By Joe Guzzardi
January 30, 2015
Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she approves of illegal immigrants working in the United States. Even though U.S. wages have been stagnant for years, more than 18 million Americans can’t find a full time job and the labor participation rate is the lowest since the Carter administration, Lynch told the committee that “the right and obligation to work is one that is shared by everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here.”
When asked if President Obama’s immigration actions are legal and constitutional, Lynch said that they are. Lynch is onboard with Obama’s executive amnesty which will leave the border open for countless more illegal immigrants. Eventually, they too will qualify for deferred action and work authorization under the administration’s increasingly lax standards.
With the looming prospect of two more years without immigration enforcement, the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee’s agenda next week is critical to protect against further American job displacement. The subcommittee will re-examine legislative proposals introduced last year designed to strengthen virtually non-existent interior enforcement, to eliminate rampant fraud and abuse in asylum laws, and to close the loophole that allows so called unaccompanied minors to remain unlawfully.
Subcommittee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has his work cut out for him. Former Immigration Customs and Enforcement acting director John Sanweg said that non-criminal aliens have a next-to-zero chance of deportation, internal government documents found that 70 percent of asylum applications are fraudulent and so rampant that the New York Times referred to the fraud as “an industry,” and the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 8 million unlawful immigrants are employed, some of them in payroll jobs.
Mandatory E-Verify, which the House Judiciary passed in 2011, but Speaker John Boehner blocked from coming to the floor for a full vote, represents the quickest, most effective deterrent to illegal immigration. Although immigration advocates maligned the program as cumbersome and error-riddled, the opposite is true. E-Verify provides instant work authorization by comparing employee-submitted information on his I-9 form and checks it against more than 455 million records in the Social Security Administration’s database, as well as the more than 80 million records in the Department of Homeland Security’s data bases. If the employee-provided data matches, he’s legally work authorized. In the event of a mismatch, the employee receives a “no match letter” and time to resolve the discrepancy, often caused by innocent mistakes like inadvertently entering wrong social security numbers or using a maiden name.
Based on the latest statistics available, fiscal year 2013, E-verify is successful. Employers processed more than 24 million applications, and nearly 99 percent were confirmed. E-verify gives employers up to three years to implement and not only guarantees a legal workforce, but deters identity theft since aliens realize the verification process roots out stolen social security numbers.
Even immigration advocates admit E-verify’s effectiveness. John Morton, ICE director from 2009-2013, told C-Span that “It will be a lot harder for people to come here illegally for labor if they know that when they get here there will be an effort to verify whether or not they have employment authorization.” Pew’s Jeffrey Cassel agrees with Morton. Cassel told NPR that verification make aliens “much less likely to come.”
This is a pivotal year for America’s future. The Obama administration appears to have little to no interest in real border security. But if Congress delivers an E-verify bill to his desk, President Obama will be between a rock and a hard place. If he vetoes E-verify, his promise to help the struggling middle class, including millions of unemployed Americans, will be exposed as a sham.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]