Jeremy Beck's picture


  by  Jeremy Beck

Dara Lind of Vox writes that it is "not exactly true" that Democratic politicians support de facto open borders, which is not exactly a strong defense. If Democrats in Congress aren't openly supporting open borders, they are at least opposing or expressing displeasure with most of the measures necessary to prevent them. "Democrats," writes Lind, "are no longer as willing to attack 'illegal immigration' as a fundamental problem anymore."


Andrew Sullivan of the New York Magazine writes that this is tantamount to "political suicide":

"The Democrats’ current position seems to be that the Dreamer parents who broke the law are near heroes, indistinguishable from the children they brought with them; and their rhetoric is very hard to distinguish, certainly for most swing voters, from a belief in open borders. In fact, the Democrats increasingly seem to suggest that any kind of distinction between citizens and noncitizens is somehow racist....

"....The most powerful thing Trump said in the campaign, I’d argue, was: "If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country." And the Democrats had no answer, something that millions of Americans immediately saw. "

And what about the Republicans?

Seung Min Kim of Politico reported today that a working group of "key Senate Republicans" have all but agreed to Democratic demands to exclude E-Verify from any DACA deal:

"Several of the GOP senators involved in the immigration discussions are fine with punting negotiations over a nationwide mandatory E-Verify system, particularly since Democrats will not accept any policy provision that will help identify other immigrants here illegally."

Within the same piece:

"A spokesman said Grassley is gathering suggestions from other Senate Republicans on not only a DACA fix but enforcement provisions to 'address the root cause of illegal immigration."

Senator Grassley, call your office. According to Politico, your working group has "all but ruled out" the one enforcement provision that would address root cause of illegal immigration: E-Verify.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Most members of Congress know very well the key driver of illegal immigration, and the actions necessary to address the problem.

Illegal immigration and illegal employment continue because Congress is not willing to stop them.


Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, final report, ''U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest,'' 1981:

"All studies indicate that undocumented/illegal aliens are attracted to this country by U.S. employment opportunities."

New York Times editorial, 1982:

"The best way to deter illegal immigrants is to make it harder for them to get the jobs that lure them. The best way to do that, in turn, is to make it illegal for employers to hire them. Employers can do that only if they know who is illegal....

"....Without effective verification, there can be no effective enforcement of the borders."

Representative Chuck Schumer, 1989:

"...if employers know they're going to be enforced rather stiffly, they're going to obey the law."

Barbara Jordan, Chair, U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, 1994:

"Employment continues to be the principal magnet attracting illegal aliens to this country. As long as U.S. businesses benefit from the hiring of unauthorized workers, control of unlawful immigration will be impossible."

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, Executive Summary, 1994:

"The Commission believes that reducing the employment magnet is the linchpin of a comprehensive strategy to reduce illegal immigration….

“…A better system for verifying work authorization is central to the effective enforcement of employer sanctions."

Thomm Hartman, radio host, 2007:

"So long as employers are willing and able to hire illegal workers, people will risk their lives to grab at the America Dream."

Jared Bernstein, economist, 2008:

"We have the technology to implement a reliable system that tells employers whether they're hiring an illegal worker. What we have lacked thus far is the political guts to mete out serious punishment to those employers who ignore the law."

Senator Barack Obama, 2008:

" remove incentives to enter the country illegally, we need to crack down on employers that hire undocumented immigrants."

Senator Chuck Schumer, 2009:

"...a biometric-based employer verification system with tough enforcement and auditing is necessary to significantly diminish the job magnet that attracts illegal aliens to the United States..."

John Morton, former Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 2011:

"It will be a lot harder for people to come here illegally for labor if they know that when they get here there will be an effort to verify whether or not they have employment authorization. And so, if we can create across the country a uniform effort by employers to follow the law and make sure the people that they hire are here lawfully and have work authorization we will greatly reduce the magnet for illegal labor."

Jeffrey Passel, Pew Hispanic Center, 2011:

"So if you're faced with a $3,000 smuggler fee and maybe going through the desert, but won't be able to get a job here, you're much less likely to come."

PolitiFact, 2012:

"All of the polls that we found -- both national surveys and others conducted in Rhode Island -- showed strong support for E-Verify, ranging from 66 percent of respondents in favor to 88 percent."

Kevin Drum, columnist, Mother Jones, 2016:

"Anyone who claims to be fiercely opposed to illegal immigration but doesn't support strong employer sanctions is just lying to you."

New York Times editorial, 2017:

"As long as employers remain off the hook, a border wall and an expanded dragnet can only make temporary dents in the flows of undocumented immigrants."

Reuben Navarrette Jr., columnist, USA Today, 2017 :

"Going after those who employ illegal immigrants takes courage, common sense and a desire to stop illegal immigration."

Our political leaders today lack all three.

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

Illegal Immigration
border control

Updated: Tue, Nov 7th 2017 @ 4:50pm EST

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