everify: Page 1
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has released an immigration policy paper  and it isn't quite as dumb as I would have expected. However, there are several major problems with the paper and Trump's campaign that render it mostly useless:
Crazy Rand Paul fully supports amnesty, misleading, Hispandering, and reading poetry to do it - 03/19/13
Earlier today, Kentucky senator Rand Paul gave a pro-amnesty speech at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that in some ways is even more shocking and more crazy than the pro-amnesty speeches George W Bush gave. In addition to being borderline nuts, Paul misleads and uses a string of pro-amnesty talking points just like his dad.
USA Today was given a copy of a draft immigration "reform" (aka amnesty) bill from the Obama administration ( peekURL.com/zW8CSMp ). It sounds much the same as the other amnesty bills, even borrowing the name for the visa it would give to almost all illegal aliens from an earlier amnesty.
In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, an ambassador visited an outpost for a few days, schmoozing with the locals. After he'd left, an official went to the leader of the outpost and said (paraphrasing), "we analyzed the ambassador's remarks, and he said absolutely nothing all the time he was here."
Tonight Fox News will be conducting a GOP debate in conjunction with Youtube, with some of the questions to be asked having been submitted via Youtube. Feel free to leave comments below before, during or after the debate. This post will be updated after a transcript becomes available. This debate stands to be just as bad and as much of a public disservice as all the others, especially considering the involvement of Youtube.
One of the main reasons I oppose the tea parties is because they're useful idiots for loose borders hacks: libertarians, fiscal conservatives, corporate tools, and so on. A good example comes in an open letter that a group of Teaparty, conservative, and libertarian groups published in Politico opposing HR 2885, the Legal Workforce Act.
A group of House members  have introduce the "Legal Workforce Act" ("LFA"), which would require the use of eVerify by most workers nationwide. That would presumably make it difficult for companies to employ illegal aliens.
With millions unemployed, Ag Secy Tom Vilsack demeans American workers, promotes amnesty, opposes enforcement, uses bogus talking points, opposes eVerify - 05/27/11
Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack held a press conference on Wednesday in which he demeaned American workers, promoted immigration "reform", opposed immigration enforcement, and used a series of bogus immigration talking points.
An account of his remarks is here, with more excerpts at .
1. Vilsack ran down American workers, saying: "While some American citizens step up and take (farm) jobs, the truth is even when farmers make their best effort to recruit a domestic workforce, few citizens express interest. In large part that's because this is hard, tough work." The idea that growers want to recruit Americans is more than a bit dubious; many run down American workers as much as Vilsack. Growers tend to prefer lower-wage, more compliant illegal aliens. And, we sent a man to the moon and won World War II, now Vilsack falsely says that most Americans don't want hard work. That's also more than a bit dubious because a good percentage of those doing farm work are in fact Americans. And, there's the fact that the presence of large numbers of illegal aliens tends to reduce farm wages at the same time as decreasing safety in farm jobs.
The pro-American alternative would be for Vilsack to oppose illegal immigration and push something like this plan to get unemployed Americans working temporary farm jobs until the economy improves. That would answer the labor shortage complaints of farmers, improve working conditions on farms, and would save money overall (considering that most of those unemployed will be getting unemployment insurance and considering the costs of illegal aliens).
2. Vilsack supported comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. See the link for the downsides of that plan .
3. One of the key selling points of immigration "reform" is that it would include stepped-up enforcement. Vilsack seems not to be such a fan of enforcement, saying: "It's difficult to know when someone is documented and when someone isn't. It's difficult when there are efforts at enforcement that basically disrupt not only undocumented folks but also documented … which we've seen in some of the processing facilities." If "reform" passed, does anyone think Vilsack would do a 180 and support "disrupt[ive]" immigration raids?
4. Vilsack used a long list of bogus talking points. The first item above is the jobs Americans wont do canard, but there were several more. From the article:
Reforms would result in "a reliable, legal workforce," said Vilsack. Reforms would also:
* Continue efforts "to secure the borders."
* Hold accountable "businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers."
Vilsack also used the deportations false choice, saying "The reality is, if you tried to deport all 12 million it would take several hundred years. That isn't practical." See the link for how he tried to mislead.
5. Vilsack also ran down the eVerify program, at least as a standalone solutiion, saying: "The E-Verify system creates a potential difficulty, particularly for smaller businesses... That's because they'd have to invest resources in equipment and training to participate."
