Pres. Trump's final ambassador to Mexico (2019-21) says it was awkward having to try to persuade Mexican officials to help stop the flow of Central Americans into the U.S. when Congress had done almost nothing to turn off the jobs magnet.
Congress, regardless of the party in control, has never taken the simple step of making E-Verify mandatory for all employers. Nor has the federal bureaucracy -- again, regardless of which party controls the executive branch -- shown much zeal for enforcing the law against employers." -- Ambassador Chris Landau
Landau suggests that our country's border agents are asked to do the impossible -- stop the flow of millions of uninvited job seekers -- while too many businesses send word they are ready to hire them and while the new Biden Administration dismantles enforcement processes that had at least greatly slowed the flow under Pres. Trump.
The vast majority of the people are coming here for the same reason people have always come here: to work (or to join their families who are here to work)."
The New York Times has given Landau a big soapbox to offer his insight from his time on the other side of the border, publishing his oped under the headlines:
The Real Reason for the Border Crisis
No one is holding American employers to account for their willingness to hire millions of unauthorized immigrants.
Landau expresses frustration about his inability as ambassador to interest officials in several parts of the Administration to make mandatory E-Verify one of their key tools to combat illegal immigration coming through Mexico.
In the New York Times, he wrote:
Unless there is a serious effort, through mandatory E-Verify and other relatively simple means, to ensure that persons hired to work in the United States are eligible to do so, our country will continue to entice unauthorized immigrants and reward unauthorized immigration.
Would-be migrants, like other people, are economically rational: They weigh the benefits of living and working in the United States against the costs and odds of successfully making the dangerous journey across Mexico and into our country. As we have witnessed, shifts in enforcement policy by Mexico or the United States that alter the journey's likelihood of success greatly influence migrant flows.
Until we meaningfully hold employers accountable for the people they hire, and disincentivize them from hiring unauthorized immigrants, I am not optimistic about our ability to contain unauthorized immigration."
Landau, a graduate of Harvard School of Law, clerked for Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas before a career in a law firm where he was chairman of its appellate practice. While ambassador, he was placed on Pres. Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Congressional leadership of both Parties have long blocked floor votes on making E-Verify mandatory for every employer. But mandatory E-Verify is probably the most popular among the public of all immigration enforcement. Rasmussen Reports this week featured its polling on the issue over the last 15 months. During that time of weekly and bi-weekly surveys, support for mandatory E-Verify never was less than 3-to-1.
In last week's polling, 68% of likely voters favored mandatory E-Verify while only 15% opposed -- more than a 4-to-1 margin of support. Yet, most attention by the media and congressional leaders is focused on the supposed popularity of a "Dream" amnesty for illegal aliens who arrived in the United States as minors. Rasmussen last week found a plurality of support for that amnesty but by a margin of only 49% to 43%.
Of course, the passage of the Dream amnesty by the U.S. House last month was yet another incentive for more border surges.
Landau in his Times oped criticized the idea that the border crisis can be resolved by trying to eliminate "push" factors when the U.S. government is providing so many "pull" factors:
It is discouraging to see the Biden administration characterizing the "root causes" of unauthorized immigration as poverty, corruption and violence in Mexico, Central America and elsewhere and vowing to address the issue by attacking these problems. These are certainly "push" factors, but they are nowhere near as powerful as the "pull" factor of jobs in the United States readily available at wages unimaginable in these other parts of the world.
And obviously the U.S. government has far greater power to regulate the conduct of employers within its own borders than to solve deep-rooted social problems abroad. Indeed, the United States has been talking about improving conditions in Latin America for more than half a century, with precious little to show for it.
As long as our country continues to incentivize unauthorized immigration by turning a blind eye to the employment of millions of unauthorized immigrants within our borders, we cannot claim to have a "humane" policy. Such migration is big business for criminals; it encourages impoverished people to turn over their life savings to the human smugglers who control the routes. The transportation is hellish. . . . Migrants are routinely subject to rape, assault and other crimes."
Landau -- who lived several years of his childhood in South America and now speaks from his special experience representing our country in Mexico -- is a welcome major voice to add to the efforts of Senators Cotton (R-Ark.) and Romney (R-Utah) who have been trying to be a national voice for the American people's desire to mandate E-Verify and finally prohibit unscrupulous employers from continuing our decades-long border chaos.
-- ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, Apr 22nd 2021 @ 8:00am EDT