2016 elections, deportation, Donald Trump, E-Verify, H1B, ICE, illegal immigration, Im-Politic, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Jobs, Republicans, September 11, tech workers, The New York Times, visa overstays, visas, wages
The New York Times‘ recent editorial trashing of Donald Trump’s immigration proposals was so over the top and intellectually dishonest that you’d think the paper’s editorial board members and owners’ main worry was losing access to the super-cheap illegal nannies and gardeners that support their one percent-er lifestyles. Certainly nothing else about Trump’s policies can possibly justify the vehemence with which The Times attacked him.
Predictably, the editorial focused on Trump’s position on deporting America’s huge illegal immigrant population, and the related issue of birthright citizenship. Trump does deserve some criticism on this score. As I’ve argued, aside from criminal aliens, he should be focusing not on active deportation but on a policy of attrition – discouraging illegals from remaining in the country by denying them both employment opportunities and government benefits. And although I agree with Trump (and many others) that the anchor babies problem is unacceptable, it does seem that Constitutional issues will prevent any solution for many years.
But as I’ve also pointed out, mass deportation wasn’t even a part of Trump’s plan, although he did endorse the idea in a media interview. Completely indefensible, by contrast, is the paper’s charge that every plank of Trump immigration platform is “despicable,” “cruel,” “racist,” and “xenophobic.” If anything’s despicable, its much of The Times’ own tendentious analysis.
Take the editorial’s treatment of Trump’s call to make mandatory the E-Verify system that was developed to enable employers to check the legal status of job-seekers. It’s currently a crime for businesses to hire applicants residing illegally in the country, but many illegals find work anyway largely because the documents needed to prove legal status are so easy for forge, and because so many businesses simply don’t care and believe that the government really doesn’t, either.
E-Verify is a federally created “internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.” The good news is that it’s free to use, it produces results quickly, and its accuracy rates are not only astronomically high, but improving, according to independent auditors of this program. Moreover, E-Verify enjoys overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support. The only significant problem associated with it is that in most of the country, its use is voluntary.
So here’s how The Times characterizes Trump’s view that every U.S. employer should be brought into E-Verify to ensure that a law that’s on the books, and that the paper apparently does not oppose, is effectively enforced: It would “impose a national job-verification system so that everyone, citizens too, would need federal permission to work.”
Only somewhat less inane is The Times‘ description of Trump’s plan to “triple the number of [immigration enforcement] officers”: It would “flood the country with immigration agents….” What the paper doesn’t tell readers is that this “flood” would amount to 10,000 new employees for the Enforcement and Removal Operations branch of the Homeland Security Department’s bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Talk about crying wolf.
Also falling into The Times‘ category of “despicable” Trump proposals:
>ending the phony “catch-and-release” practice applied to illegals crossing the border and detaining them until they are sent home;
>establishing criminal penalties for legal visitors to the United States who overstay any of the wide variety of visas offered by Washington (a group that has included at least two of the September 11 hijackers);
>stepping up ICE’s cooperation with local law enforcement authorities to increase the chances that illegals belonging to criminal gangs will be deported;
>and addressing employer violations and other abuses of the H-1B visa system for workers supposedly possessing special skills in technology or other areas, practices which needlessly cost American workers both jobs and wages;
The Times of course wasn’t content to savage Trump. It castigated other GOP presidential hopefuls who haven’t repudiated all of his proposals for “racing to the bottom” on immigration. But if the paper’s editorial writers are looking for demagogues on immigration, they should try a mirror instead.