Talking Points Suggest E-Verify Is Part of the President’s New Immigration Plan

The key that shuts off the jobs magnet

By Andrew R. Arthur on May 17, 2019

As the Washington Post reported, on May 16, 2019, President Donald Trump rolled out his new plan to reform the legal immigration system. Although the president did not specifically refer to E-Verify in his statements, it appears from a White House fact sheet that this program, which is crucial to controlling illegal immigration in the United States, is a part of his plan.

On May 17, 2019, Ryan James Girdusky tweeted out the White House’s talking points on this plan. Note the last line on the first page of those talking points, which states: “The President’s proposal will ensure that employees are legally authorized to work.” The only way that the president can keep that promise is by mandating E-Verify.

I discussed E-Verify extensively in a December 28, 2018 post in which I explained how the president could implement that program by executive action. I stated therein:

As my colleague Mark Krikorian, explained in a July 2018 opinion piece in National Review Online captioned "Where's E-Verify?":

"Criminal deportations are essential, of course, and need to be increased. Sanctuary cities, shielding such criminals, have to be reined in. And the routine abuse of asylum, especially using children as a ticket into the United States, has to be quashed.

"But most illegal aliens are neither drunk-driving, dope-dealing rapists, nor bogus asylum seekers coached by immigration lawyers on how to game the system. They're ordinary working stiffs, half of them arriving legally and then never leaving. They're mainly coming to work, and that's why weakening the magnet of jobs that attracts is essential both to the practice and the rhetoric of immigration control."

E-Verify would do just that.

On its website, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) succinctly explains how the E-Verify process works:

In the E-Verify process, employers create cases based on information taken from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. E-Verify then electronically compares that information to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The employer usually receives a response within a few seconds either confirming the employee’s employment eligibility or indicating that the employee needs to take further action to complete the case.

The use of E-Verify is not mandatory for most employers, but at the present time more than 750,000 employers are enrolled in the program, and approximately 1,400 new employers join every week, according to USCIS.  

If, as the White House talking points above suggest, the president’s plan includes a mandatory E-Verify requirement, it would be a game-changer as it relates to illegal aliens present in the United States. As I’ve noted many times before, most aliens enter the United States illegally in order to live and work here (the jobs magnet Mr. Krikorian referred to above). If they are not able to do that, it does not make economic sense for them to stay (the United States is a comparably expensive place to live if you don’t have a job), and they will therefore leave. And, E-Verify would make it next to impossible for an alien without employment authorization to work for any except the most foolhardy and unscrupulous employer. It is the key that turns off that magnet.  

The addition of E-Verify to the president’s proposal shows how serious he is to craft an immigration system that will protect American workers—both United States citizens and aliens who have already been lawfully admitted. This is a good sign for his intentions to see his May 16 proposals become law.