"Our concern is that without a legal agricultural guest worker program in place – or without comprehensive immigration reform – you have roughly 500,000 workers out there that, frankly, would be screened out (by) a mandatory E-Verify program. If that happens, the risk of production losses, or production moving outside the country, is very real... If you just put in a mandatory E-Verify program, there's suddenly a huge gap in agricultural that must be filled from somewhere. Otherwise, the crops won't be planted and harvested. That's the reality."
 Vilsack: "There needs to be a comprehensive immigration system that deals with the 12 million people here, many working in our farm fields."
 Vilsack: "I've met farmers and ranchers all over this country who are worried about the broken immigration system... Simply put, our broken immigration system offers little hope for producers trying to do the right thing and make a living...
Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11
In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link.
Others who filed briefs in the case and who lost today include (see each link for more on that group):
* Rep. Howard Berman
* National Council of La Raza
* Anti Defamation League
* American Immigration Lawyers Association
* PRLDEF (a former associated group of Sotomayor)
* Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a former associated group of Barack Obama)
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* Service Employees International Union
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network(NDLON)
* National Immigrant Justice Center
* American Immigration Council
* Asian American Justice Center
* Asian American Institute
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Asian Law Caucus
* Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Legal Aid Society
* Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
* National Employment Law Project
Others on the losing side were former senator Arlen Specter and Ron Mazzoli (of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty fame).
UPDATE: Thomas Saenz of MALDEF (which doesn't appear to have been involved in the suit) weighs in. He got one thing right: just because the 2007 law was upheld doesn't mean SB 1070 will prevail. In my opinion, states should just simply copy Arizona's 2007 law for now.
In any case, here's what Saenz says (maldef.org/news/releases/az_evrfy):
"Today's regrettable decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting is a tortured product of judicial activism responding to perceived political views of the moment. The majority proclaims itself unable to find implied preemption of an Arizona law that plainly impedes a federal scheme of exclusive enforcement of longstanding immigration-related employment law, and then, with a facile shift, easily finds an implied permission for Arizona to mandate E-verify, a power that Congress denied the federal government itself. All of this is accomplished through providing talismanic significance to the word 'licensing' even though Arizona's use of the term violates any plain-language or historical understanding of the term."
"Despite this egregious outcome, today's decision provides little predictive value as to the constitutional issue of preemption with respect to Arizona's SB 1070 and similar laws recently enacted in other states. Laws that encroach on exclusive federal immigration enforcement by mandating or permitting untrained local police officers to engage in racial profiling will find little refuge in today's decision. Wise state and local lawmakers must continue to tread carefully in areas touching on immigration. As has been the case for well over 200 years, federal action remains the sole legitimate avenue to address immigration issues."
UPDATE 2: The ADL weighs in with a bit of a muted press release (adl.org/PresRele/SupremeCourt_33/6050_33.htm). They're "disappointed":
The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient \safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.
The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.
Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.
And, I hope they do follow Arizona's lead. We'll see how that works out; I tend to think several will.
The DREAM Act is an anti-American bill that would let the illegal aliens covered by it deprive some U.S. citizens of college. Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner - discussing Obama's latest immigration speech - isn't exactly perturbed by the anti-American bill (link):
It's obvious that nothing like the legalization (opponents say "amnesty") provisions considered in 2007 can pass in this Congress. They can never pass the Republican House, where Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith is a long-standing opponent and Speaker John Boehner will not schedule a bill not approved in committee.
Nor will this Congress pass the most attractive proposal Obama mentioned, the DREAM Act, providing a path to legalization for those brought in illegally as children who enroll in college or serve in the military. That failed last December in a more Democratic Senate and won't pass now.
It's not clear whether Barone means "attractive" in the "it is in fact an attractive bill" sense or whether he means it "attractive only when compared to Obama's other immigration ideas" sense. But, neither are good.
However positively Barone meant "attractive", calling it that shows that he isn't really concerned about the illegal aliens covered by the bill being able to take college educations from Americans. And, it shows that he isn't willing to use the fact that many Democratic Party leaders who support the bill.
Not all is bad: Barone does stick up for eVerify and doesn't appear to support massive low-skilled immigration. However, instead of reducing immigration across the board, he wants more high-skilled immigration (via a Brookings Institution plan) which would lead to problems similar to those caused by mass low-skilled immigration.
"To try and craft legislation that is within the parameters of what a state can do without overstepping its bounds is difficult," Deal said. "And I commend the General Assembly for trying to put a product together that they felt like met that, and from what I have seen, I believe it does meet that."
Deal did not say exactly when he would sign HB 87 but said he is confident that he will be able to affix his signature after reviewing it.
