Two years ago I traveled the country talking with people of all walks of life about the threat of illegal immigration. As the Chairman of Team America, an immigration PAC, I did town hall meetings, press conferences, and dozens of radio and TV interviews. Everywhere I went one question dominated the discussion. “Why?” “Why does the President not secure the border?” “Why does this Administration refuse to enforce our laws?” “Why is nothing being done to stop the invasion?”
The questions were closely followed by first hand accounts of heartbreaking consequences of massive uncontrolled illegal immigration.
Initially I tried to explain the why — corporate greed, a globalist open-border agenda, the all too often weak and spineless nature of the “elected leader”. But that wasn’t the answer I needed to give. When Washington fails to do its job, when our nation is being sold out by our leaders, the “why’s” don’t matter. What matters is what we’re going to do to stop them.
George Washington said, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and [representative government] are staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” When the country is at risk there is no credit for complaining or analyzing. It is the responsibility of Americans to act. And so they did.
First, with a deafening outcry directed at Congress, Americans derailed an amnesty deal that looked destined to pass. Then, thwarted at the national level, they looked locally for a solution. From towns like Hazelton, PA to counties like Prince William County, VA to states like Georgia, Oklahoma and Arizona, people began to take action and they inspired others. Across the county local leaders boldly and courageously stepped into the leadership void, passing resolutions and laws, in an effort to get the immigration laws of the nation enforced in their communities. Their success has been remarkable.
And the most effective weapon they found against illegal immigration is E-Verify, an internet-based system operated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. It allows businesses to check the legal status of its employees — accurately, cheaply, and timely. It only takes seconds to get the answer!
E-verify has literally given the American people the upper hand in the battle against illegal immigration. They have been able to prevail even when the money, power and the press has been against them. And so there is an effort afoot to take the sling shot from David.
E-verify came into existence in 1997 as a limited pilot program and has been expanded, improved, and renewed over the years. But unless Congress acts to renew it, or preferably make it permanent, E-Verify shuts down in November. That will nullify most all the work that has been done in the states. Illegals will have won a huge victory against the people of this country, and our elected officials will have delivered it to them.
Today a dozen states have laws requiring some portion of its employers to use E-Verify, Oklahoma and Arizona being the toughest. Businesses in these states who knowingly hire illegals lose their licenses, and Arizona requires all its employers to use E-Verify for new workers. And this month, in a remarkable development, the feds joined the party — the president signed a directive requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify.
According to Jonathan Scharfen, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “E-Verify has identified 200,000 individuals (nationwide) who were trying to gain work in the United States who were not eligible, legally, to work.” That’s 5% of the 4 million worker screened this year. Over 64,000 businesses participate in the system today, with an additional 1,000 signing up every week.
And E-Verify reduces a business’ exposure to lawsuits. Previously to comply with the law companies would check documents of those they thought might be illegal-action that on its own could lead to a bankrupting discrimination lawsuit. E-verify allows businesses to check the status of all employees — no profiling there.
So far the courts have upheld state laws requiring E-Verify. And it’s working! Within months of these laws going into effect all reports indicate that illegals are leaving these states in droves.
E-Verify is a powerful instrument in the battle against illegal immigration. If Congress were the slightest bit interested in representing the American people, there would no discussion as to its future. They would simply pass the bills introduced by Chuck Grassley in the Senate (S. 3093) and Ken Calvert in the House (H.R. 5596) to expand and make permanent the E-Verify system.
Instead there’s talk of killing it.
The question is: Will Congress knowingly allow all the work of those in the states to be rolled back, will they willingly give illegals victory over the citizens of this country? Some might call this treason. Best we get the answer before Election Day.