Ryan Claims ‘Police State’ Required to Enforce Immigration Laws

Published on February 1st, 2016

By Joe Guzzardi
February 1, 2016
During the presidential primaries, immigration has emerged as one of the most hotly debated subjects.  Some candidates, after testing which way the political wind is blowing, have shifted their positions away from supporting legal status and eventual citizenship.
Those who still favor legal status and citizenship repeatedly use one sentence to justify their advocacy: “The United States can’t round up and deport 12 million people.”
Because it conveys a Gestapo-like operation wherein Immigration and Customs Enforcement would roust illegal aliens asleep in their beds, jail them, and then forcefully and return them to their native countries, “round up” is one of politicians and journalists’ favorite descriptors.
House Speaker Paul Ryan recently reinforced this ugly imagery when, contending that it’s impossible to deport millions of illegal immigrants, he said that such an effort would require a “police state.” Ryan added that he wants to “fix the broken immigration system,” code words amnesty advocates frequently use.
A more effective way to deal with illegal immigration was first introduced in Congress in 1996 as the Basic Pilot Program and re-introduced multiple times as E-Verify, available on a voluntary basis to every employer in the U.S since 2004. Simply explained, E-Verify confirms work authorization for recent hires by comparing a new employee’s information taken from his paper-based I-9 form against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security immigration databases. A match indicates that the employee is either a citizen or a legal immigrant and eligible to work in the U.S.
Since only citizens and legal immigrants may be employed, the jobs magnet that encourages so many foreign nationals to come to the U.S. illegally or overstay their visas would gradually disappear. The Pew Research Center estimates that about seven million illegal immigrants work in non-agricultural jobs, a total that may include the 500,000 missing visa overstays that the Department of Homeland Security confessed last month has no idea where to locate.
Even legalization supporters admit that mandatory E-Verify would be effective in reducing illegal immigration. In his interview with C-SPAN John Morton, the former ICE Director told C-SPAN that E-Verify would make it much harder for people to look for work in the U.S. illegally if they knew their authorization would be verified.
Today, more than half of the nation’s new hires go through E-Verify. Employers who rely heavily on an illegal immigrant work force, however, don’t use the system because it’s voluntary. Last year, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Legal Workforce Act which would protect American jobs, and help reduce overstays. The bill would require the SSA to lock the social security numbers on expired visas which would disqualify them from employment. National mandatory E-Verify would also prevent illegal aliens currently working in temporary agricultural jobs from eventually moving into construction, hospitality, service or other fields that eventually allow illegal aliens to establish U.S. residency. A Pew Research Center report found that more illegal aliens hold blue collar jobs today than they did before the 2007-2009 recession.
Despite the obvious role that mandatory E-Verify would have in eliminating illegal immigrant employment, House leadership, originally under Speaker John Boehner and then Ryan’s direction, has kept the bill from coming to the floor for a full vote.
Twenty years have passed since Congress approved E-Verify in its original version—two full decades. Despite congressional efforts to thwart E-Verify’s universal implementation, more than 80 percent of Americans want nationwide E-Verify enforcement. Given the U.S. economy’s tepid job market, and with more than 90 million Americans detached from the labor force, mandatory E-Verify is essential.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]

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