"I have no reason to think I would find something there that would cause me to change my mind," he said. "It is the kind of legislation I promised on the campaign, and the General Assembly has delivered it and I intend to sign it."
The Senate added wording Thursday that retains the E-Verify requirement for private businesses with more than 10 employees but says any company found to have committed a "good faith violation" of the mandate would have a 30-day period to come into compliance. The requirement would be phased in in three steps with all employers with more than 10 employees being required to be in compliance by July 1, 2013.
The bill would allow law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of certain criminal suspects and to detain those found to be in the country illegally and would also penalize people who transport or harbor undocumented immigrants, all similar to Arizona's law. It also would make it a felony to "willfully and fraudulently" present false documentation when applying for a job.
Mitch Daniels is weak on Indiana immigration bill, apparently only supports least effective parts - 04/13/11
Indiana state Senator Mike Delph is trying to pass an Arizona-style immigration bill in that state . In an interview , Indiana governor Mitch Daniels opposes the part of the bill that would allow police to ask about someone's immigration status during a "lawful stop, detention, or arrest".
While it's not exactly clear what specific parts of the bill Daniels opposes and supports , he appears to oppose the other law enforcement-related parts of the bill. Those would allow police who have someone in custody to check their immigration status with the Department of Homeland Security. And, all of this takes place as Daniels is pondering running for president (link), even being urged to do so by Joe Klein (someone who explicitly supports illegal immigration).
The only part of the bill that he supports in the interview is that dealing with sanctions on those who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Yet, getting a conviction for that is a very high bar to clear and happens only rarely. Companies know how to play games: claim that the documents they were presented looked valid, or use subcontractors, or simply litigate the matter endlessly. Through August of 2006, there were just 177 convictions in the entire U.S. for knowingly hiring illegal aliens . Whatever the current number is, it can't be that high. Obviously, it should be higher and the Department of Homeland Security should be aggressively conducting sting operations and trying to catch big employers. But, neither the Obama administration nor Daniels would support that.
Daniels uses two excuses to oppose the law enforcement parts of the bill: it wouldn't make sense to turn illegal aliens over to the feds if "the feds were going to turn [illegal aliens picked up by local law enforcement] loose anyway" and his claim that he was told only a few local law enforcement officers have the necessary training to deal with immigration issues.
Both of those concerns are bogus: if the feds won't accept illegal aliens then Daniels can publicly call them out, urge Indiana's Congressional delegation to get more funding, and perhaps even see about charging the feds for detaining illegal aliens.
And, as of 2006, the feds were only charging $520 for a five-week 287g training program. As of 2007, that training program was only receiving funding of $5 million (Lou Dobbs report: peekURL.com/vnNVAuC ). If Daniels were serious and weren't simply trying to placate pro-illegal immigration groups and corrupt businesses, he'd call to raise that limit. Further, it doesn't take much training to send the personal information of someone in custody to the feds to be checked for immigration violations; see Secure Communities.
 A summary of the bill from the author is here. Note that it also has provisions relating to eVerify, sanctuary cities, Matricula Consular cards, and conducting meetings in English. Whether Daniels supports or opposes those isn't clear, but it's likely he opposes them because they wouldn't be "good for business" if you know what I mean.
 The interview is here:
"I think that legislation will be changed," Daniels said in a wide-ranging interview with The Indianapolis Star Editorial Board. "I support this, to drop the law enforcement provisions that have been the ones that have bothered most people."
Surviving in the bill, he said, would be provisions aimed at employers who knowingly hire people who have come to the United States illegally.
"The idea I like is to deny them the tax deduction if they're caught doing it," Daniels said. "It's a fairly clean way to get at it, and really employment is the magnet that leads to the illegality."
Sen. Mike Delph, the Carmel Republican who authored Senate Bill 590, said, though, that some law enforcement provisions will remain under the proposed amendments. Police could arrest someone based on their immigration status, he said, if there is probable cause to think the person already has been ordered to be removed or detained by federal officials, has been indicted or convicted of an aggravated felony or willfully failed to register with the federal government as required.
That, he said, would focus the bill "on the ones we consider to be the really bad actors."
...The problem with the bill's initial provisions, which allowed police to check someone's immigration status if they had reasonable suspicion that they were here illegally, is that "it wouldn't work," Daniels said.
"We don't tend to believe in things that are policies that are emotionally satisfying to somebody but don't have any practical effect."
Daniels said Indiana State Police and others in law enforcement told him that because of training requirements, only a handful of Indiana police would be able to deal with immigration issues.
