E-Verify

To Increase Wages, Mandate E-Verify, Shrink Labor Market

Democratic presidential candidates have unanimously embraced the $15 federal minimum wage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her support behind the wage hike that would more than double the current $7.25 rate. Pelosi claims that not only would the wage increase give Americans more money in their paycheck, but would also boost the gross domestic product. When people have more purchasing power, they’ll spend more, and, predicted Pelosi, the GDP will therefore rise.

But a far more credible economic source than Pelosi made the opposite calculation. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that overall the $15 hourly wage would “would reduce the nation’s output slightly.” The CBO found that as many as 27 million workers, assuming they remained employed, could benefit. On the other hand, up to 3.7 million workers might lose their jobs as employers respond to higher overhead. Goods and services costs to consumers would inevitably rise.

That’s the thing about the $15 minimum wage hype – only one side of the story is told. A wage increase won’t be effective if employers don’t hire or if they dramatically reduce their hourly payrolls to adjust for the steep bump.

Moreover, the $15 wage is an artificial solution to increasing Americans’ paychecks. The lasting correction is to tighten the labor pool. The federal government can tighten the employment market in two ways: first, reduce the 1 million-plus legal immigrants who, as employment-authorized lawful permanent residents, enter the labor force annually.

Further, the government could reduce the roughly 750,000 temporary guest workers that come to the U.S. to perform an assortment of jobs that, for the most part, Americans would do, assuming a fair wage. The second tightening variable, and more immediate way to drive up wages, is to use E-Verify, the online program that ensures only legally authorized workers hold U.S. jobs.

To analyze how large influxes of immigrant workers, in this case, construction workers, impact the market, the Los Angeles Times studied the Southern California building trade. The Times wrote that over a few decades, construction workers went from being majority union, and majority U.S.-born, to majority immigrant. In the article conclusion, journalist Natalie Kitroeff wrote, “Nonunion shops made aggressive inroads into home building with workers who had less experience. The result: Today slightly more than 1 in 10 construction workers are in a union, compared with 4 in 10 in the 1970s….an influx of immigrants who would work for less made it easier for builders to quickly shift to a nonunion labor force…” A footnote: in a relatively short time, immigration played a leading role in eliminating solid, blue-collar United Brotherhood of Carpenters jobs that paid middle-class wages, offered health care, paid vacations and pensions.

But since major immigration reductions are not in the immediate future, the government could help by passing mandatory E-Verify. If passed, the program that would prevent unscrupulous employers from hiring illegal aliens and slow the flow of unlawful job-seeking foreign nationals, once the word was out. A tighter labor market results in an increase in wages for U.S. workers.

E-Verify has the overwhelming support of Americans and of companies like Costco that have used it for years. Early this year, a Houston Chronicle editorial made the interesting point that E-Verify would not only help legally present workers keep jobs, but also would protect exploited illegal immigrant workers from low pay and harsh conditions that, because of deportation fears, they’re afraid to report. With E-Verify, the onus is on employers to hire only legal workers.

For all the ballyhoo about the $15 minimum wage, nothing is ever said about tightening the labor market through lower immigration or mandating E-Verify, two solutions that would help the U.S. pay rate, still stuck at 1970 levels, to increase through normal market functions.

After ICE Raids, US Citizens Flock To Jobs

Less than one week after ICE raided 7 food processing facilities in Mississippi apprehending nearly 700 illegal workers, American citizens are rushing to freshly-available jobs.

Koch Foods is headquartered in Chicago but maintains a chicken processing facility in Mississippi that employed 243 of the 680 undocumented Latino workers arrested in the raids last Thursday. Koch has since collaborated with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), holding a job fair to recruit new, legal, workers, according to the Associated Press.

The fair raked in 200 applications before noon, according to local media. The company says it will require applicants to present two forms of identification before being hired, according to CNN. MDES will also vet all Mississippi workers for legality using the state’s E-Verify system, according to USA Today.

A Koch spokesman did not directly correlate the job fair with the raids. Instead he told the AP that holding job fairs is routine for the chicken processing plant, especially given America’s strong current economy. (RELATED: CNN’s Tapper: Is Trump Not Getting Enough Credit For The Economy?)

Job fairs “are part of normal efforts to employ,” Gilliand told AP. “In this environment of relative full employment, most businesses are looking for qualified applicants; Koch is no different.”

Dianne Bell of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security was involved in coordinating the job fair. She says that the immigration raid and Koch’s interest in recruitment of new legal workers went hand in hand.

“They reached out to us the very same day [as the raids],” Bell told USA Today, speaking on the collaborative recruitment effort between Koch and the MDES.

