Mandatory E-Verify, the system that prevents businesses from hiring illegal aliens over American citizens, is crucial to any immigration deal by President Trump’s administration and Congress, the president’s base of supporters say.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is set to present Trump with an immigration plan that tackles the country’s mass legal immigration system — which admits about 1.2 million nationals a year — and the overflow of illegal immigrants to the country, where now anywhere between 11 to 22 million illegal aliens live in the U.S.
The plan, Trump’s base of supporters say, must include nationwide mandatory E-Verify to ensure that American employers do not keep employing illegal aliens over American citizens. The overwhelming majority of illegal aliens, researchers say, come to the U.S. for jobs.
“Immigration should serve the interests of American workers,” NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks told Breitbart News. “Job opportunities for American workers have increased in the Trump economy, but wages are not keeping pace.”
A deal that reforms legal and illegal immigration, Jenks said, should reduce legal immigration levels by ending the process known as chain migration, where newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country.
Also, a deal must include mandatory E-Verify, Jenks said, to bring marginalized Americans into the workforce and stem the tide of soaring illegal immigration levels.
“We need to reduce legal immigration by eliminating chain migration and the visa lottery, and then revamp the employment-based immigration system so that visas are distributed based on merit, particularly the wage an employer is willing to offer,” Jenks said. “We also need to prevent illegal aliens from taking jobs from Americans and further suppressing wages. That means E-Verify must be mandatory for all employers.”
One of Trump’s biggest allies in the Senate, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) — who has co-authored the wage-boosting, legal immigration-cutting RAISE Act legislation with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) — told Breitbart News that mandatory E-Verify is “one of the most important tools we have to address illegal immigration in our country.”
“It is critical that the E-Verify program becomes mandatory and permanent,” Perdue said.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a staunch supporter of Trump’s “America First” agenda, said mandatory E-Verify “is fundamental” to any immigration deal to solidify that American workers are hired over illegal aliens.
“To solve the immigration problem we have to enforce the laws that exist. Hiring illegal aliens is a crime under Sec. 1324a,” Gosar said. “E-Verify would help employers know immediately if the employee was lawful. This provision is fundamental to reforming our system and making sure only lawful employees are hired.”
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has long said mandatory E-Verify “plays a critical role in alleviating unfair competition against American workers.”
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan told Breitbart News that any immigration deal offering amnesty for illegal aliens before providing relief for Americans “ought to be dead on arrival.”
Vaughan said any plan must “include fixes to allow DHS to better deal with the influx of families and others at the border, universal mandatory E-Verify, sanctions for sanctuaries, and more resources for enforcement.”
“It has to be a deal breaker because new rules for legal immigration are irrelevant if the rules aren’t going to be enforced,” Vaughan said.
A grand bargain between the White House and Congress, Vaughan continued, has to include reductions to legal immigration, as promised by Trump in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
“Americans don’t want the status quo, they want to slow down the flow of immigration,” Vaughan said. “We have had a very long period of very high immigration, and it’s time to moderate the numbers to allow for these immigrants to be absorbed into our communities and to become contributing Americans.”
In states that have implemented mandatory E-Verify, the program has resulted in fewer jobless Americans, the most recent study by FAIR has found.
Since 2012, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have all implemented one form or another of mandatory E-Verify. In some of these states, like Alabama, all public and private employers must screen potential employees to weed out illegal alien applicants. In other states, like North Carolina, all public employers and government contractors are required to use E-Verify.
All of these states, except for Tennessee, saw their unemployment rate decline a year after implementing mandatory E-Verify. Likewise, when Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana implemented forms of mandatory E-Verify, all three states saw a decline in unemployment at a greater rate than the national average at the time.
Mandatory E-Verify continues to be one of the most popular national immigration policies across the party lines and the American electorate. In November 2018 exit polling by Zogby Analytics for FAIR, a total of 75 percent of American voters said they support mandatory E-Verify to prevent businesses from hiring illegal aliens over U.S. workers.
This includes a majority of Democrats, nearly 55 percent, more than 90 percent of Republicans, and nearly 80 percent of swing voters who support mandatory E-Verify. Across all demographic groups, mandatory E-Verify enjoys majority support. More than 80 percent of white Americans, nearly 74 percent of Asian Americans, 58 percent of Hispanic Americans, and nearly 53 percent of black Americans support the implementation of mandatory E-Verify to shore up jobs for American citizens.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.