"If they accidentally caught somebody who was breaking the immigration law, the feds were going to turn them loose anyway," he said.
Focusing on employment instead of law enforcement eliminates the concerns -- "valid or not" -- that the bill would lead to racial profiling and people being targeted because of how they look and sound...
 The author of the linked article, Mary Beth Schneider of the Indianapolis Star, didn't respond to the three tweets and one voicemail I sent her seeking specific information on what Daniels supports.
 See the table here. I was unable to locate more up to date statistics, but if anyone has them please leave a comment.
Georgia farmers, landscapers plead for cheap, illegal labor (HB 87, SB 40, Farm Bureau, Agribusiness Council) - 04/05/11
Republicans in Georgia have introduced two Arizona-style immigration bills: House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 40. They'd require businesses to use the eVerify system with new hires and would also allow police to question suspects about their immigration status. Needless to say, that would cut into the profits of companies that employ large numbers of illegal aliens, and they've responded with an open letter (link):
A group of 270 farmers and other businessmen mostly representing Georgia’s agricultural and landscaping industries is warning lawmakers about the impact their immigration enforcement legislation could have on the state’s economy.
In a letter delivered to the lawmakers Monday, the group raised concerns that proposals to give police greater power to question suspected illegal immigrants and to require business to verify the immigration status of new employees could harm the state’s tourism and convention industry and make it more costly for them to do business.
Scores of vegetable and fruit farmers, landscapers and agricultural industry representatives signed the letter. Among them are Zippy Duvall, president of the Georgia Farm Bureau; Bryan Tolar, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council; and Mary Kay Woodworth, executive director of the Georgia Urban Ag Council.
“We must also weigh the unintended potential cost of losing major conventions, tourism, and international business opportunities,” the letter says. “We urge you to consider the message we send to the foreign investors and workers that are vital to our success on the global stage.”
To translate that into what's actually going on, they want to profit from cheap (to them), pliable illegal labor, while passing on the true costs of that cheap labor to residents of Georgia and the U.S. as a whole.
Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico offers "Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration" . Because we're dealing with definitions of those who aren't trustworthy (such as Brown), it's difficult to tell whether Smith will be weak on immigration matters or whether he just won't support nonsensical "boob bait for Bubba" policies.
Smith's first two hearings as head of the House Judiciary Committee will be about eVerify. However:
At the same time, he downplayed the key planks in the conservative immigration agenda... He won’t say when his committee plans to tackle birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every child born in the country. He doesn’t want to talk about whether he will pursue reducing the level of legal immigration, family migration or work visas - all at the top of the wish list for anti-illegal-immigration advocates... “That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”
In the current environment, it isn't really possible to restrict birthright citizenship to those who have at least one citizen parent. Much groundwork would need to be done, specifically involving discrediting those groups that would oppose such a move. Few people with megaphones have shown any ability at discrediting groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Further, restricting birthright citizenship, at least when proposed by those like Lindsey Graham, is just a political ploy.
Legal immigration is a different matter and is less prone to being emotionalized because those involved aren't physically present in the U.S. There is, however, a lot of money from those like Microsoft involved. It wouldn't be good for Smith to be weak on that, especially since the rationale the GOP appears to be using is to help with unemployment.
“If he is not willing to do it - there is a lot of public support for reducing legal immigration - he is going to find he will be pressured on that issue"... Camarota said he believes Smith is enough of a dealmaker that he might even consider a modified DREAM Act legalizing young immigrants, if it was coupled with a cut in legal immigration and stronger enforcement — although pro-immigrant advocates would be all but certain to dismiss it as a bad deal.
"People like to really vilify Lamar Smith, but he is not Tom Tancredo... He is someone who will not push legislation if he thinks it doesn’t have the wide support of the American people."
* Frank Sharry:
“He is a very disciplined politician, but he is also very ideological. He is very smart at having lots of smallish-looking measures that add up to a whole lot of harsh enforcement."
* Rep. Steve King:
"I read the Pledge to America. It wasn’t particularly moving... So, OK, they decided not to write the treatise that I would have on immigration. It wouldn’t be the first time that I worked on an agenda that wasn’t laid out for me. I can deal with that."
* Roy Beck of Numbers USA:
"We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together."
Is Pete Stark concerned about eVerify keeping illegal aliens from being hired? (Steve Kemp, Golden Gate Minutemen) - 08/03/10
Steve Kemp of the "Golden Gate Minutemen" has been behind two smash Youtube hits featuring Rep. Pete Stark. The videos are at the tea parties level as far as stupidity (very high) and utility (very low) are concerned. They do, however, get Steve Kemp and his group a lot of attention, but then again that isn't going to reduce illegal immigration.