Those who are now seeking employment in the raided facilities cite high wages and frequent pay as reasons to take the exhausting job of a food processing worker, according to USA Today.

Last week’s ICE raids are “believed to be the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history,” says to US Attorney for the Southern District Mike Hurst, according to CNN.

Many media outlets and commentators are attributing the raids to the Trump Administration or a racist agenda. However, acting ICE director Matt Albence maintained that immigration laws “are not new laws, nor is the enforcement of them new,” according to CNN.

Washington Post: Farm Industry Is Being Forced to Replace Illegal Workforce

Excerpts:

The paper [Washington Post] reported February 21:

... With the election of Trump, employers said they knew that finding undocumented workers would probably become even more difficult. One Washington state farmer said he watched as his entire pool of undocumented workers crossed the border into Canada after Trump’s inauguration, fearing deportation. Another farmer, failing to find domestic workers in 2017, formed a partnership with a local prison, hiring detainees to work the fields as part of a voluntary work program.

Farm companies are importing more temporary visa workers via the H-2A program. In 2016, farm companies hired 165,000 temporary workers via the H2A program. In 2018, the number rose to 242,000 H-2A workers, who are expected to return home after 10 months of work.

Apple farms in Oregon are also looking to machines to curb their reliance on migrants to pick the most profitable fruit:  [photo]

The two articles in the Washington Post are notable because they recognize the impact of cheap-labor migration on U.S. technology and economics.

Most articles by establishment media outlets focus on the demands of U.S. employers and of foreign migrants and ignore the deeply damaging impact illegal and legal migration on Americans’ wages, salaries, productivity, and technological development.

For example, many major U.S. companies ally with foreign outsourcing firms to keep at least 1.5 million foreign college-graduates — including at least 650,000 H-1B workers — in the jobs sought by U.S. college graduates. That business strategy is made possible by government labor policy, and it spikes Wall Street values, shrinks salaries, and steers middle-class Americans away from technology jobs.

Overall, the U.S. agriculture industry is heavily mechanized and automated. High-tech machinery allows farmers and a few workers to plant, help, and harvest vast acreages of row crops, such as wheat, corn, potatoes, carrots, and soybeans. The huge harvests feed Americans and many people abroad.

The U.S. dairy industry is partly automated but lags behind European dairy farms who have shrunk their labor costs by buying cow-milking robots. Dairy farmers are lobbying to be allowed into the H-2A program and complain that government-set milk prices are too low for them to afford the cow-milking robots.

But there is little automation in the business of picking fruit, such as peaches, apples, and strawberries. Cheap illegal labor has allowed farm companies to ignore technology, but that strategy has run into a ditch.

Farms in Mexico and South America are using their expert managers, extra sunshine, and cheaper labor to deliver more food to their countries and to export more food to the U.S., so cutting into U.S. farmers’ share of the U.S. market.

That international competition is also forcing American farms to consider automating their harvests.

The asparagus industry shows the connection between labor costs and automation.

In California and Idaho, asparagus is picked by migrants carrying a long tool. In Michigan, where there are fewer migrants, farms use buggies to help a team of several migrants pick the crop faster. In Europe, where migrants are expensive, companies are trying to use bigger machines that can pick the asparagus crop with few workers.

Oregon paying 'undocumented individuals' for childcare, investigator claims

A state fraud investigator is alleging that the state of Oregon may have violated federal law by paying 79 "undocumented individuals" to provide day care for low-income families.

Ryan Cram, who has worked as a criminal fraud investigator for five years, sent an email to every Oregon lawmaker last week saying he came forward as a whistleblower after the Department of Human Services swept his concerns under the rug. He called for a full investigation.

In response, the Department of Human Services said it had carefully examined the issue and did not find problems, according to an email sent to lawmakers and obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Leah Horner, the agency's legislative director, wrote that the agency's policy team conducted "a full review of the 79 providers" and their identification information. Of those, three required re-evaluation but were cleared. Horner said attorneys with the Department of Justice "had no concerns that fraud was committed and would not be pursuing the issue."

Cram's allegations come amid growing tensions over immigration in the era of President Donald J. Trump, whose administration has increased prosecution of immigration violations. A measure on the Oregon ballot this year would repeal the state's sanctuary law that bars state and local law enforcement from being used to enforce federal immigration standards.

"I tried going through the right steps and got blown off," Cram said in an interview Monday. "I wanted to put it all out there, and now they can answer these questions to elected officials."

