Supporters of the E-Verify system that allows employers to assure that they are not employing illegal aliens is supported by a large majority of the public, members on both sides of the aisle in Congress and is included in the immigration reforms advocated by President Trump. So why isn’t it a national mandatory requirement?
In an August 13 article in The Hill newspaper, a retired immigration enforcement professional argued that making E-Verify a national mandatory system would be more effective in shutting down illegal immigration than the proposed border wall expansion Again, why then hasn’t it been implemented?
Some appear to think the E-Verify system is already in force. And in fact it does exist as a voluntary system nationwide and it has been made partially or wholly mandatory in some states and local jurisdictions. But, as long as illegal alien workers can flow to states where the system is not required or not effectively enforced, it will not constitute an effective deterrent to illegal immigration.
There are two major reasons that an effective E-Verify system is not the law of the land. The first is that there is a broad network of employer organizations that oppose the system because it would deprive them of cheap exploitable illegal alien labor. Those organizations have influence not just with libertarians but also with politicians. The other reason is that any meaningful immigration reform has long been stymied by the logjam between the Democrats who insist on a full-scale amnesty for all illegal aliens as part of any reform legislation and Republicans who oppose an amnesty.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration made an overly generous amnesty offer to illegal aliens who came into the country as minors. That offer was soundly rejected by congressional Democrats, a clear indication that they want unconditional amnesty without any meaningful enforcement.
This impasse is extremely frustrating to all those concerned about the security, fiscal, and social impact of the out-of-control border. It seems as if a national referendum would be the only way to bypass the legislative logjam. But, isn’t that what national elections are supposed to provide? One can hope that the present acute focus on immigration policy may result in a public sufficiently informed and energized to constitute the needed referendum.