Confronted, Harry Reid claims illegal aliens aren't working construction jobs (note: in Nevada, maybe on stimulus projects) - 07/13/10
The video at peekURL.com/vvjwb7a shows Harry Reid being confronted about not allowing a vote last year that would have required construction companies hiring in regards to the stimulus plan to use the eVerify system. Reid then seems to make the outrageous claim that no illegal aliens are working construction jobs in Nevada , and that's the way it's being presented by HotAir  and by the low-wattage "StandWithAZ" group (the video was uploaded by them).
Unfortunately, it's not clear whether Reid was referring to all construction jobs or just those funded by the stimulus. In the first case he's, of course, lying through his teeth: as the report points out, Pew Hispanic says that 17% of all construction workers are illegal aliens, and also per Pew, 12.2% of Nevada's labor force are illegal aliens, the highest in the U.S. In the second case, there's very little chance that he's right, but he might be less wrong than in the first case. And, because it's not clear what type of jobs they were talking about - stimulus or just in general - that gives him an out which he may use in the not-very-likely event that Sharron Angle brings it up.
UPDATE: As predicted, Reid has an explanation, even if it's different from the one I suggested above. From politico.com/news/stories/0710/39716.html:
When a reporter from KLAS-TV in Las Vegas told Reid a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report found 17 percent of the nation’s construction workers were undocumented, the Nevada Democrat replied: “That may be some place, but it’s not here in Nevada.”
Political opponents have tried to twist Reid’s words, saying he believes there are no illegal workers in Nevada. But Reid spokesman Jim Manley clarified his boss’ comments on Wednesday, saying the majority leader was simply disputing the reporter’s statistic and did not say the state has zero illegal workers.
Alex Nowrasteh  of the Koch family-linked Competitive Enterprise Institute offers "E-Verify is a Spectacular Failure and Should be Abandoned" , referring to this recent report. It contains several curious passages, such as:
While it cannot identify illegal/undocumented immigrants 54%, E-Verify could accomplish one thing: ossification of U.S. labor markets. With the official unemployment rate hovering around 10%, burdening employers and employees with additional workplace regulations like E-Verify will make matters worse.
1. Simply checking someone through a website isn't going to "ossify" much of anything, since it's accurate for legal workers 93% of the time. For almost any job there will be far more applicants than openings, meaning that those who don't pass will in most cases simply be replaced by someone who does. That's bad news for the person who didn't pass, but Nowrasteh isn't calling to improve the system but to scrap it entirely.
2. If Nowrasteh were concerned about the fate of American workers and high unemployment, one would think he'd want to reduce the numbers of illegal aliens in the labor supply; what he's proposing wouldn't do that and would further incentivize illegal immigration.
Additionally, making the right to work contingent upon government permission will do more to Europeanize U.S. labor markets, where unemployment hovers around 10% normally, than any other proposed regulation.
The "right to work" is already "contingent upon government permission"; it's been illegal to hire illegal aliens for quite a number of years now, and nothing in EVerify is designed to affect the right to work for citizens and legal workers. The European bit is a non sequitur.
If that's not enough, he also says:
But even if you think that illegal/undocumented immigration is a serious problem, E-Verify fails to solve the problem.
Illegal immigration is, of course, a very serious problem. Among many other things:
* it's an indicator of massive government and elite corruption;
* it's promoted through misleading media reports that deprive people of the correct information they need to make informed decisions;
* it represents a light, soft form of war against low-wage Americans, increasing competition for low-wage jobs;
* it raise costs for the middle class;
* it reduces the political power of American citizens, giving foreign citizens and foreign governments power inside the U.S. and affecting congressional apportionment;
* it increases freeway congestion and school crowding;
* it's done without the assent of the vast majority of Americans;
* it decreases respect for the law;
* it leads to other crimes such as identity theft;
* and much, much more.
The standard libertarian answer to the above is to pretend that if we just made illegal immigration legal the problem would be solved. Not only would the vast majority of Americans completely oppose such open borders (meaning that a libertarian scheme would have to be imposed through force), but it wouldn't solve the problems but simply make them worse.
If, despite the above, you still trust Nowrasteh's judgment on the immigration issue, please leave a detailed comment and I'll try to change your mind.
 He appears to be quite the "Kochtopus Kid", having attended the Koch family-linked George Mason University.