At issue is the state's payments to a small fraction of childcare providers who participate in the Employment Related Day Care program. The state taps federal funds to subsidize day care for about 8,300 low-income families each month. The Department of Human Services directly pays approved providers to cover a portion of childcare costs, offering a monthly maximum of $1,255 per child.

Six months ago, while investigating a childcare-subsidy fraud case, Cram discovered an approved day care provider had supplied the Department of Human Services with a taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number. Cram also found the same day care provider was a recipient of food stamps.

Cram wrote that the woman was listed in internal state records as an "illegal alien" who "came over to the United States in 2007 undocumented," according to an April email he wrote to the Department of Human Services' policy office. Cram later shared the contents with lawmakers.

Cram kept digging. He found 79 daycare providers in all who, according Department of Human Services records, acknowledged being "undocumented and unauthorized to work in the United States," he said in his letter to lawmakers.

Under federal law, it is unlawful "to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment" anyone known to have not been lawfully admitted into the United States. It's also unlawful to use "a contract, subcontract, or exchange" to "obtain the labor" of someone known to be illegally in the United States.

A Department of Human Services employee initially dismissed Cram's concern, according to an email Cram provided lawmakers. The state labeled any payment to a day care as a "client benefit" for the low-income family, not the worker. The state also said it "is not an employer of providers," according to an email Cram provided lawmakers.

Cram challenged that interpretation. He wrote that the state's relationship with the day care provider appeared to be a "form of employment/contract employment."

A child care policy analyst later told Cram by email that the department had reversed course and "would no longer pay a provider once we learned they were undocumented."

But on Sept. 24, Cram was called into a meeting and told no changes would be made, according to a memo Cram wrote and shared with lawmakers.

Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, who chairs the Interim Committee on Human Services, said she read all of the dozens of documents Cram provided. But Gelser said she had not yet had time to compare his allegations to the response offered by the Department of Human Services.

Kate Kondayen, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kate Brown, said in an email Monday that the Department of Human Services "has conducted an extensive internal review, and apprised the Governor's office of their findings."

Kondayen declined to say if Brown would ask for any further investigation.

The most effective tool of all: E-VERIFY

Why is E-Verify seldom mentioned in the immigration conversation?

Rosemary Jenks, of NumbersUSA, a lawyer and long-time activist for reduced immigration, gives the reasons here, plainly, for all to see.  Citizens and voters had better pay attention.

 

E-Verify Ignored in DACA Negotiations Because ‘Members of Congress Know It Will Work’

By Robert Kraychik, Breitbart.com, 23 Jan 2018

Members of Congress broadly oppose a legislative nationwide E-Verify mandate for employers because “they know it will work,” said NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks, explaining why E-Verify is not being pushed in congressional negotiations for an amnesty deal for recipients of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Jenks further noted that both parties are beholden to special interests supportive of “mass migration.”

Jenks offered her analysis during a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak. …

 “I think [E-Verify] is not being pushed precisely because members of Congress know it will work,” said Jenks. “I think that is exactly the reason it’s not being pushed. Democrats, for sure, don’t want mandatory E-Verify because they know it will discourage illegal immigration, which will discourage the push for the next amnesty. And, let’s face it, the establishment Republicans don’t want it because they know it will be effective and eliminate their cheap labor pools.”

Special interests, including “big business,” “organized religion,” and “ethnic advocacy groups,” subvert popular American will via their funding and political agitation, said Jenks, adding, “It’s about the donors and about the Democrat Party wanting mass immigration. Those are the two factors that rule every immigration debate. It’s always the big business donors, organized religion, the ethnic advocacy groups. All of the money is behind mass immigration, and then, there’s the American people on the other side. That’s the problem we have had. That’s why we haven’t controlled immigration in the last five decades.”

Legislating a national mandate for E-Verify use by employers is more important than construction of a southern border wall, argued Jenks. “In our view, mandatory E-Verify is more important than a wall. So that is the one place where we’re hoping that we can move the administration to saying E-Verify is a must-have.”

Approximately half of “the illegal population” is composed of foreigners who lawfully entered the homeland and overstay their visas, said Jenks. An E-Verify mandate on employers, she added, would “mostly shut down” the lure of employment for illegal aliens. …

Read the entire article here.  Read more about E-Verify here and here.

Will newly-created jobs go to citizens or to non-citizens?

Congress is considering major spending for infrastructure maintenance that has been neglected for years in the U.S.   Also on the agenda are actions on immigration policy, aimed at creating jobs for citizens, in line with Pres. Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” position.

