Experts say that a wall is not the best way to address a national security and is not an effect way to control illegal immigration, according to a new Business Insider article. The article goes on to note that if President Trump obtained his wall, experts say it would do little to address the reasons he says it is needed. Moreover, illegal immigration has been declining for 10 years. So why does the wall have support from a substantial minority portion of the American public?
According to a 2014 study, most business owners are Republican. Most immigrants here illegally come for work. An overwhelming majority are employed by businesses. Business owners have a general idea that a portion of their work force presented false documentation with their employment applications (employers must obtain an I-9 form, an identification, and a Social Security number when hiring an applicant). There is a reliable, proven, and inexpensive way to find out if an employee has presented false documentation. It’s called E-Verify. It’s a service provided by the U.S. Government but its use is not mandatory. Once employers learn from E-Verify that an applicant has presented false immigration status documents, they may not employ that applicant. if they do, they are subject to steep fines. But if an employer does not use E-Verify and an I-9 form or identification turns out to be false, as long as the employer has plausible deniability regarding their knowledge of illegal status, they are not liable for fines. E-Verify takes away that plausible deniability. Most employers don’t use E-Verify and don’t want it to be mandatory. The reason is fairly obvious. Employers need employees. However, if E-Verify was mandatory, it would be far more effective at curbing the largest portion of illegal immigration – economic immigrants.
So why has the Republican Party made stricter border enforcement – the most expensive and least effective means of curbing southern border crossings – a central policy for decades? Why have they harped on immigration at all when they are the primary beneficiaries and users of it? Why has President Trump focused on the least cost-effective form of border enforcement of all? Is the immigration issue a red herring (or Trojan Horse) used by the business owner segment of the party to attract blue collar workers? Is the wall an intentional feint by wealthy Republicans without really impacting their supply of immigrant labor?
In any case, the Republican focus on border enforcement and President Trump’s focus on the Wall – with nary a word about making E-Verify mandatory – seems calculatedly ineffective.
– – – – –