The online tool E-Verify, now used voluntarily by employers, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time, according to Westat, a research company that evaluated the system for the Homeland Security Department. E-Verify missed so many illegal workers mainly because it can't detect identity fraud, Westat said.
...E-Verify correctly identified legal workers 93 percent of the time, Westat said. However, previous studies have not quantified how many immigrants were fooling the E-Verify system. Much of the criticism of E-Verify has focused on whether U.S. citizens and legal immigrants with permission to work were falsely flagged as illegal workers.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is writing the Democrats' immigration bill and has fought expanding E-Verify because of its flaws, said Wednesday that the fact that E-Verify was inaccurate so often shows that it is not an adequate tool.
1. No doubt additional checks could be built into the system to increase its accuracy.
2. The MPI is only "non-partisan" in the New York Times sense.
3. The reasons why Schumer opposes expanding the system probably go a bit beyond just concerns about its flaws; he's never shown much interest in immigration enforcement.
Earlier today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced H. Res. 1026, called the "Bipartisan Reform of Immigration through Defining Good Enforcement" or BRIDGE Resolution. It seeks to (press release here, no bill text yet):
* make E-Verify mandatory for all employers, and hold employees accountable as well;
* provide sufficient border infrastructure and manpower to secure and control our borders; and,
* reject amnesty and any legal status which pardons those here in violation of our laws
The red flag there is the last: no one wants "amnesty". What many political leaders want is comprehensive immigration reform, something that would be an amnesty no matter what name it's given. Both the resolution and Chaffetz are leaving the door open to "reform" rather than outright opposing it and simply demanding that our laws be enforced. That might be for political reasons with no intent of supporting "reform", or they might end up supporting a compromise of some sort. Here's what Chaffetz told a newspaper (link):
"no amnesty means to me that we're not simply going to excuse them and allow them to stay here in the country. Will we listen to discussion and proposals (about possibly imposing fines or work requirements to stay in country)? Of course. But no amnesty."
It boils down to whether he means "listen" in the normal sense or in the, for instance, Hollywood sense where, as they say, "maybe" is another word for "no".
Harry Reid doesn't want illegal immigration, ACORN provisions in unemployment extension bill - 10/26/09
The Senate is deliberating passage of a 14-week extension of unemployment benefits. Mitch McConnell wants to include provisions about illegal immigration and ACORN, but Harry Reid - not surprisingly - does not (link):
McConnell is insisting on consideration of an amendment to prevent ACORN from receiving federal funds, and another designed to filter illegal immigrants out of the workforce. The Kentucky Republican said the eight amendments Republicans are offering won’t take much longer to consider than the six provisions Reid has proposed on behalf of Democrats.
..."I see no reason that we have to do immigration on this bill - that's what E-Verify is all about," Reid said. "I don’t know how many more times we have to pound on ACORN — we’ve voted on that many times already."
UPDATE: There's more on the amendments here.
The Obama administration has repealed a rule that would have threatened employers with prosecution unless they fired workers whose Social Security numbers did not match entries in a government database, ending a two-year battle in a San Francisco federal court.
Although the Department of Homeland Security formally withdrew the "no-match" rule Wednesday, the administration is supporting another program (EVerify) enabling employers to check workers' names against electronic records that are supposed to screen out illegal immigrants.
* Require employers to use the federal government's E-Verify database to make sure they're hiring legal workers.
* Increase the number of Border Patrol agents by 6,000.
* Create a pilot program to increase aerial surveillance and use other new technology to secure the border.
* Hire more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and create grants for some local law enforcement officials.
* Expedite removal of illegal immigrants by expanding detention capacity and adding immigration judges.
Senate makes e-Verify permanent for federal contractors (House might disagree; border fence) - 07/08/09
The Senate voted Wednesday to require federal contractors to use an electronic employee eligibility verification system and to set construction standards for the fence now going up along the border with Mexico... [the first] was adopted by voice vote after a motion to kill it failed, 44-53. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., offered the amendment, reflecting GOP frustration over the Obama administration’s delayed implementation of an executive order by President George W. Bush setting out the same requirement. The Obama administration has pushed back the Jan. 15 deadline for that order several times, most recently to September... Sessions’ amendment goes beyond the current rule to require federal contractors to check all employees using E-Verify, not just new hires...
The House might change it however.
The border-related amendment tries to prevent the Obama administration from cooking the books on what qualifies as a border fence;
Obama admin to make it easier for illegal aliens to get stimulus, other government jobs? (e-Verify) - 06/12/09
Informed sources are telling our Capitol Hill Team that the Obama Administration plans to announce today or tomorrow new orders and rules that will gut most of the improvements in fighting illegal immigration at the end of the Bush Administration...