BUT, as Dan Cadman of the Center for Immigration Studies points out, it’s necessary to coordinate these two projects because otherwise, infrastructure spending could simply subsidize more illegal alien employment and not help job-seeking citizens at all.

How Upcoming Legislative Priorities Can Strengthen, or Sink, the 'Hire American' Agenda

By Dan Cadman, January 2, 2018

Excerpt:

To go back … to the infrastructure bill:

·       It should contain provisions that require every state or local government, and every pass-through contractor or subcontractor, to use E-Verify (although ideally, this would be covered as a nationwide requirement in any immigration bill enacted, as discussed above).

·       It should also specifically reserve technical jobs for citizens, resident aliens, and other aliens residing lawfully in the United States on a long-term basis, such as refugees and asylees.

·       The language should specifically prohibit the outsourcing of jobs.

·       The penalty for state and local governments unwilling to abide by these provisions should be exclusion from participation or receipt of grant monies, and failure to comply should result in clawbacks of funding provided.

·       And, finally, the penalty for contractors and subcontractors who do not comply or are found in violation should be debarment from participation in any federal or federally-funded projects, in addition to any civil fines or criminal penalties for hiring of unlawful workers.

...  Policy wonks, from the White House level on down, ought to be strategizing right now on the ways in which the infrastructure and immigration bills can — and should — complement one another, rather than being in conflict with one another. But are they?

Failure to do so means that the jobs won't go to the people they should, and a grand opportunity to put the president's Hire American agenda into practice will be lost.

-----------------------------------------------------

Read the entire article here.

Let's Start Debunking Immigration Myths

There are common sense, fact-based ways to fix immigration in U.S.

Taxpayers are subsidizing big business and a desire for cheap labor at a massive cost to society.

HOLDEN — Our media is inundated with political narrative, misinformation and myths on immigration. A few examples:

 Reducing immigration is “anti-immigrant” and “right-wing.”

 Only Trumpites oppose sanctuary cities.

Last October, the Obama Justice Department announced that cities would receive federal law enforcement grants only if they fully complied with federal immigration reporting laws. The current administration is continuing this policy. In addition, 80 percent of Americans oppose sanctuary policies, and even in hyper-blue California, a majority felt that cities should not be allowed to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities.

 Immigrants pay taxes.

The National Academy of Sciences was clear: Immigrants are currently a huge fiscal drain. In 2013, the fiscal deficit – taxes paid minus services used – was $279 billion. But why? They work hard. Their wages are low because most are unskilled. Bottom line: Taxpayers are subsidizing cheap labor for the employers.

• If illegal immigrants left, our produce would rot in the fields.

Alabama’s agricultural output rose in the three years after passage of its “draconian” immigration law. In addition, the H2A visa program, which allows farmers to employ foreign guest workers, has no caps. There’s no excuse for any illegal workers picking our produce.

• We need immigrants to “do the jobs Americans won’t do.”

Nobel economist Paul Krugman: “The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays – and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.” When garlic famers couldn’t find enough workers, they recently increased wages by $2 an hour, and were flooded with applicants. Surprise! Americans picking produce!

• If we pay more, food prices will skyrocket.

Philip Martin, of the Commission on Agricultural Workers, reports that raising farmworkers’ wages by 40 percent would increase a family’s annual food budget by only $16. By hiring legal workers and paying a livable wage, we save taxpayers the cost of poverty programs, and government gets more taxes.

• We need high-skilled foreign science, technology, engineering and math workers.

The Wall Street Journal: “America’s dazzling tech boom has a downside: Not enough jobs.” And The New York Times: Corporations, claiming dire shortages, are displacing Americans with foreign workers. “STEM shortages”?

• We’re caught between “mass deportations” and “mass amnesty.”

We have other choices. Passing mandatory E-verify for all new hires would immediately end the jobs magnet. Over five years, we could phase in E-verify for all workers. A five-year transition period would allow employers now dependent on an illegal workforce to rethink their business plan, and it would allow illegal immigrants time to make other arrangements.

 Families could be divided!

It’s not our responsibility to provide amnesty and citizenship to people who’ve committed Social Security card fraud and identity theft and lied on federal documents in order to “make a better life.” If native-born Americans commit these crimes, they face jail time.

• What about “Dreamers,” brought here as children? They’re innocent.

Legalization without citizenship for a limited number of highly deserving Dreamers makes sense. But their plight shouldn’t become a Trojan horse for another mass amnesty.

• We need more young people!

Since immigrants sponsor their elderly parents, too, immigration has no discernible effect on generational demographics, according to the pro-restriction Center for Immigration Studies.

