Letter: Discouraging Illegal Immigration
To the Editor:
The Washington Post editorial (“Bordering on Insanity,” June 28) is absolutely right: Spending billions to tighten border control is a ridiculous waste of money. If Republicans want to reduce the tsunami of illegal immigrants from Mexico and points South — and they do — their best bet would be to focus on E-Verify.
Now voluntary, E-Verify allows employers to check within minutes on the legal status of prospective employees. The bill now under consideration has E-Verify kick in only after three years and covers only new hires. To be effective, it must be mandatory, implemented immediately, and cover all employees, not just new hires. This would eliminate the job magnet that attracts border-jumpers who come for jobs expecting eventual amnesty like earlier waves of illegal immigrants.
With many thousands of native-born U.S. citizens currently unemployed, any measure to limit immigrant job-seekers would certainly be in our national interest. This is especially so because immigrants with low skills and little education who are willing to work for lower wages compete directly with our own similarly disadvantaged jobless citizens. (Note the devastating job picture for blacks.) Even Latinos who came in earlier waves of immigrants, many of whom are now naturalized, are not keen on more immigrants because they lower the wages for all in that job sector.