We are told that (a potential) new Obama Executive Order will retain the language requiring contractors to verify new hires (using eVerify). But it will eliminate the language requiring them to verify all previously employed workers on the contract.
That means that all the illegal aliens already working for federal contractors can keep their jobs and unemployed Americans will not have a chance at them.
I talked with a former official of the Department of Homeland Security who said there has been buzz about filling the new Executive Order full of loopholes so that federal contractors can "launder" newly hired illegal aliens through a part of the company not doing federal contracts and then transfer them to the federal contract jobs without having to put them through E-Verify.
You can write your representatives, but the much, much better thing to do about this is to embarrass politicians on video over this issue. I posted that link almost four months ago, and maybe some time before the end of the universe someone will decide to actually do something effective.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: $10 million for lobbying in 1Q 2009, including twelve lobbyists on immigration - 05/15/09
The government's $700 billion financial rescue package and Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, were among the high-profile issues the Chamber lobbied on during the first quarter... The group also lobbied on: union organizing, wage discrimination, the children's health insurance program, transportation and port infrastructure, travel restrictions to Cuba, pension security, medical liability reform, greenhouse gas standards, health care and immigration reform... Other issues included attorney-client privilege, cross-border trucking, cargo screening, intellectual property rights enforcement, medical product safety, environmental permitting and visas for temporary workers.
How much they spent on each issue doesn't appear to be available, but the reports they filed with the government are at this page. They don't appear to have spent anything on the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, but they had no less than twelve lobbyists listed as handling immigration including their president Tom Donohue and executive VP Bruce Josten. In addition to just general lobbying for comprehensive immigration reform, they also list the following bills from the 110th Congress that haven't yet been re-introduced in the 111th as well as various rules. Looking into their positions on the more obscure ones is left as an exercise:
Few companies contacted by ABC News were willing to talk on the record about their experiences with E-Verify. For instance, the giant poultry company Perdue sent the following statement :
"We are doing all that the law allows to verify each applicant's identity and employment eligibility. If we find that an associate has presented false information on an employment application, that person will be immediately terminated."
Perdue confirmed it uses E-Verify, but referred questions to (Tamar Jacoby) at ImmigrationWorks USA.
There's nothing wrong about that, it's just a bit curious. Are they a client, or just a fan? She did conduct a seminar that included one of their officials: immigrationworksusa.org/index.php?p=127
Immigration strawman arguments about: civil rights abuses, 287g, family separation, "stateless" children, alternative detention, eVerify - 05/09/09
Rep. Lamar Smith offers "Amnesty Pushers Concoct Six Straw Men" (link), a collection of logical fallacies that illegal immigration supporters use. The points raised aren't of much use unless those supporters - such as nationally-known politicians - are confronted with them, and if you can do that on video that could have a serious impact on those supporters' careers.
But he [the strawman] forgets that children can travel to their parents’ home countries with them. And the federal government may even cover the cost if the family cannot afford it... In most cases, the children will be welcomed abroad as citizens of their parents' home countries -- so they won't be "stateless" as Family Separation Straw Man suggests. In fact, the 10 countries that are estimated to have sent the most illegal immigrants to the U.S. are Brazil, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. In all of these countries except China, the country’s law is clear that children born in the U.S. who have at least one parent who was a citizen of their country (and born in the country) are either automatically citizens of the country or can easily seek citizenship. In China, the law is unclear, but the practice of the Chinese embassy is to allow children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant Chinese parents to return to China as Chinese nationals.
Obama immigration budget: does a McCain: border security, then amnesty; fulfills promise to Mexican government; worried about *southbound* flows - 05/06/09
Remember how when John McCain used the cheap, misleading tactic of talking about how he wanted to "secure the border first" and then use that to push for amnesty, and Obama supporters lied and said he didn't support comprehensive immigration reform anymore? Well, now Barack Obama wants to secure the border first and then use that to push for amnesty. Somehow it's different this time.
From "Obama budget puts security first at the border/He'll ask Congress to help curb the flow of arms to Mexico before seeking any immigration reform" (by Anna Gorman and Peter Nicholas of the Los Angeles Times; link):
President Obama will ask Congress for $27 billion for border and transportation security in the next budget year, fulfilling a promise to the Mexican government to battle the southbound flow of illegal weapons and setting the stage for immigration reform by first addressing enforcement, administration officials said Tuesday.
