Many among President Donald Trump’s supporters wonder why he spends so little time on less challenging, less controversial immigration goals. An example is E-Verify, the free and easy online program that confirms whether an employee is legally authorized to work in the United States. With an estimated 8 million illegal aliens in the labor market sector, mandatory E-Verify would free up most of those jobs for Americans.
Here in Pittsburgh, we don’t have much immigration. As I sit writing this blog post, I’m trying to remember the last time I heard a language other than English spoken around me. I can’t recall. The jobs that legal and illegal immigrants so often fill in California and other immigrant-heavy states are, in Pittsburgh, almost exclusively done by Americans.
Effective August 1, the Department of Justice will raise the penalties it imposes on employers who hire illegal immigrants from a minimum $375 to $539, while the maximum fine will increase from $3,200 to $4,313.
Enforcement advocates have proposed many solutions to curb illegal immigration: double-layered fencing, mandatory E-Verify, hefty fines and jail sentences for employers who hire aliens. But a less publicly discussed option that might be equally effective is to tax remittances, the money illegal aliens send back home.
A rare incident of Immigration Customs and Enforcement carrying out its responsibilities shows how easy implementing immigration law can be. In December 2011, Homeland Security Investigations and the Kansas Department of Revenue got a tip that the owners of two local Clarion hotels were employing illegal immigrants. The hotels are in Overland Park, KS and Kansas City, MO.
Nevada’s AB27, a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to qualify for teaching credentials, is under consideration in the state assembly. The Nevada Department of Education requested AB27 in anticipation of a region-wide teacher shortage. Last year, Denver passed similar legislation.
News that Southern California Edison (SCE) fired 400 American IT workers and replaced them with foreign-born H-1B visa holders is remarkable only in the sense that the media picked up the story. Other high-visibility employers like Disney shamelessly rely on H-1B workers, and in the process overlook many qualified Americans.
President Obama is fond of saying that his executive immigration action isn’t amnesty. Other supporters insist that since Obama’s unilateral action doesn’t include a path to citizenship, it clearly can’t be categorized as amnesty.
America’s immigration laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals: protect the jobs of American workers and protect innocent lives. It is impossible to imagine that politicians who traditionally campaign on promises to create jobs for their constituents and reduce crime could take issue with the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. Yet, Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) would undermine those two essential objectives, because the goals of CIR are focused on changing, not enforcing our immigration laws.
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported its strongest payroll hikes in four years. During November, employers, driven at least in part by earlier-than-normal holiday hiring, added 321,000 jobs. The November total is stronger than the 230,000 economists had predicted. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent, while the U-6 unemployment dropped from 11.5 percent to 11.4 percent.