Former Colorado Congressman, Republican Tom Tancredo, was one of the first to base many of his policy positions on the multiple threats created by illegal immigration. He was also one of the first to transfer those concerns into a platform upon which to seek the office of President of the United States. He knows the subject well and while he supports the concept of building a border wall, has a recommendation for action that will produce equal or likely greater benefits for the American workers and the United States at virtually no cost, the mandated use of the E-Verify pre-employment work authorization verification system. In a Saturday article on Breitbart.com he explained that the current system is failing because those in power won’t allow it to succeed. He wrote:
Congress can turn off the jobs magnet by enacting the mandatory E-Verify program, an internet-based system allowing instant verification of the legal status of job applicants. It has an error rate of less than 1 percent and costs employers next to nothing.
Foreign born workers have no constitutional right to employment. Like every European country, Mexico and all of the advanced nations of the world, the United States has a system of “work authorization permits” for legal employment by immigrants and all foreign nationals. The problem is, our laws against unlawful employment are not enforced– in fact, they are unenforceable without major changes and improvements.
The easy availability of unlawful employment is the giant magnet motivating millions of illegal aliens to cross our borders unlawfully. We also have a mushrooming problem of millions of “visa overstays,” people who arrive on a legal tourist or other temporary visa but do not leave on the expiration date. They, too, are most often seeking employment.
If we turn off the jobs magnet, illegal entry across our borders can change from a flood to a trickle. Then the Border Patrol could concentrate on stopping terrorists and drug traffickers, and job seekers would have to get in line for one of the many LEGAL guest worker programs already on the books.
He observes that the US is awash in guest worker programs already, which require that there be a shortage of domestic workers to fill them. It is that requirement that is being completely sidestepped and in doing so, giving low-wage foreigners preference over American citizens in hiring.
Congressman Tancredo notes that “The E-Verify system already exists as a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau within the Department of Homeland Security. A 2014 statement by Lori Scialabba, Obama’s Acting Director of USCIS, endorsed the program as an immense success, with over a half-million employers participating nationwide: ‘Since it was established, E-Verify has experienced exponential growth, increased accuracy and high customer-satisfaction ratings.'”
Tancredo points out that the institution of a mandatory E-Verify program has been opposed because of that very effectiveness. He points out that Rep Lamar Smith (R-TX) had an E-Verify bill in 2015, HR 1147, which was never allowed to reach the floor for an up or down vote. Similarly, Senator Chuck Grassley had a bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee which failed to advance. He writes:
With Republican majorities now controlling both the House and Senate calendars, there is no valid reason not to bring these bills to a vote. Differences can be ironed out in a conference committee and a bill sent to President Trump in the first 100 days of the session.
Sadly, despite lip service paid to mandatory E-Verify by scores of Republican bill sponsors, only strong push by President Trump and his executive branch appointees can move E-Verify program to a vote in Congress. If Trump is really serious about immigration enforcement, he will make this his top priority.
The E-Verify bill will be a good test case for his White House team. Will Trump’s White House policy team prevail over the “pragmatists” who will want to wait for “congressional consensus”?
Does Trump want to fix the problem, or merely continue blaming Democrats for obstruction? In truth, on many important immigration enforcement issues, the obstruction is coming from within his own party.”
He has every reason to be unsure of the chances of success in Congress. He fought the same vermin for many years in an always uphill, losing battle.
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