President Trump did not definitively support a provision in his immigration plan that would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers to ensure that American jobs go to American workers, not illegal aliens.
During an interview with Fox News‘ Steve Hilton on Sunday, Trump said mandatory E-Verify to end illegal job competition against Americans would “possibly” be part of his immigration plan.
“So E-Verify is going to be possibly a part of it,” Trump said.
“The President’s proposal will ensure that all employees are legally authorized to work,” the summary of the plan mentions.
Trump, though, seemed to undercut his support for mandatory E-Verify, telling Fox News that banning employers from hiring illegal aliens over Americans would be “a very tough thing to ask,” specifically U.S. farmers.
The one problem is, E-Verify is so tough that in some cases, like farmers, they’re not equipped for E-Verify. I mean, I say this against Republicans — a lot of the Republicans say you go through an E-Verify. [Emphasis added]
I used it when I built the hotel down the road on Pennsylvania Avenue. I use a very strong E-Verify system. And we would go through 28 people, 29, 30 people before we found one that qualified. [Emphasis added]
So it’s a very tough thing to ask a farmer to go through that. So in a certain way, I speak against myself but you also have to have a world of some practicality. [Emphasis added]
U.S. farmers, as the Washington Post has chronicled, have turned to automation and temporary foreign guest workers in Trump’s “Hire American” economy that has disincentivized the hiring of illegal aliens.
Specifically, farmers are increasingly mechanizing their farms with machinery, hiring Americans, and hiring H-2A foreign workers who are imported for farming seasons to take U.S. farm jobs. Last Fiscal Year, farmers brought nearly 243,000 H-2A foreign workers to the country to do agriculture jobs.
Meanwhile, companies like Iron Ox in California have built fully automated farms that purport to grow more produce with little-to-no farm labor and using 90 percent less water over traditional farms. This month, the startup began selling its produce. The news site Mashable profiled the automated farm last year:
In states that have implemented mandatory E-Verify, the program has resulted in fewer jobless Americans, the most recent study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (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 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, including farmers, from hiring illegal aliens over American 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.
Every year, a new flow of illegal aliens either cross the U.S.-Mexico border or overstay their visas and compete against the majority of working and middle class Americans for oftentimes entry-level and generally lower wage jobs. Americans are not only subjected to this illegal labor market competition but also must compete against an additional 1.2 million legal immigrants who are admitted to the U.S. annually.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.