in the U.S. for EVERY person seeking employment in the U.S."

"Requiring citizens to secure permission from the Department of Homeland Security to enjoy the fruits of their labor is an unacceptable violation of our civil liberties…"

-Creates a de facto national I.D. system - even for citizens;
-Violates individual civil liberties such as the right to work & free speech;
- Mandates a costly job-killing regulatory burden that cripples small business;
-Requires employers to become enforcement agents of the federal government;
-Encourages identity theft of citizens."

"I'm a small businessman, not an enforcement agent for Homeland Security," said Clint Didier, central Washington state farmer and 2010 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. "Why should I bear the burden of the cost and possible prosecution if I accidentally employ someone with a stolen identity?"

Ostrolenk said they are adding more groups to the coalition, and will release more media when mark up on the bill begins next week.  "The buzz and blogging is growing every day."

NOTE: Full text of the letter to Congress is posted at http://www.takebackwashington.org/.

Contact: Kathryn Serkes, Take Back Washington (206) 841-0100

SOURCE Take Back Washington