There was an interesting exchange earlier this week during an MSNBC town hall meeting with GOP Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump. Moderator and MSNBC host, Chris Matthews asked Trump about his support for E-Verify and went after GOP Party Leaders for their failure to push E-Verify legislation through the House.
"Why won't these guys in your party pass it? Why won't they ever pass something like that?... They don't believe in it. In principle, if you hire someone illegally to save money on labor... You are basically encouraging illegal immigration... Ryan won't even bring it up on the floor. They talk a lot about illegal immigration and they want to play these games. They like the cheap labor... The regular business guys don't want it, but the corporate leaders want the cheap labor... The way to stop illegal immigration is to stop illegal hiring... It makes economic sense."
-- Chris Matthews
Matthews, unfortunately, left out the part about Pres. Obama and Congressional Democrats refusing to support E-Verify unless it's part of a grand immigration bargain that includes amnesty for the estimated 11-18 million illegal aliens living in the United States.
Last year, the House Judiciary Committee marked up Rep. Lamar Smith's Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 1147, that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 3 years. All 13 Democrats on the Committee voted against final passage.
Even though it passed the Committee, former House Speaker John Boehner and current Speaker Paul Ryan refuse to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.
Yesterday, Roy held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit where he had an opportunity to answer hundreds of questions from citizens across the country. (For those that may be unfamiliar with Reddit, it's an online social community that's one of the most visited sites in the world. It often hosts AMAs that offer its users direct access to public figures. Pres. Obama, big business owners, and musicians and actors have all participated in AMAs.) The topic of E-Verify was brought up a half-dozen times. When asked about Trump's plan to build a wall along the Southern border, Roy said:
"It would not be nearly as helpful in fighting the numbers of illegal aliens as passing mandatory E-Verify..."
Roy answered questions for nearly two hours; you can read the full AMA here: http://tinyurl.com/zzyzk6c
We've posted new faxes on your Action Board that refer to Matthews' comments and urge your three Members of Congress to take the most effective action in deterring illegal immigration -- passing Rep. Smith's mandatory E-Verify bill.
Of the remaining Presidential Hopefuls, all but Hillary Clinton have taken a position on E-Verify. As for Trump, he actually receives our highest rating; not only did he tell Matthews that he supports mandatory E-Verify for all businesses, but it's also listed on his website as part of his overall immigration enforcement plan. Gov. John Kasich has only mentioned E-Verify in passing, and Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn't talked about it much, but did support its inclusion in the Gang of 8's amnesty bill. Sen. Ted Cruz's position is a bit more nuanced. He hasn't directly come out in support of an E-Verify mandate for all businesses, but he's consistently discussed increasing penalties for employers that hire illegal labor and supports using E-Verify has a safe harbor for employers.
You can see all the Hopefuls' positions on all the issues by visiting https://www.numbersusa.com/2016.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 8:45am EDT