The Elephant Big-Footing GOP Immigration Policy

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

The United States Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest, most-influential business lobby is the “immigration elephant” in congressional Republicans’ caucus rooms.

Claiming that America’s job market is too hot to lose them, Chamber lobbyists have been urging Congress to grant legal status to a million or more illegally-employed illegal immigrants.

More defensibly, perhaps, the Chamber also resists proposals to reduce future levels of legal immigration, characterizing reductions as “devastating to our economy,” even though tighter labor markets would force businesses to compete for American workers by raising wages and benefits. But the Chamber generally advocates easier, cheaper amnesty/legalization to address its members’ manpower requirements.

Fortunately, Republicans are on the case, sort of…

Republicans campaign against “sanctuary cities” and “criminal illegal aliens,” but they seldom cross the Chamber of Commerce. M-13 gangbangers and drug cartels are genuine problems, but the primary driver of illegal immigration is illegals’ desire to find work. Having broken the law to come or stay here, illegal aliens have no “rights” to employment. In fact, Americans who employ illegal aliens have also broken immigration laws.

Enforcing American immigration laws requires more than controlling and securing the border, deporting criminals and dismantling the lawless policies of sanctuary cities/states. Criminal deportations must continue, of course, and protecting criminal illegals in sanctuary cities must stop, but so must the common abuse of asylum, exploiting children to gain entry and using anchor babies to admit extended families.

As and perhaps more importantly, disrupting access to America’s jobs honeypot is essential to effective enforcement of immigration statutes, so enforcement must include an equally or potentially even more powerful tool already on the books. There’s another legal resource the Chamber dislikes that receives little or, usually, no Republican attention:

Enforcing E-Verify would control illegal immigration by nullifying a major incentive for illegals to come here.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “E-Verify is a web-based system that allows…employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees…against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”

Federal contractors are required to use E-Verify, and some states mandate its use as a condition of business licensing, but, otherwise, using E-Verify is voluntary. DHS, again: “E-Verify…is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands… [It] is currently the best means available to electronically confirm employment eligibility.”

Incentives — both positive and negative — work. Enhancing and making E-Verify mandatory nationwide, strictly enforcing its provisions, deporting illegals and prosecuting employer violators would put an end to casual illegality by making entry and employment violations unproductive or costly. Illegal border entries would dry up along with the jobs illegals seek.

To control the border, improve security and public safety and benefit its workers, America must deal with all immigration lawbreakers, including employers.