Biden’s DHS Nominee Mayorkas Does Not Say if E-Verify Should Be Mandatory

Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on January 19, 2021 in Washington,DC. (Photo by Bill Clark / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, will not say if he supports mandatory E-Verify to prohibit businesses from hiring illegal aliens over American citizens.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Mayorkas would not answer whether he supports making E-Verify mandatory. The federal program allows businesses to screen whether their hires are legal residents in the United States so as not to force illegal labor market competition against America’s working and middle class.

The exchange went as follows:

ROMNEY: Do you support the E-Verify program? Is it an important tool? Should it be mandatory? Should it be permanent? Is this an essential element of protecting our nation and the opportunities of employment for so many of our people today who’ve been put out of work because of the COVID crisis? [Emphasis added]

MAYORKAS: Senator, when I was the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under my leadership we made tremendous improvements through the E-Verify program, and under my leadership, enrollment, voluntary enrollment … increased dramatically. I would look forward to studying the utilization now of the E-Verify program, its effectiveness in the business community, its effectiveness in achieving its intended purposes and I would look forward to working with you as I study the effectiveness of that program. [Emphasis added]

Similarly, when asked if economic migrants have a valid asylum claim — though U.S. makes explicitly clear that they do not — Mayorkas tiptoed around the question.

“Do you believe coming into this country illegally for economic improvement, is that a valid asylum claim?” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked.

“Senator, the asylum laws are well established, and they provide that an individual who’s fleeing persecution by reason of his or her membership in a particular social group is deserving of protection,” Mayorkas said.

Mayorkas’ unwillingness to support mandatory E-Verify comes even as the overwhelming majority of Americans have supported the program. The most recent polling on the issue, from July 2019, found that 75 percent of voters in swing states support banning employers from hiring illegal aliens over Americans.

In states where mandatory E-Verify has been implemented, the program is widely effective in protecting those states’ labor markets, the most recent study has shown.

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, such as Alabama, all public and private employers must screen potential employees to weed out illegal alien applicants. In other states, such as 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.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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