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The primary reason illegal immigrants come to the United States is jobs, and the best solution for shutting off the magnet of jobs is E-Verify. This free online system, created by Congress as a pilot program in 1986, enables employers to check whether new hires are authorized to work in the United States by submitting the same information that job applicants provide on the mandatory paper I-9 form. The program then validates applicant details by comparing them against millions of federal and state government identification records.
E-Verify processed 42.5 million cases in FY 2021 with a 99.87 percent accuracy rate. A simple DHS regulatory change or an act by Congress could mandate E-Verify for all states.
This week’s guest, Elizabeth Jacobs, the Center’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy, highlights the benefits that E-Verify affords employers and their communities. But she emphasizes that the program must be matched with enforcement to be effective in eliminating the job pull factor that brings illegal immigrants to work without authorization, producing unfair labor competition and wage suppression for American and legal workers.
Jacobs also describes a potential work authorization verification process known as “G-Verify” (for “government verification”). G-Verify allows employers to replace employers’ Form W-2, Form I-9, and E-Verify obligations with submission of the same information electronically.
In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and the host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses New York Mayor Eric Adams’ visit to the border in El Paso. His visit, and President Biden’s visit, suggests that local governments have pressured the administration to enforce the border. Krikorian predicts that this pressure may incentivize the administration to step back from its open border agenda as the 2024 elections draw near.
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Elizabeth Jacobs is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a “Conehead” on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in “Planet of the Apes”.
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