Many Republicans who pose as being deeply concerned about illegal immigration like to put their faith in a system called E-Verify. The way this program is sold to the public, businesses sign on to the system, put applicants through the computer, and find out if they are undocumented or not. If they are, they don’t hire them. If they have their papers, great, welcome aboard. But as a startling new report from the East Bay Times reveals, E-Verify isn’t getting the job done.
From the report:
Many immigration policy experts say E-Verify is not what it seems. They contend it’s essentially a political fig leaf, with so many significant flaws and loopholes that it allows employers to knowingly hire undocumented workers with little repercussions for doing so.
Only 3,000 of hundreds of thousands of companies enrolled in E-Verify were audited during the eight years of the Obama administration, said Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research for the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor think tank based in Washington, D.C.
“They continue to be able to hire undocumented workers without having to verify anything with the government,” Costa said.
With such a low chance of being audited, Costa said, E-Verify is “a wink and a nod from the government to employers” that lets them continue to hire undocumented workers.
Right now, enrollment in E-Verify is almost completely voluntary. Only those employers who have been busted hiring illegal immigrants find themselves forcibly enrolled in the system. It has been a major part of the Republican Party platform for years to roll out a mandatory version of the program, with the promise being that this will make it almost impossible for businesses to hire illegals. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Without strict oversight and regular audits, there is nothing about E-Verify that prevents an employer from – cough, cough – overlooking the results and making a bad hire anyway. And as long as the feds never come knocking, no one is any the wiser.
As Democrats negotiate with Republicans and the Trump administration to clear the way for a DACA bill, the American public must be vigilant in making sure we aren’t being sold a bill of goods. These politicians love to play with sound bites and push expensive and comprehensive-sounding solutions that don’t actually do a thing to stop illegal immigration. That’s why Trump’s idea of a border wall took off like a rocket: That’s something real, tangible, and effective. You can’t build hundreds of miles of border wall and have people complain you’re only pretending to be against illegal immigration. It’s the real deal.
That’s what we need right now from Washington: The real deal. The truth. Solutions that work. Unfortunately, once you get outside the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there are very few politicians on either side of the aisle who really want to do something about this extremely important problem.