Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

It won't matter if a judge eventually orders the border crossers to go home. It won't matter if the border crossers never show up for a hearing. It won't matter if a claim for asylum is proven to be completely bogus. No degree of absconding will make any difference.

None of that will matter because our current "I-9" immigration law ensures that illegal aliens can easily obtain jobs that will support them well enough so they never have to go home -- and because no Administration since Eisenhower's has been willing to run a deportation program vigorous enough to be a credible threat.

[T]he I-9 process created a moral hazard, a system of incentives that enables illegal immigrants to pretend to be legal while employers pretend to believe them." -- Jerry Kammer, LOSING CONTROL.

If all these masses of people being waved through the border found they eventually -- if not immediately -- could not maintain steady employment, most would go back home on their own. In that circumstance, the travesty at the border right now would not be such a permanent threat.

But the only protection of American workers against masses of new illegal workers taking their jobs is a virtually useless paper "I-9" federal form.

If the electronic E-Verify system were mandated for every new hire, very few of the border crossers being promiscuously waved into the country would stay for long. Instead, we are stuck with the lousy tradeoff we got in return for the 1986 amnesty.

Jerry Kammer's 2020 book Losing Control tells the maddening story of the 1986 betrayal of the American worker and its 35-year consequences:

Although IRCA (the 1986 amnesty) required employers to verify that new hires were authorized, it provided no reliable process to verify the authenticity of documents that new hires presented for the Employment Eligibility Verification form, commonly known as Form I-9.

Lawmakers, in an effort to accommodate workers from a wide variety of backgrounds and social classes, allowed them to present documents issued by a plethora of state, tribal, and federal agencies.

Moreover, employers were required to accept a document that 'reasonably appears on its face to be genuine.' The result, for many employers, was confusion and frustration.

The 1986 amnesty compromise was that millions of illegal border crossers and visa overstayers would get lifetime work permits and a path to U.S. citizenship in exchange for turning off the jobs magnet for future illegal immigration.

Instead, we got the paper Form I-9 which employers don't even have to submit to the government. They just have to put the forms in a drawer and show them to immigration agents in the highly unlikely event any ever show up and ask for them!

For $3.99, you can read online here the whole sordid tale by the Pulitzer Prize investigative reporter Kammer, who wrote:

The I-9 process became an administrative Potemkin village, an elaborate facade of legality. In 2006 David Martin, former general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, wrote that fraud had reduced the I-9 process to 'an empty ceremony.'

And that is why -- until Congress mandates E-Verify -- nearly every foreign citizen at the border being released into the United States by the Biden Administration will likely spend the rest of his/her life here, supported by jobs that will not be available to American workers.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA

Updated: Fri, Jun 4th 2021 @ 7:15am EDT

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