E-Verify and IMAGE – Stimulating the Economy

By Ronald W. Mortensen on September 28, 2009

The federal government has spent huge amounts to stimulate the American economy. The theory is that massive government spending programs will put people back to work and increase consumer spending which is a major driver of economic activity in the United States.

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Unfortunately, many jobs that unemployed Americans are more than willing to do are held by illegal aliens and employers continue to hire illegal aliens even during a time of recession. This deprives American citizens of income that they need to meet their daily expenses for everything from food and clothing to covering their mortgage payments. It also hampers efforts to stimulate the economy through increased consumer spending because illegal aliens send a large portion of their income back to their home countries rather than spending it in the United States.

According to a 2008 report by Mexico's Central Bank, only a small percentage of Mexican nationals in the United States work in agriculture (5%) while 38% of Mexican nationals are employed in construction and manufacturing, and another 57% in services. Many of these are jobs that American citizens would take.

In addition to taking jobs from American citizens, illegal aliens also transfer billions of dollars in income earned in the United States to their home countries as remittances.

According to the Los Angeles Times, remittances by Mexican nationals totaled $1.7 billion in April 2009. In 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal, remittances to Mexico alone were $25 billion dollars and according to the Inter-American Development Bank, remittances from Latin America and the Caribbean expatriates living abroad in 2008 came to $69.2 billion.

If all employers used the free E-Verify program to confirm the legal status of their new hires, jobs would go to American citizens rather than to illegal aliens and American citizens would spend their earnings in the United States thereby supporting American businesses and stimulating the economy.

In addition to using E-Verify for new hires, if American companies were to sign up for the IMAGE program, they could identify the illegal aliens currently on their payrolls and free up those jobs for American citizens. This would further stimulate the economy.

Unfortunately, Congress refused to require companies receiving stimulus funds to enroll in E-Verify. Rather they knowingly and deliberately allowed billions of dollars of taxpayer provided stimulus funds to go to illegal aliens who continue to transfer much of their earnings to foreign countries.

E-Verify will need to be reauthorized before the end of September. Congress should, therefore, not only reauthorize E-Verify permanently but it should also require all employers to use E-Verify and IMAGE in order to stimulate the economy. There is no excuse for illegal aliens to hold jobs that American citizens are more than willing to do or for stimulus funds to go to foreign nations in the form of remittances.

Topics: Remittances