• President Barack Obama deported millions. Illegal immigration is simply unstoppable.

The Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration changed the definition of “deportation.” Citing that fact, Obama himself called his deportation statistics “a little deceptive.” Using the old definition, deportations declined by 40 percent under Obama.

How can we stop illegal immigration? It’s obvious: Go after the employers. Decisive enforcement. No more “catch and release.” Immigration policy will affect nearly every aspect of our society for generations. Let’s try applying a fact-based discussion to this complex problem.

Jonette Christian of Holden is a member of Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy. She can be contacted at jonettechristian@ rocketmail.com.

Oregon lawmakers push to repeal sanctuary state designation, make English official language

...Gov. Kate Brown, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland -- have all said they would not allow legislation rescinding Oregon's sanctuary state designation to progress. On the contrary, Brown has signed an executive order strengthening Oregon's laws shielding undocumented immigrants and ...

Williamson said in a statement Wednesday that she's "appalled" House Republicans would consider repealing the state's sanctuary designation.

"Oregon is better than this," she said. "This bill only serves to further divide and polarize our state, to scapegoat and threaten our immigrant populations."

House Bill 2917, sponsored by Esquivel, Nearman and Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, would require state agencies and contractors they hire to use the federal E-Verify system, which allows employers to check that prospective laborers are legally allowed to work in the United States.

Support Oregon Businesses that use E-Verify

OFIR encourages your support of Oregon businesses that use E-Verify, a federal matching program FREE to employers to help ensure that any newly created jobs go only to citizens and legal residents.  Please tell the business why you have chosen to do business with them.

Please, do your homework about the business - OFIR does not endorse any business.

Please find your favorite business on this newly released list of businesses that "choose to use" E-Verify!


 

Hundreds expected at rally against Trump's immigration proposals

SALEM — A pro-immigrant rally set for Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Oregon Capitol could draw several hundred demonstrators opposed to President-elect Donald Trump's positions on immigration.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader and several state lawmakers are scheduled to participate in the rally from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 11, more than 500 people had indicated they plan to attend and 2,000 had expressed interest on the event's Facebook page.

The rally is one of 50 "National Day of Action Events Against Trump Policies," according to a news release by the One Oregon coalition.

Trump has said that he will seek to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the country, end executive orders by President Obama that shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation, and start a Muslim registry.

The coalition is "deeply concerned about the impact this will have on immigrant and refugee communities, who are integral to Oregon's economy and future," said Diane Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon, a member of One Oregon.

One of Obama's executive orders, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Young people who are eligible must apply for the program every two years, receive a work permit and may attend college.

"There are more than 700,000 individuals nationally and about 15,000 in Oregon whose lives are at stake, whose ability to continue their education and their career is at stake based on what President-elect Trump does," said Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa. "A lot of times, they have never been to their home country, don't know the language or have not been there for a very long time."

State lawmakers who have given their RSVP for Saturday's rally include Portland Democrats Rep. Alyssa Keny-Guyer, Sen. Michael Dembrow, Rep. Diego Hernandez, and Rep. Rob Nosse. Woodburn Democrat Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, who became a U.S. citizen just five years ago, also plans to attend.

The One Oregon coalition of 60 organizations opposes anti-immigrant policies. Immigrant rights organizations Causa, APANO and Unite Oregon lead the group.

The coalition plans to support state legislation in 2017 aimed at reducing racial profiling during police stops, expanding Medicaid to more children and increasing affordable housing funding.

There are no known counter protests to the event. Oregonians For Immigration Reform, which frequently clashes with Causa on policy proposals, had no plans for a counter demonstration Saturday, said OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll. OFIR has scheduled a meeting the same day as the demonstration to discuss the results of the election and 2017 legislation.

Trump's immigration proposals have begun to address many of the frustrations some Americans have had with immigration policy and practices, Kendoll said.

"I think the Trump administration has nailed it when he said we need to reassess what we are doing and why and how is it benefiting the United States," Kendoll said.

She said she supports Trump's plan to end the DACA program.

"Those parents made the choice for their children to pick them up and bring them to this country," Kendoll said. "I didn't make that choice for them."

OFIR attempted to advance ballot initiatives last year that would have made English the official language of Oregon, required businesses to use a federal program to verify citizenship of employees and required proof of citizenship to vote. The initiatives ultimately were tied up in court after immigrant rights organizations and the ACLU challenged the ballot titles.

OFIR plans to offer at least four pieces of legislation next session, though Kendoll declined to disclose specifics Wednesday, Jan. 11. None are expected to gain momentum in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Also published in the East Oregonian

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - E-Verify