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  by  Jeremy Beck

America's immigration system is in overshoot.

Between overstays and gottaways, we have a million additional people looking for illegal employment opportunities every year. An obvious first step toward establishing a credible, fair, and sustainable immigration policy would be for the House to pass the bi-partisan Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 319).

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Immigration-driven population growth is colliding with a megadrought.

From Denver to Los Angeles, more than 40 million people depend on the Colorado River to keep their farms thriving and taps flowing. But now, Western states are at a critical juncture — after a 23-year drought and rapid population growth, a water supply crisis is becoming real.

At the end of January 2023, California took a dramatic step to protect its share of the Colorado River by claiming "senior water rights," and proposed water cuts for other states. California gets 15% of its water from the Colorado, but that water contributes 33% of that used by Southern California, home to 23 million people. If the states cannot come to an agreement, then the Bureau of Reclamation likely will impose its own cuts in water use.

With 40 million people (and growing with no end in sight) relying solely on the beleaguered Colorado River for domestic and agricultural use, a nationwide E-Verify system isn't just common sense, it is necessary. To continue on the projected path of immigration-driven demand on a dwindling, life-giving resource would be...something less than wise.

Now that illegal immigration has numerically overtaken legal immigration, Congress must act to take away the incentives for people to come to America without authorization. A nationwide mandatory E-Verify system would ensure that persons applying for work are eligible to do so. The Legal Workforce Act would reduce illegal hiring and illegal immigration.

JEREMY BECK is a V.P., Deputy Director for NumbersUSA

Updated: Thu, May 11th 2023 @ 3:23pm EDT

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