Pigs Aren’t Flying, But Mother Jones and FAIR Agree on E-Verify

Here’s something you would probably never expect to read on FAIR’s blog site: Mother Jones is right!

Here’s something you would probably never expect to read on the pages of Mother Jones: They think FAIR is right about a key element of immigration reform!

Until relatively recently, true progressives supported checks on mass immigration and illegal immigration over concerns about such things as the fate of the environment and American workers. All that has been chucked in recent years in deference to the Far Left’s all-consuming objective of radical multiculturalism and identity politics.

But there are still a few progressives out there who haven’t lost their minds. A few still advocate for limits on immigration to protect both migrants and Americans. Writer Kevin Drum argues, on the Mother Jones’ opinion site, “The best way to do this is to attack the problem at its source. With a few exceptions, the reason that immigrants cross the southern border is economic: they can get better jobs in America than they can in Mexico or Guatemala. So the obvious answer is not a bigger fence or more raids: it’s cutting off the jobs. And the best way to do that is to force employers to follow the law when they hire people, and to apply enough resources to it that they know there’s a good chance of getting caught if they don’t.”

While FAIR does not discount the need for a better border fence, we have long argued that the most effective and most humane way of curtailing illegal immigration is to give prospective illegal aliens a lot of good reasons not to break the law. Making it clear to would-be illegal aliens that they are unlikely to score a job in this country because employers are compelled to use E-Verify, would discourage not only illegal border-crossers but also illegal aliens who overstay their visas.

Drum correctly points a finger at Republican lawmakers for the failure to mandate universal E-Verification. “[S]ocial conservatives think they own the Republican Party, they don’t. Corporations and rich people own the party, and they don’t want ICE agents raiding them.” Many also don’t want the law to require them to use a system that would effectively deny them access to low-wage illegal workers.

Drum could easily have noted the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party, which brands itself as the party of working people in this country, but is now eager to sacrifice the interests of American workers to the god of multiculturalism. He didn’t. But that’s okay – we just did it for him.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Shutting off the job magnet is key to ending illegal immigration. Although a wall is needed at the southern border it will do nothing to address visa overstays. Last year I believe DHS stated there were 187K visa overstays which many are probably college grads taking STEM and other high paying jobs. Mandatory National E-Verify along with work site enforcement would discourage border jumpers and visa overstays.

  2. avatar
    George Williams on

    Congress should enact laws that include fining illegal aliens. Korea does this, and I suspect other countries do so as well. Large confiscatory fines woukd help defray the enforcement costs and deny there people their illl gotten wealth.

  3. avatar

    From the here we go again file. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has a story this week about Venezuelans coming to Miami as tourists and then claiming asylum when they arrive. The story says “Last year, 27,629 Venezuelans petitioned US Citizenship and Immigration Services for asylum, an 88% increase from 2016 and up from 2,181 in 2014. ”

    They should have to apply before they come and if they do apply here they should have hearings within a short time, which should be final. One immigration attorney said she estimated 80% of tourists coming here are applying for asylum. This is a failure of the system since those who are inclined to stay should not be allowed to come to begin with.

    The same paper carried two stories in 2015 about abuses of the asylum system by Cubans who come here and are granted that status automatically. In the first story US Welfare Flows To Cuba, numerous instances were documented showing that people were getting all the goodies from the US government and then returning for months and even years to the places in Cuba where they claimed to be in danger, all the while collecting their US benefits. Elderly parents come here and then go on SSI without ever working a day in this country. The paper estimated welfare costs of over 600 million a year.

    In another story, Plundering America The Cuban Criminal Pipeline, statistics showed a huge amount of crime done by those born on that island. Of federal arrests for all of this country, 10% of credit card fraud, 23% of cargo theft, and 41% of healthcare fraud were done by Cuban born criminals. Frequently they skip back to Cuba before they get caught.

    What the citizens of these countries need to do is stay and straighten out their own societies. One of the Venezuelans applying for asylum “was the owner of a mattress store whose wares were confiscated by the National Guard.” Unfortunate but not our problem. The Castro brothers ruled Cuba for 60 years and the populace let them. I doubt Americans would allow that.

  4. avatar
    Patricia Watkins on

    E-verify would be a great step in the right direction, but there are many illegals who either work under the table or have fake ID/documents to appear legal. An illegal Mexican once told me that it is easy to buy a social security number in California if you had the money to pay for it. He got two and thus could live his life in America appearing to be legally here. He never was legally here but he got a driver’s license, credit cards, and good American jobs. He said that because he was bilingual he often got hired first and paid more. And, we do need a wall. Even if they aren’t getting jobs in America, illegals are sneaking back and forth over that border for various other reasons such as smuggling in other illegal migrants as well as drugs. Combating illegal migration has to be a multi-pronged approach.