While some of what he proposes might do something about the northbound flow, and there's no statement from Obama being as upfront as the LAT is, that's a good reminder of who and what are really important to the elites.
Rather than emphasizing fence construction, the budget concentrates on fighting drug smuggling, increasing funding for the Transportation Security Administration as well as:
...[doubling DHS] funding to nearly $47 million to combat southbound firearms and currency smuggling, and adds more than 100 Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers... Among the immigration enforcement priorities, the budget increases funding by 30% to nearly $200 million to enable the Department of Homeland Security to hire 80 new people to identify criminal immigrants in the jails and prisons for deportation... Obama also wants to spend $112 million, a 12% increase, to make E-Verify, an employment verification program, more reliable and to get more employers to use it.
The rest of the article consists of Gorman and Nicholas blueskying for the administration:
In devoting more money to security and enforcement, Obama may be creating some political space needed to revamp the immigration system. The president risks alienating many conservatives if he doesn't emphasize strong border and immigration enforcement before taking action on a reform package that would create a path to legalization for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants... "If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders," Obama said during a prime-time news conference last week, "then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, 'Well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.' " ...The emphasis on border security isn't a surprising first step by the administration, said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank. ..."It's a no-brainer that he is going to want to spend a lot of resources and build muscle at the border," she said... [But, the] second chapter better be looking to Congress and being in the driver's seat, both publicly and behind closed doors, driving a legislative package successfully."
Good news for government contractors that want to employ illegal aliens or who don't really care: the Obama administration has delayed implementation of the EVerify program for those contractors (link). That program lets employers check the employment eligibility of prospective employees, and illegal immigration supporters have fought against it being anything but its current status as a voluntary program.
Obama asked stock question about immigration, gives stock, uneconomic reply (smears e-Verify; Orange County) - 03/18/09
Earlier today, Barack Obama held a townhall in Orange County, CA and the full transcript, including the audience questions and his answers, is here. Maybe some time before the decade's over someone will get around to actually taking my advice and asking him a tough question, but that didn't happen in this case.
As soon as I found out about the event, I posted here and at FreeRepublic urging people to go get tickets in an attempt to have someone ask him this question, without luck. Whether the questioners were hand-picked or not (and, since one of them was a union official, all or some of them might have been), you never know unless you try. And, if no one's willing to go out and confront Obama or his supporters, then they're going to keep on doing what they've been doing.
Reviewing the other questions and answers is left as an exercise; here's the extra-super-tough immigration question:
I'd like to ask you what are you planning to do on immigration, the broken system that we have? And when do you plan on doing this?
Obama has probably been asked questions similar to that dozens of times, and his reply was the same as it's always been, including the same old canards:
...ultimately, here's what I believe: We are a nation of immigrants, number one.
Number two, we do have to have control of our borders (see secure the border). Number three, that people who have been here for a long time and put down roots here have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows (see living in the shadows), because if they stay in the shadows, in the underground economy, then they are oftentimes pitted against American workers.
Since they can't join a union, they can't complain about minimum wages, et cetera, they end up being abused, and that depresses the wages of everybody, all Americans.
I'm no economist, but I'm not so sure about that. Converting millions of illegal aliens into legal workers would put them on the same job footing as U.S. citizens, greatly increasing the competition for jobs that illegal aliens previously could not have applied for and lowering wages in those fields. Newly-legalized illegal aliens wouldn't make that much more than they'd been doing before, meaning they wouldn't greatly increase economic activity. So, we'd have a similiar amount of economic activity as before, with millions more legal workers. And, that's supposed to help U.S. workers?
Too bad there was no one there to point that out to him.
As a bonus, he also race-baited:
We have to make sure that there's a verification system to find out whether somebody is legally able to work here or not. But we have to make sure that that verification system does not discriminate just because you've got a Hispanic last name or your last name is Obama.
For those not familiar with this topic, Obama is smearing the EVerify system, pretending that it's designed to flag those with Hispanic names when in fact it uses Social Security numbers.
Comparing Obama's remarks to highly similar remarks made by George W Bush is left as an exercise; they'd be a very close match.
UPDATE: There's video of his remarks here.
ACLU controlling Obama policy? ("Transition Recommendations" wants most immigration enforcement halted, + much more) - 03/17/09
In November, the American Civil Liberties Union released "Actions For Restoring America: Transition Recommendations for President‐Elect Barack Obama" (aclu.org/transition) listing things they wanted him to do the first day, within the first 100 days, and within the first year. Several of their proposals would halt immigration enforcement to a great extent, pending "review".