August 8, 2013The Senate immigration bill (S. 744) is immense, so most Americans (and, more importantly, journalists) can be forgiven for missing the part that authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use the bill’s mandatory employment verification system (E-Verify) as a surveillance system for workers.
The Senate’s E-Verify proposal is electronic national ID, allowing employers to identify new employees using a biometric system containing photographs or substantial personal information (p. 531). To assuage fears that E-Verify would expand to other uses, the authors of the bill included a clause...
August 2, 2013Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has led the effort in the House to fix immigration laws in the most conservative and free market way possible. Labrador has not floundered in the immigration waters, stammering out apologies for his views or flipping to new ones. Rather, he has stuck to his one basic principle: Congress created this problem. It is time for them to fix it.
Unlike other immigration reformers in the GOP, there is no clear incentive for Labrador to stick his neck out on the issue. In the short-term at least, Labrador lacks the transparent national ambitions of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla...
House National ID E-Verify Bill: 6 Dangerous Provisions it Includes (And 5 Worker Protections it Excludes)July 31, 2013The House of Representatives has passed out of committee a bill (H.R. 1772) to mandate E-Verify electronic employment verification for all employers. This bill differs from the E-Verify proposal in the Senate immigration bill, so here’s the breakdown of what it’s in it:
1) Huge fines for employers: The bill cranks up the civil and criminal penalties both for employers who hire “unauthorized” workers and those who fail paperwork or technical requirements, such as E-Verify checks within a 3 day window or correct form filing. For technical errors, the bill increases fines tenfold—increasing the minimum fine to $1,000 per mistake and up to $25,000 per mistake (p. 50). Given the fact that this law can already cost employers up to $1...
House National ID E-Verify Bill: 5 Worker Protections it Excludes (And 6 Dangerous Provisions it Includes)July 31, 2013The House of Representatives has passed out of committee a bill (H.R. 1772) to mandate E-Verify electronic employment verification for all employers. This bill differs from the E-Verify proposal in the Senate immigration bill, so here’s the breakdown of what the bill lacks:
1) No limitation on how the system can be used: The House bill opens the door for E-Verify’s national ID system to be used almost anywhere to demonstrate identity. Once the system is in place and every American is part of it, it will be very easy for a federal or state agency to determine to use the system as a form of identification to get into buildings, to apply for a home loan, to rent an apartment, to...
July 15, 2013A record number of Americans favor allowing more foreigners to enter and live in the United States each year. Nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) favor "increased immigration," according to the most recent Gallup poll. As importantly, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) oppose decreasing immigration, also a record. Last year saw the lowest support for decreasing immigration at any point since Gallup began asking the question.
The trends show Americans are more willing than ever to engage with the world. To be clear, most Americans—as I’m sure many would readily admit—do not comprehend the absolute or relative scale of immigration. The poll mainly reflects the fact that Americans feel more welcoming to immigrants than ever. In fact, 72 percent of respondents thought of immigration as a "good...
June 28, 2013The Senate’s passage of its immigration reform bill is a meaningful victory for free markets. Free markets ought to extend beyond borders. As has been seen clearly by economists since Adam Smith, exchange in both goods, services, and ideas make the world a richer and freer place.
Legalization: The bill would legalize the statuses of roughly 11 million immigrants here illegally, so long as they arrived before last year and were not a felon. Protecting the rights of immigrants to live and work freely also protects Americans’ rights to associate, contract, and trade with those immigrants. A first principle of U.S. immigration policy is that it should not violate the rights of U.S. citizens.
Those who recommend that we “just enforce the law,” as it is currently written, rarely understand the implications of that suggestion for Americans. Not only would tens of thousands of business...
June 27, 2013“We received a cold, brief letter from the Immigration Service notifying us that our petition had been denied. Why? Because we’re both men.” That was Brandon Melchiorre, explaining late last year his failed-attempt to get a green card for his spouse, Luke. “The denial letter from Immigration Services clearly stated in an unapologetic, discriminatory tone that we are still, in fact, second-class citizens.”
Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), gay Americans cannot sponsor their partners to enter and reside in the United States. But thanks to the Supreme...
June 26, 2013When President Bush left office in January 2009, there were about 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. If the Senate immigration bill (S. 744) passes, this military-style mobilization will come to the U.S.-Mexico border -- and then some.
Under the Hoeven-Corker border security amendment, approved Monday, the bill would now pour in at least 38,405 Border Patrol personnel along America’s Southern border -- more than double the original amount. At the same time, it would increase total border security funding more than five-fold -- from $8.3 billion to $46.3 billion.
These funds will go to finish a 700-mile border fence and add hundreds of new surveillance...
June 25, 2013Union-backed provisions in the Senate immigration bill would punish organizations that coordinate visits for foreign students who spend summers traveling and working in America.
June 24, 2013I have written extensively about the threats to Americans’ civil liberties from E-Verify, the employment verification system contained within the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill.[i] I have also written a study outlining the costs of E-Verify to the economy—at least $8.5 billion per year.[ii] But the problems from E-Verify go far beyond what can be estimated in a simple study. Regulatory complications will ultimately make the system much more costly than anyone can predict now.
The most recent evidence for this fact comes from a report by Immigration Daily (ILW.com), the largest immigration attorney website in the country. “The reaction of the large law firms is a little different than the conventional wisdom—apparently legalization is not where they see the opportunity,” its editors wrote this Friday. “The...